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El Dorado Fire: More Than 13,000 Acres Burned, Containment Now At 31%

Updated
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Jump to: Basics | Evacuations | Evacuation Centers | Closures | Additional Resources | Cause

The El Dorado Fire continues to burn in the San Bernardino National Forest Thursday, though some evacuations have been lifted.

Here's what we know about the fire so far today, starting with a late afternoon recap of firefighting efforts from Operation Section Chief Daniel Diaz:

THE BASICS

  • Acreage: 13,592 acres
  • Containment: 31%
  • Resources deployed: 1,244 firefighters

The El Dorado Fire began on Saturday with a bang – literally – when a firework from a gender reveal party in Yucaipa ignited a blaze that has threatened thousands of homes and caused the mandatory evacuation of tens of thousands of residents.

Air quality warnings have been extended to Friday.

EVACUATIONS

Riverside County

All evacuation warnings and orders were lifted Thursday afternoon, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

San Bernardino County

An interactive map is available here.

Kate Kramer, a spokesperson with Cal Fire, said it's important that residents in those evacuation zones act fast and stay alert so firefighters can focus on the flames, not residents who didn't leave when they should have.

"We need people to stay evacuated if they've been asked to evacuate. And we need people that are on advisory — evacuation warning — if you have large animals, you should get them out now. When it goes to an order, that's not the time. So we just need people to stay vigilant. This is a pretty active, dynamic fire... we need people to listen, and and be out of our way. We're all struggling for firefighter resources across the state. We've got some here, but we need for them to stay focused on the fire and not on managing people. So we really appreciate that."

Mandatory

  • For the Yucaipa Area: Areas West of Bryant, North of Carter, East of Jeffreys / Cherry Croft between Carter and Oak Glen Road, then North of Oak Glen Road from Chery Croft to Canyon, then East of Canyon Drive from Oak Glen Road to Wildwood Canyon Drive, and areas North of Wildwood Canyon Drive efrom Canyon Drive to the junction with Oak Glen Road.
  • Oak Glen (partial, see road closures), Mountain Home Village and Forest Falls
  • All residents located east of Bryant street on Highway 38 including Mountain Home, Forest Falls, Angelus Oak, 7 Oaks and Jenks Lake Area East to Onyx Summit. Note: Angelus Oaks/Seven Oaks Residents have to go north to Big Bear, CA as Highway 38 is impacted by fire and rock slides.

Warning (voluntary, but be prepared to leave)

  • North of Carter, West of Bryant, South of Highway 38, East of Garnet.

EVACUATION CENTER

  • Cafeteria of the Redlands East Valley High School, 31000 E. Colton Ave. Redlands

ROAD CLOSURES

  • Highway 38 between Bryant Street in Yucaipa and Onyx Summit
  • Bryant Street between Hwy 38 and Carter Street
  • Oak Glen Road between Pine Bench Road and Cherry Croft Drive
  • Cross streets east of Bryant Street between Yucaipa Boulevard and Hwy 38
  • Wildwood Canyon Drive between Mesa Grande and Oak Glen Road
  • Soft closure on Highway 38 at Lake Williams Drive (south of Big Bear) to warn drivers of the closure at Onyx Summit

CAUSE

The family behind the party where authorities say a pyrotechnic device was set off tried to put out the fire and called 911, but it was too late. They have cooperated with authorities, but Cal Fire spokesperson Captain Bennett Malloy says it's possible they could face misdemeanor charges:

"Some of the laws they could have broken: a public resource code where you cause a fire on somebody else's land, or, in California under a penal code, there's provisions for what's called recklessly causing a fire. And that may be the case with this fire, but that would be up to the district attorney to determine."

Prosecutors could pursue felony charges if someone is hurt or killed, or if homes are damaged by the fire. Though no charges had been filed yet.

A RECORD FIRE SEASON

If it feels like the fires are worse this year, it's because they are.

According to Cal Fire, more acres in the state have burned in 2020, than any other year in over the past three decades (since statewide figures have been tracked).

And we have three more months to go.

