One year ago, firefighters were battling the “Colby Fire,” a nine-day blaze that burned 2,000 acres in Los Angeles County’s San Gabriel Mountains. The fire forced the evacuation of up to 3,600 residents, destroyed five homes and damaged 17 additional buildings.
During the blaze, the Red Cross opened an evacuation center at Glendora High School that served as a safe haven for evacuated residents, providing hot meals, warm blankets and assistance with resources. After the fire was contained, the Red Cross closed its shelter but immediately went to work with partner agencies on post-fire efforts and preparing for possible mudslides.
The city of Glendora and Los Angeles County’s Public Works Department worked on mapping mudslide-prone areas, risk assessment and evacuation order planning. The findings were presented at a community resource meeting for area residents, in which the Red Cross participated.
Now, when a rainstorm is set to blow through the area and the national Weather Service predicts the level of rain fall, the City of Glendora determines the risk of mudslides. The city then alerts residents if an evacuation is recommended and puts the Red Cross on standby in case assistance is needed.
As sober reminder of what could happen in Glendora and other mudslide-prone areas, the last major rain storm in Camarillo’s Springs Fire burn scar area caused a mudslide that destroyed 18 homes. With this incident in mind, the city and the Red Cross continue to prepare.
In an effort to help better prepare Southern Californians to respond to fires, mudslides and other large-scale disasters, we’ve prepared some tips and tools for you to review with your family and information about mudslides.