San Gabriel Valley Tribune

San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Article Published: Sunday, November 19, 2006

Nowhere Fire north of Azusa burns 70 acres

Nowhere Fire Map
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST - a brush fire charred 70 acres in the wilderness north of Azusa on Saturday, but no injuries were reported, an official said.

The "Nowhere Fire" was reported about 2:20 p.m. in the vicinity of the Bridge to Nowhere and Sheep Mountain Wilderness, near East Fork Road and Highway 39 in San Gabriel Canyon, said Dee Bechert of the U.S. Forest Service.

About 160 firefighters hiked or were flown into the steep, difficult-to-reach, mountain area in the wilderness to fight the flames, Bechert said.

No injuries or structural damage were reported and the cause of the fire was not immediately known, she said.

Around 200 more personnel will be airlifted in this morning, she said.

- From wire reports



San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Article Published: Sunday, November 20, 2006

Blaze burning in remote area above Azusa
By Fred Ortega, Staff Writer

ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST - A forest fire in a remote wilderness area above Azusa had scorched between 150 and 200 acres by late Sunday, Forest Service officials said.

The Nowhere Fire was reported off Highway 39 near East Fork Road at about 2:20 p.m. Saturday. It was named because of its proximity to the Bridge to Nowhere, in a remote area only accessible on foot, said Dee Dechert, a U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman.

The wildfire was about 35 percent contained by 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Dechert said.

No evacuations were ordered and there are no homes in the area of the fire, which was burning on private and public lands within Los Angeles County near the San Bernardino County line.

"There have been no injuries and no structures threatened," Dechert said. "This is in the wilderness and the terrain is very steep and rocky, so access is difficult."

A handful of firefighters spent the night in the area, called the Sheep Mountain Wilderness, to monitor the fire, and close to 200 were airlifted in on Sunday, Dechert said.

The inaccessible terrain, marked by heavy brush, chaparral and scattered timber, is a difficult 2 1/2-hour hike into the forest, she said.

About 170 firefighters from the Forest Service, Los Angeles County Fire Department and California Department of Forestry were on the scene by late Sunday, and planned to camp out overnight. Water drops from the air had been called off because of darkness, and would resume in the morning, Dechert said.

On Saturday, deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department San Dimas station escorted about a half-dozen hikers from the area. Another man and his dog were located early Sunday after they didn't return as planned Saturday night, said Deputy Dave Smail.

"We just evacuated everybody so they aren't trapped by the flames," he said.

The weather around the Los Angeles basin was exceptionally warm for November, with highs in the 90s in some areas.

But the high temperatures and winds were not severe enough to keep the firefighters from continuing to fight the blaze.

"I haven't heard heard any major concerns about the weather," Dechert said. "If they were concerned, they wouldn't be spending the night."


Fred Ortega can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2306, or by e-mail at fred.ortega@sgvn.com.
Wire reports contributed to this story.



San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Article Published: Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Nowhere Fire north of Azusa reported to be 90% contained
By Nisha Gutierrez, Staff Writer

ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST -- A wildfire burning in the Angeles National Forest north of Azusa has charred about 250 acres but is 90 percent contained, forest officials said Monday.

On Monday, about 120 firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service and the LosAngeles County Fire Department battled the Nowhere Fire, named because of its close proximity to the Bridge to Nowhere, that broke out at about 2:20 p.m. Saturday off Highway 39 near East Fork Road.

Dee Dechert, spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service, said fire officials expected to have the fire completely contained by 6 a.m. today.

Dechert said the cause of the fire is still under investigation, and added that there have been no injures and no homes threatened as a result of the fire.

Despite the warm weather which brought highs of 89 degrees Monday, forest officials said they do not consider the weather a problem.

"The wind is not a factor and we are not too worried about the weather," Dechert said.

While the San Dimas Sheriff's Station evacuated some hikers Sunday from near the fire area, no other evacuations were made or anticipated.

About 60 firefighters were expected to spend the night to stand watch, while another 60 have been relieved from the battle, said Dechert.

The Bridge to Nowhere gets its name from a project started in 1929 by Los Angeles County to build a road from the East Fork over Blue Ridge and down to Big Pines, according to John W. Robinson's 1991 book "The San Gabriels."

Prisoners did most the work. A concrete bridge was built and a tunnel chiseled out of the rock. In March 1938, a rainstorm hit and chopped the road to pieces. The project was abandoned and the bridge, now a popular hiking spot, stands to this day.


Nisha Gutierrez can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2109, or by e-mail at nisha.gutierrez@sgvn.com.
Correspondent Brian Day, Staff Writer Phil Drake and City News Service contributed to this story.

Copyright 2006 San Gabriel Valley Tribune
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