Courtesy CalFire

HOW WE’RE REPORTING ON THIS

This is a developing story. We fact check everything and rely only on information from credible sources (think fire, police, government officials and reporters on the ground). Sometimes, however, we make mistakes and/or initial reports turn out to be wrong. In all cases, we strive to bring you the most accurate information in real time and will update this story as new information becomes available.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

For the latest information straight from local emergency officials, check the following websites and social media accounts:

FIRE RESOURCES

YOUR QUESTIONS OR IDEAS

Bobcat Fire: Blaze In Angeles National Forest Grows To Over 23K Acres, Containment At 6%

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Published

Jump to: Basics | Evacuations | Weather Conditions | About Mt. Wilson | Additional Resources

The Bobcat Fire burning in the Angeles National Forest is throwing more smoke and ash into the skies above Southern California. The out-of-control fire, which broke out Sunday above the city of Azusa, more than doubled in size overnight.

Crews hope to take advantage of low winds forecasted for the next few days to draw some containment around the flames, and protect nearby foothill communities under evacuation warnings.

Incident command spokesman Micah Bell says it will be difficult to get back-up crews, because state and federal resources are also involved in multiple fires raging across the West Coast:

"Resources are definitely a limiting factor right now. You know, we don't have as many firefighters and aircraft as we normally would, because everybody's stretched thin."

Evacuation warnings remain in place for several cities and communities in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.

Here's what we know so far today:

THE BASICS

  • Acreage: 23,890 acres
  • Containment: 6%
  • Resources Deployed: 532 personnel, including 35 engines, 19 hand crews, two helicopter and two planes

The brush fire erupted near the Cogswell Dam and then spread rapidly amid an intense, record-breaking heat wave, prompting evacuation orders for Mt. Wilson Observatory. The cause is under investigation.

Firefighters' plan today was to keep the blaze west of Sheep Wilderness, east of Mt. Wilson, north of foothill communities, and south of Angeles Crest Highway. They said they hope to "take advantage of favorable wind conditions to focus on protecting the foothill communities."

Another factor in their favor: The fire's west side has run into an area that previously burned. That "old burn scar" is "creating less intense fire behavior for fire crews," according to officials.

Yesterday, one goal was to keep the flames west of Highway 39, but in an update Wednesday night, fire officials reported weather conditions thwarted those efforts:

"The fire made a big push today, as the offshore winds pushed the fire to the east and crossed Hwy 39."

CLOSURES

A sign warns residents that the Angeles National Forest is closed as the Bobcat Fire burns nearby on September 9, 2020 near Monrovia. (David McNew/David McNew)
  • The Angeles National Forest — along with every other national forest in the state — is closed
  • State Route 39 is closed at Old Gabriel Canyon Road
  • State Route 2 east of Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road to Islip Saddle is also closed.

EVACUATION WARNINGS

Evacuation warnings currently include residents living in the following foothill cities and communities:

  • Duarte
  • Bradbury
  • Monrovia
  • Sierra Madre (residents can call 626-355-1414 for more information on impacted areas)
  • Pasadena
  • Altadena

"Residents should have evacuation plans in place, organize their emergency evacuation supplies, and have essential evacuation personal belongings easily accessible," U.S. Forest Service officials wrote on the fire incident page. "Vehicles should be fully fueled, facing out in their driveways and ready to leave. Please make those arrangements now."

A fire official said it's up to the individual city or county governments to rescind them, which was the case Wednesday with Arcadia after fire officials determined the fire had "generally progressed away from the city of Arcadia.''

SHELTER SITES

According to L.A. County officials, a shelter area for horses has been established at the Pomona Fairplex (entrance at Gate 12).

Yesterday, the L.A. chapter of the American Red Cross opened an evacuation shelter at Santa Anita Park, which closed at 6 p.m. today.

WEATHER CONDITIONS

At the scene of the fire today, authorities said they expect gusty northweast winds through midday and then a shift in the wind direction to south and southwest.

Expect higher than normal temperatures through the end of the week and the weekend, but nothing like we experienced on Sunday.

Smoke advisories have been extended through today as unhealthy air quality blankets much of the L.A. basin.

Look up the latest air quality info for your area at airnow.gov.

ABOUT MT. WILSON

The Mount Wilson Observatory houses 18 telescopes, many of which were used to make some of the greatest astronomical discoveries of the last century.

