A sudden, massive fire that began in the San Gabriel Mountains north of Los Angeles just before 6:00 a.m. PST has produced an enormous cloud of smoke that has spread rapidly across hundreds of miles and is visible throughout Southern California, reaching all the way to Catalina Island, off the Pacific coast. The photograph above was taken on the Pacific Coast Highway near Pacific Palisades, CA, some 30 miles away from the fire. Catalina Island is dimly visible at far right.
Pacific Coast Highway, looking southeast from Santa Monica, 9:20 a.m.
The fire has spread very quickly and is now burning across 1700 acres, according to local media repoets. No injuries were reported in the blaze, though police say they have arrested three individuals near the scene. Residents near the fire in Glendora, CA were told to prepare to evacuate their homes. 600 firefighters were deployed to the scene, along with several helicopters and airplanes delivering fire-retardant chemicals.
Smoke spreads throughout the skies above Los Angeles, 9:15 a.m.
The entire region has enjoyed summer like conditions for the past several days, but the arrival of the Santa Ana winds, which blow down the mountainside and spread fires rapidly, has increased the risk of wildfires.