Fil-Ams in path of wildfire in Southern California
LOS ANGELES – Hundreds of Filipino Americans are among those in the path of a wildfire raging in Day Canyon in the Etiwanda Reserve north of Rancho Cucamonga, a suburb 50 miles east of Los Angeles.
“We’re ready to evacuate,” said Charles Dizon, a retired medical billing specialist, whose seven-bedroom home is located two miles from Day Canyon. “I can see the smoke and flames from our bedroom on the second floor. (The fire) can spread quickly.”
Dizon told the Inquirer that his niece, whose house is closer to the canyon area, has already evacuated to safety. “We’ve already packed our belongings,” he said.
About 1,650 homes and at least seven schools were placed under a mandatory evacuation order Wednesday night (Thursday in Manila) as the fire, prompted by the strong Santa Ana winds, spread to at least 1,000 acres. The order was lifted late afternoon, according to the City of Rancho Cucamonga’s news release, but residents in the northern neighborhoods are urged to remain vigilant and to leave voluntarily if they feel threatened.
About 550 firefighters continue to battle the raging wildfire, said the news release sent to the Inquirer.
There are 5,513 Filipinos who live in Rancho Cucamonga, according to the latest census, and 40,000 more in surrounding cities in San Bernardino County.