They include the 100 inch Hooker telescope that Edwin Hubble used in the 1920s to prove that our universe is still expanding.

Observatory Director Tom Meneghini said he's afraid they could be seriously impacted if the fire gets close enough.

“The heat can do irreparable damage. Our two big telescopes are historically significant and irreplaceable,” Meneghini said.

However, he said fires have gotten close before and the decades-old firefighting setup at the Observatory is ready to be used again.

"We have an inground system of hoses and pumps," he said. "We have half a million gallons of water ready to pump so that’s all been prepared for any fire professional to come in and take over."

The fire also threatens a seismic station that has recorded earthquake activity for 100 years, seismologist Lucy Jones said via Twitter.

Numerous television and radio stations have transmitters in the area, including our newsroom which broadcasts on the radio at 89.3 KPCC.

A RECORD FIRE SEASON

If it feels like the fires are worse this year, it's because they are.

According to Cal Fire, more acres in the state have burned in 2020, than any other year in over the past three decades (since statewide figures have been tracked).

And we have three more months to go.

Courtesy CalFire

HOW WE’RE REPORTING ON THIS

Brian Frank is gathering updated information about this fire, with additional feeds from reporters and producers. Earlier in the day Ryan Fonseca and Elina Shatkin updated the story.

This is a developing story. We fact check everything and rely only on information from credible sources (think fire, police, government officials and reporters on the ground). Sometimes, however, we make mistakes and/or initial reports turn out to be wrong. In all cases, we strive to bring you the most accurate information in real time and will update this story as new information becomes available.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

For the latest information straight from local emergency officials, check the following websites and social media accounts:

FIRE RESOURCES

YOUR QUESTIONS OR IDEAS

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LA County Won’t Allow Most Students To Return To Campuses For At Least Six More Weeks

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A COVID-19 public service announcement displays on the sign of Santa Monica High School on Sept. 9, 2020. (Kyle Stokes/KPCC/LAist)

Los Angeles County health officials are unlikely to allow public schools to reopen for general “hybrid” instruction for at least the next six to eight weeks.

Instead, the county’s Department of Public Health will use that time to monitor schools bringing back much smaller groups of high-needs students on an invitation-only basis.

Schools can begin inviting these students back to campus as soon as next week — on Monday, Sept. 14 — under new rules intended to help deliver specialized services to students at greatest risk of falling behind during distance learning, like special education students or English learners.

Under L.A. County’s rules, schools cannot invite back more than 10% of their student body to take part of these small groups.

In a statement, the health department said officials will be watching these groups closely over the next six to eight weeks. They’ll “assess safety directives and strategies for ensuring infection control and distancing.”

“This information,” the department’s statement added, “will be used to inform the timing of future activities at schools.”

RELATED:

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California’s New Round Of Unemployment Aid Leaves Out Many Younger Workers

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A Redwood High School senior during a drive-in graduation ceremony in June. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

This week, California started distributing new unemployment payments of $300 per week under the federal Lost Wages Assistance program. But nearly 200,000 out-of-work Californians won’t get a dime, because their current benefits are too low.

Californians must already be getting at least $100 per week from the state to qualify. That leaves out many part-time and low-wage workers, as well as freelancers with mixed sources of income.

Younger workers are among the most likely to be excluded under these eligibility requirements, according to a recent analysis from University of California researchers with the California Policy Lab.

Nearly 23% of Californians aged 16-19 won’t qualify. And almost 10% of workers aged 20-24 will get nothing.

Some recent college graduates say the pandemic has seriously diminished their job prospects, and losing federal unemployment assistance will only make it hard to keep up with rent and student loan payments.

READ OUR FULL STORY HERE:

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Federal Judge Tells Trump Administration To Turn Over Records On Decision To End Census Count Early

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A car caravan rolls through Oceanside to drum up support for the 2020 Census. (Caroline Champlin/LAist)

A federal judge has given the Trump administration until Sunday to turn over documents related to last months's abrupt decision by officials to end the 2020 Census a month earlier than planned.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose is presiding over a lawsuit against the Trump administration brought by civil rights organizations and several city and county governments, among them the City of Los Angeles.

Plaintiffs had asked that the federal government turn over documents that could help explain why the Census Bureau suddenly moved the deadline for the decennial count up by a month, from Oct. 31 to Sept. 30.

