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Williams Fire Ruins Labor Day Plans For Forest Visitors

Wildfire foils Labor Day plans for about 12,000 visitors to the Angeles National Forest.

Thousands of Labor Day travelers were turned away from the Angeles National Forest Monday as a .

Firefighters still struggled to control the flames, which had burned more than 4,000 acres by the end of the day Monday. Only 5 percent of the fire was contained.

But that didn’t stop visitors from heading toward the popular recreation area and campgrounds for the Labor Day holiday, only to be shooed away by barricades and firefighters.

Others had to cut short their holiday weekend in the San Gabriel Canyon when visitors and residents had to quickly evacuate the area.

"I've never seen a real fire except on TV," Catherine Vega told NBC Los Angeles. "We stopped to see, and we saw actual flames and it was scary because we didn't know what to do."

Before the fire erupted near the Camp Williams Resort Sunday afternoon, about 12,000 visitors were expected to celebrate the holiday weekend at the popular recreational area.

Most of the estimated 1,100 evacuees were campers and visitors, but there are about 75 residents living in Camp Williams Mobile Home community, according to the Huffington Post.

Andrea Obole, a four-year resident at Camp Williams, said her husband noticed the smoke in the distance just before 4 p.m. on Sunday. Within minutes the flames were approaching their home and the family piled into a car and fled down Glendora Mountain Road.

The American Red Cross has set up a. Fire officials have not stated when they expect evacuation orders to be lifted, although it may be a of the fire may be achieved.

Fire officials say while the fire has moved away from threatening any structures, more than six square miles of wilderness have been scorched by the uncontrollable flames.

The winding, scenic Glendora Mountain Road was closed to motorists and visitors as firefighters continued to fight the blaze. Although campgrounds and structures appear to be unthreatened by the growing flames, fire officials said roads into the San Gabriel Canyon will remain closed to visitors and residents so that fire trucks and emergency vehicles can move in and out the area without disruption.

 

Mark Torricelli September 04, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Sunday, A friend and I took jeep up Azusa Cyn. prior to Family BBQ. Tha mass amount of people clamoring for every inch of available parking and space by east fork river was comical. We noted the Webers in back of trucks and predicted disaster. I know our natural resources should be open to all, but you put that many people in an area that understaffed, by fish and game, and you get what you get. Mark T.

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