Wildfire Breaks Out at Whittier Narrows Reservoir

Michael Khuraibet (via @mwkhur Twitter)


Michael Khuraibet

A helicopter flies over the fire at Whittier Narrows Reservoir after dumping water on it. The helicopter made multiple attempts to extinguish the fire, before succeeding. Traffic built up along Rosemead Boulevard as people stopped to watch.

A wildfire broke out Saturday afternoon in the Whittier Narrows Reservoir in Montebello. Traffic piled up on Rosemead Boulevard as dozens of spectators lined up along the guard rail to take pictures. The smoke billowed along the horizon, visible for miles in any direction.

Jocelyn Saldivar, a student at Rio Hondo, was with her family as one of the many vendors that sell produce and drinks along Rosemead. “I was sitting here helping my sister, and we saw a little bit of the smoke coming out,” Saldivar said. “It just grew, and now the flames are all the way up.”

According to ABC 7, the fire burned over an acre and a half of land. Firefighters in both trucks and helicopters were on the scene within five minutes, according to eyewitnesses. The fire started around noon. However, because of how quickly it spread, it took firefighters over an hour and a half to contain the blaze.

Many of the people who watched it burn speculated as to how it could’ve started. One person said there are a lot of homeless people who live in the reservoir, and could’ve accidentally set it off.

Officials have not reported the cause of the fire. As of now, there are no known injuries or structural damage to the land.