Earlier this week, lawyers with the federal Department of Justice said in court that they didn’t have that kind of written record — then later made the argument that documents just shouldn’t be produced, because the Census Bureau’s plan is the political business of Congress and not the court.

In court documents filed early today, Judge Koh rejected the government's arguments. She ordered that the government turn over documents detailing how and why the census timeline was changed.

Last weekend, Judge Koh temporarily halted the administration's plan to end the census early, issuing a temporary restraining order that prevents the Census Bureau from winding down operations or laying off enumerators early, something that was already happening in Los Angeles.

City leaders have argued that cutting short the census will leave hard-to-reach populations uncounted. Among other things, census data helps determine political representation in Congress and federal funding for social services.

More hearings are set for next week. Oral arguments are scheduled for next Thursday, when Koh will decide whether to extend the temporary restraining order.

What's at stake? The census count determines billions in federal aid and also how political representation is distributed. States, counties and cities that are undercounted will lose out both financially and politically.

California's self-response rate — meaning people who sent in their form — was at 68% and L.A. County's was at 63.3%. With enumerators, census workers who go door-to-door to follow up with people who did not respond, the state is at 92.6%.

MORE ON THE CENSUS

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Sheriff: One Deputy In The Dijon Kizzee Shooting Is Yet To Be Interviewed

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Dijon Kizzee. (Courtesy of the Kizzee family)

Sheriff Alex Villanueva said today that one of the two deputies who fatally shot Dijon Kizzee in South L.A. has so far declined to be interviewed by detectives.

A week and a half after the controversial Aug. 31 shooting, the sheriff said investigators have to wait until a deputy is ready to be interviewed.

"If we force the deputies to be interviewed, it becomes a compelled statement," Villanueva told a news conference outside the department's South L.A. station. "And then we cannot use a compelled statement."

Such statements could not be used in any criminal case against a deputy — just like they couldn’t be used against a civilian accused of a crime.

The sheriff said the deputy — a training deputy, according to a source — is expected to talk to detectives in the next few days.

But the delay is a problem, according to former Sheriff’s Commander Rod Kusch, who once oversaw such investigations. As time passes, deputies’ memories can fade or their stories can change, he said.

"This is why police officers interview victims of crime and witnesses of crime right away," Kusch told us.

Villanueva said once detectives have interviewed the deputy, the department will release all the information it has on the case, including "video, with the entire context of what happened, and it will answer all of the questions you may have."

Key questions center around the department's claim that Kizzee had a gun, and that the deputies opened fire when he "made a motion" toward the weapon after dropping it on the ground during a tussle with one of the deputies. The department says the incident began when the deputies tried to stop Kizzee for a still undisclosed vehicle code violation while he was riding a bicycle.

LEARN MORE ABOUT POLICE IN LA

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Herb Wesson And Holly Mitchell Jump-Start Race For Powerful County Seat

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Forum moderator Dr. Hamoud Salhi (l), Councilman Herb Wesson (r), State Senator Holly Mitchell (bottom). (Screenshot from livestream)

Candidates for an open seat on the powerful L.A. County Board of Supervisors met virtually this week for the first time in the general election campaign.

State Senator Holly Mitchell and L.A. City Councilman Herb Wesson are vying to represent the massive 2nd District, which has a population of about two million in eight cities (including Inglewood and Culver City), 19 unincorporated areas (including communities in South L.A.), and parts of the city of Los Angeles.

Policing and justice are top of mind in the district: In recent months, the community has seen protests over the shootings of Andrés Guardado and Dijon Kizzee by L.A. County Sheriff’s deputies.

At the forum on Wednesday, Wesson, the former City Council president, touted his proposal for unarmed response to non-violent 911 calls in the city.

"Right now I am ... the tip of the spear in reimagining public safety," Wesson said. "Not just here, but in the entire United States of America."

Mitchell said she’s spent her career in the legislature putting forward criminal justice and juvenile justice "right-sizing" reforms. (The State Senate Budget Committee chair co-authored a law that bans life sentences without the possibility for parole for juveniles, among others.)

