SGM Current and Historical News

Latest News

This page gives current news about the SGM and the ANF, albeit usually with a large time delay, as well as historical news. Our definition of "news" undoubtedly differs from that of the newspapers. If you have any interesting news items, or historical news-type items, email us. Items contributed by Jane Strong are marked with JS, and by myself with TC.

These categories of news are listed elsewhere: Trail Conditions, Deaths in the San Gabriel Mountains and Mountain Lion Attacks.

See also:

See abbreviations for abbreviations used here. Some of more frequent abbreviations used here are:

AbbreviationFull name
ANFAngeles National Forest
LATLos Angeles Times
SGMSan Gabriel Mountains
SDUTSan Diego Union-Tribune

Note that as of 1/1/01, we have reversed the order so that the news is in chronological order. The latest news is thus at the bottom.


May 11.  Bouquet Canyon Fire, over 3200 acres near the Bouquet Canyon Reservoir north of Santa Clarita.

June 16.  Bluecut Fire, Cajon Pass, +7750 acres

26.  Louisiana Fire, Cajon Pass

27.  The Angeles National Forest is closed to any open fires effective July 1st, until further notice. Forest Supervisor Jody Cook stated, "We must take these actions because of the extreme fire conditions on the forest. We have had over 90 fires since the first of the year, and because of the lack of rain, we are experiencing conditions normally seen in September and October."

July 30.  The Arroyo Canyon Bridge remains closed to all traffic, including hikers and equestrians, until approximately August 15, 2002, to allow USDA Forest Service contractors to complete installation of a new concrete bridge at the site. The bridge is located northwest of Altadena, on the Angeles National Forest.

August 29.  Lytle Fire, in Stockton Flats and Coldwater Canyon, 554 acres

September 1.  Curve Fire, San Gabriel Canyon, contained at 20,857 acres. Historic fire lookout tower at South Mt. Hawkins burned to the ground.

3.  Leona Fire, Bouquet Cyn Road/Spunky Cyn Rd. (southwest of Leona Valley) contained at 5,124 acres.

22.  Williams Fire, started at Camp Williams on the East Fork of the San Gabriel River, contained at 38,094 Acres.

24.  Angeles National Forest closed to all recreational use; bark beetle emergency declared in Wrightwood and other forest communities.

October 3.  San Bernardino National Forest announces partial closure in remote areas

6.  Williams Fire becomes the Curve-Williams Complex. Santa Ana winds blew several hot areas of the fire back to life.

November 8.   The forest reopens after a vigorous storm drops 5.2 inches at Mt. Baldy Fire Station and 6.4 inches at Opids Camp in ~24 hours.

30. A flash debris flow occurred in the main fork of San Dimas Canyon, approximately 12 hours after thunderstorms deposited a small amount of rain. The flow began suddenly at around noon with a six-foot wall consisting of logs, trees, branches and boulders, followed by a one-hour flow of mud. (San Dimas Canyon Net General News)

This flow sounds similar to the March 1994 Bailey Canyon mudflow that killed two hikers in 1994. Both San Dimas Canyon and Bailey Canyon were completely burned in the months before the rains. For much more information on this expected occurrence after rains, see The Control of Nature by John McPhee, Chapter 3, "Los Angeles Against the Mountains".

December 15. In the continuing saga of whether SR39 will ever be reopened, Caltrans now says that by the end of December it will produce a final plan to getting the road reopened to the public. Phase I is six months of work to repair the road outside the landslide area, scheduled to begin in Summer 2003. Phase II is the re-engineering of the 500 foot landslide portion that closed the road in 1978, and awaits the completion of an Environmental Impact Report. (PSN 12/16/02)


January 31. Fire restrictions were finally lifted from the Forest. This allows barbecues, stove fires and campfires in developed sites where those facilities are provided, and, in other areas, stove fires that use gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel. Stove fires require a California Campfire Permit, which can be obtained at any Forest Service office.

February. A Caltrans report finds that rebuilding SR39 will not "greatly harm" wildlife, and recommends it be done in two phases. Phase one is the section beginning at SR2 and ending one mile south. The $4.5 million construction is scheduled to start summer 2003 and end in the summer of 2004, and will rehabilitate drainage culverts, reconstruct damaged retaining walls, apply asphalt concrete overlays on existing pavement and do road striping. The $22 million Phase Two construction rebuilds the rest of the closed road section. It requires re-engineering a part of the road where a landslide swept away a 500-foot portion. Construction would begin summer 2006 and end winter 2007. (PSN, 2/17/03)

October. Almost 70,000 acres of the SGM were burned by the Grand Prix / Old Fire. The entire ANF was closed on 27 October. The unburned area was opened on 7 November 2003. The burn area was still closed as of March 2004. See Fire Information And Forest Closures In Southern California.


March. The condors are back in the SGM! Dave Anderberg reports that he sighted seven condors at the west end of the SGM near the intersection of I-5 and SR14 on 4/18/04.

September 27. The entire ANF was closed due to fire danger.

October 20. The debris pile in Rubio Canyon collapsed from the heavy rains of the last two days, turning into a debris flow covering most of the bottom of Rubio Canyon.

October 20. The ANF was reopened after very unseasonable early heavy rains. However, the winter closure areas were placed into effect, and some areas, like Chantry Flats, did not reopen.

2001 and Earlier News

Go to:

Copyright © 1998-2004 by Tom Chester and Jane Strong.
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to us at this source:
Comments and feedback: Tom Chester | Jane Strong
Updated 24 December 2004.