Fire in Wrightwood explodes; another spreads in San Gabriel foothills

Bushfires broke out in and around the San Gabriel Mountains this weekend, first in Wrightwood and later in Duarte, as hot and windy weather gripped the Southland, fire department officials said.

The Wrightwood fire, which started Saturday, exploded from 45 to 775 acres between 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday, according to Angeles National Forest officials. There was a mandatory evacuation order for Desert Front Road and Wild Horse Canyon in Wrightwood, and the rest of the city was under an evacuation alert, officials said.

The fire was 5% contained. The road from Highway 138 to Highway 2 was closed. An evacuation center has been set up at Serrano High School in Phelan.

The Duarte fire was first reported on Brookridge and Mel Canyon streets around 4:15 p.m. Sunday and had grown to 10 to 20 acres by 5 p.m., Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief Bernard Peters said. No one had been injured and no homes were threatened at this time.

The cause of both fires is currently under investigation.

Heat warnings and advisories were in effect through 8 p.m. Saturday for the Santa Monica Mountains and Antelope, San Fernando, Santa Clarita and San Gabriel valleys.

An increased risk of wildfires in the high desert and mountainous areas, sparked by hot, dry conditions and gusty winds, is expected to continue Tuesday and spread to lowland areas, meteorologists said. Fire in Wrightwood explodes; another spreads in San Gabriel foothills

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