"Not just now when it’s cool and everybody’s done it," said Mitchell of her history as a reformer. "Back when it was difficult. When the police unions and the District Attorneys' association fought me every step along the way."

Wesson and Mitchell both promised they’d prioritize helping small businesses as the region’s economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. They also agreed that addressing the homelessness crisis requires funding programs such as rent subsidies or grants to keep people in their homes.

Both candidates support Measure J, a county charter amendment to allocate at least 10% of locally-generated, unrestricted revenue to community investment programs. The measure is before voters on the November ballot.

The online event was organized by the Carson Accountability and Transparency nonprofit and the Carson Chamber of Commerce. You can watch the full video here.

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All Cal State Campuses Will Remain Mostly Online Next Year

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Published
California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White announced on Sep. 10, 202 that most classes will remain online next semester. (The California State University) The California State University

Classes at all 23 California State University campuses will continue to be held mostly online for the term that starts in January of 2021.

In a message to the university community today, Chancellor Timothy White said he wanted to make the announcement early so students and staff have time to prepare:

"After extensive consultation with campus presidents and other stakeholders, and careful consideration of a multitude of factors – regarding the pandemic and its consequences, as well as other matters impacting the university and its operations – I am announcing that the CSU will continue with this primarily virtual instructional approach for the academic term that begins in January 2021, and also will continue with reduced populations in campus housing."

White cited regulations that require campuses to submit their January academic schedules to the university's accrediting body by next month. With no certainty that campuses will be safe to reopen by January, the university decided to submit plans for mostly virtual classes.

Read White's letter to the campuses:

RELATED:

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LA Health Inspectors Are Fining Businesses Who Fall Short On COVID-19 Rules

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A notice at the entrance of Tak's Coffee Shop in Crenshaw asks patrons to wear a face mask inside the restaurant. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Since the end of August, L.A. County health inspectors have issued 30 citations and posed $23,000 in fines to businesses that break the health officer rules, like requiring employees to wear masks.

County health officials said inspectors "review reopening protocols with business owners" to ensure they're familiar with requirements for:

  • Disinfection
  • Use of face coverings
  • Physical distancing, and any other specific required modifications.

While the main focus, according to officials, is on education, fines have been issued.

To help put customers at ease and make sure businesses are aware of the regulations, the county’s chief medical officer Dr. Muntu Davis announced a self-reported COVID-19 safety compliance certificate program. Businesses and employees can complete the progam on the county’s website.

“Participation in this program is not mandatory, but it can serve to train businesses and to demonstrate to the public that a business understands and is implementing the required protocols,” Davis said.

After watching a video and taking a short quiz, businesses can post their safety compliance certificate on their doors. Whether or not a business takes the county up on the certificate program, all businesses that are open are required to follow workplace rules and could be subject to fines if they do not.

🚨NEW SERIES ALERT! LAist’s How To (New) L.A. is a collection of step-by-step guides and practical information for navigating your life in Los Angeles.

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Long Beach Schools To Continue With Distance Learning Through January

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Jill Baker, superintendent for Long Beach Unified, announced on Sept. 10, 2020, that schools will continue with distance learning for the entire semester. (Screenshot of LBUSD video)

The Long Beach Unified School District will remain in distance learning mode through January 28. Continuing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic drove the decision to keep campuses closed until at least the of the end of semester.

District Superintendent Jill Baker made the annoucement today in video message posted on the district's website and on social media. She said Long Beach Unified — the the second-largest school district in L.A. County and the fourth-largest in the state — made the "decision to extend distance learning based on consultation with health officials."

"I have been asked by some members of the community why we are not opening schools, when according to some sources, students don’t easily contract COVID. While the answer is more complex than a simple statement, the summary is that schools do not operate without a significant number of adults, and when we convene large groups of adults and students in any one location, there is a higher likelihood of contributing to the spread of a communicable disease."

Watch the full announcement above.

READ MORE:

You Can Eat Inside Restaurants In Orange County

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People enjoy outdoor drinks and dining temporarily set up on Main Street in Huntington Beach on July 16, 2020. (ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

On Tuesday, Orange County was upgraded to a less restrictive level of California's four-tier, color-coded reopening plan, lifting some of the countywide restrictions on indoor dining.

Now that Orange County is in the Substantial/Red tier, restaurants can serve patrons in their dining rooms as long as they don't exceed 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer. Wineries in OC can operate outdoors only while bars, breweries and distilleries are still closed.

The new "Blueprint for a Safer Economy," which went into effect on August 31, places all 58 California counties into one of four tiers.

Los Angeles County is still in the most restrictive Widespread/Purple tier, which forbids all indoor dining at restaurants.

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Why Is The Air Quality In LA So Much Worse Today?

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The afternoon sun between palm trees in Arcadia (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

Even though much of California was blanketed in smoke yesterday, the Los Angeles area appeared to have pretty good air quality, at least according to sensors.

However, this morning people woke up to their lungs burning as smoke penetrated homes. The sensors read red or even purple, as dangerous levels of the Air Quality Index was reached.

What happened?

A LOT OF SMOKE VERY HIGH UP

Our skies are mostly grey because of the massive amount of smoke and ash flowing down from the fires in Northern California.

Though, that didn’t necessarily translate into poor air quality in L.A.

Some of these fires are so large that they inject burning matter tens of thousands of feet into the atmosphere. Up there, smoke and ash can get pushed by winds high up in the atmosphere, traveling some time before touching down.

“It’s possible that they’re impacting air quality, just not on the local area,” said Michael Jerrett, Professor of Environmental Health Science at UCLA.

"With some of these mega wildfire complexes, you actually start seeing them affecting air quality literally thousands of miles away,” said Jerrett. “They could potentially have impacts on the Great Lakes, all of the way from California.”

Just because air quality monitors said everything was OK yesterday, ash from the fires was still falling across many parts of Southern California. Unsurprisingly, ash is not healthy to breathe, but it doesn’t factor into air quality measurements.

“Our monitors aren’t designed to pick up ash. They’re designed to pick up the smaller particles which is sort of our typical urban air pollution concern,” said Philip Fine, Deputy Executive Officer at the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

LOCAL FIRES MAKING AIR QUALITY WORSE

So why is the air quality so bad today? Growing and shifting winds at the local level.

Places like Pasadena, Monrovia, and even Downtown Los Angeles, are being choked by smoke because of the Bobcat Fire burning nearby.

Yesterday, some of that smoke was likely dissipated by the Santa Ana wind event that blew through. Today, there are light winds coming from the East and North East, pushing smoke from the fire over the San Gabriel Valley.

Same goes for San Bernardino and the El Dorado Fire.

“It could be a little smokey because we’re not expecting much in the way of wind the next few days,” said David Sweet, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Interestingly enough, the smoke is likely impacting temperatures as well.

Sweet said that it’s about 10-15 degrees cooler today than yesterday, in part because the thick blanket of smoke is keeping the sun’s rays from reaching the Earth’s surface. The lack of onshore winds is also playing a major part.

REST OF THIS WEEK

Whether you’re inundated with smoke over the next few days will depend on whether or not firefighters are able to get a handle on the Bobcat and El Dorado fires. And whether the wind blows your way.

Remember, if you smell smoke or see ash falling, it’s best to stay inside.

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5 Tips For Hikers Caught In Wildfires

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A hiker walks below an orange sky filled with wildfire smoke on the Limeridge Open Space hiking trails in Concord, California on September 9, 2020. (Photo by BRITTANY HOSEA-SMALL/AFP via Getty Images) BRITTANY HOSEA-SMALL/AFP via Getty Images

What should you do if you're hiking and a wildfire breaks out nearby?

Lots of hikers, campers and boaters have been asking themselves this question lately, as wildfires sweep through popular recreation areas in California.

I interviewed two fire behavior experts, and both stressed how important it is to try to avoid getting trapped by the fire in the first place. Stay as far from the fire as you can, remain upwind or perpindicular to the direction the fire is moving, and consider climbing to a ridge or highpoint to keep an eye on the fire. Or use a phone or satellite communication device to get this information.

But if you can't escape a fast-moving wildfire, there are a few things you can do to increase your likelihood of survival.

READ THE FULL STORY:

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Virtual Event: COVID-19 And The Child Care Crisis 

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Two children in a pre-school class at Young Horizons play with blocks while wearing face masks. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

California child care providers are losing their jobs, parents are scrambling to work, take care of their kids and shepherd them through virtual learning — and there’s no more circle time, for now.

There’s a lot to keep track of, whether you’re a parent, caregiver, child care provider or early educator.

Our friends over at KPBS in San Diego are hosting a conversation tonight (Thursday, Sept. 10) at 7 p.m. about COVID-19 and child care. Register to attend the free virtual event here.

Investigative reporter Claire Trageser will moderate the conversation as the panelists unpack the role that child care plays in reopening the economy, how parents and providers have navigated this time, the impact on young children, the future of early education and more.

The panel includes:

READ MORE ABOUT CHILD CARE DURING THE PANDEMIC:

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Latest USC Report Finds 'Apathy And Indifference' When It Comes To Increasing Diversity In Hollywood

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USC's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative's study of the top 100 grossing films in the in 2019 found wide gaps between men and women in many key filmmaking roles. Courtesy Annenberg Inclusion Initiative

USC's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative — which studies diversity in Hollywood's top grossing films — first looked at the top grossing films in the U.S. in 2007.

The annual report, released this morning, was summarized by lead researcher Stacy Smith like this:

"After 13 years, it is not clear what might convince entertainment companies to change. Despite public statements, the data reveal that there is still apathy and ambivalence to increasing representation of speaking characters overall in popular films."

The latest study found wide gaps between men and women, as well as underrepresented groups both on and off the screen.

The report comes just days after the Academy Awards announced major changes in which films will be eligible for best picture nominations starting in 2024 — requirements aimed at accelerating change.

READ MORE

Morning Briefing: Academy Awards Add Diversity Requirements

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In this handout photo provided by A.M.P.A.S. Oscars statuettes are on display backstage during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre (Photo by Richard Harbaugh - Handout/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images)

Never miss a morning briefing. Subscribe today to get our A.M. newsletter delivered to your inbox.

For years, article after article and study after study (after study, after study) have proven that the film industry flagrantly discriminates against women, people of color, people with disabilities, the LGBTQIA+ community and basically anyone who isn’t a cisgendered, middle-aged-or-older, able-bodied, straight white man.

Attempts have been made to adjust the status quo to little avail, but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is now taking a slightly stronger stance. Beginning in 2024, contenders for the organization’s coveted Best Picture award will be required to meet two of four so-called “representation and inclusion standards.” Those standards address on-screen diversity, leadership diversity, training programs and diversity among audience development teams.

In an essay, KPCC’s John Horn notes that the same standards haven’t had much effect on the British Academy of Film and Television Awards. But hey, it’s better than nothing.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

Jessica P. Ogilvie


Coming Up Today, September 10

The state is sending out the latest $300 unemployment benefit checks, but some 200,000 Californians don't qualify because they weren't receiving $100 in unemployment benefits. David Wagner has one Angeleno’s story.

Watch new and notable films from Mexico, visit the NHM's Butterfly Pavilion, listen to Banda El Recodo, and more. Christine N. Ziemba has this weekend’s best online and IRL events.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

Wildfires: The El Dorado Fire has burned 11,479 acres in the San Bernardino National Forest, and is at 19% containment. The Bobcat Fire has burned 11,456 acres in the Angeles National Forest and has no containment.

Diversity In The Newsroom: In the next installment of our #FutureOfLocalNews series, our panel – Outlier founder and executive editor Sarah Alvarez, L.A. Taco editor-in-chief Javier Cabral, and USC Annenberg adjunct lecturer and L.A. Times audience engagement editor Adriana Lacy – discuss strategies for amplifying community voices in and out of the newsroom.

Staying Sane: Between the pandemic, ongoing protests over systemic racism, the upcoming election and raging wildfires, an expert weighs in on managing your mental health.

Dramatic Action: Forget the treats, and the tricks – Halloween is pretty much canceled in L.A. John Horn reflects on what led to dramatic action this week to improve the diversity of films nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

Life On L.A.’s Streets: Bumdog Torres chronicles life in the time of coronavirus as a photographer living on the streets of L.A.


Photo Of The Day

Steven Arroyo, the owner of Escuela Taqueria and Totem Poultry.

(Bumdog Torres for LAist)

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This post has been updated to reflect changes in what's coming up for today.


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