Downey firefighters dispatched to fight Colby fire

DOWNEY -- Two Downey Fire Department engines were dispatched to Glendora today to assist in battling the Colby fire, a blaze that has burned more than 1700 acres in the Angeles National Forest. Downey Engine No. 61 and Battalion Chief Ed Haupt were deployed this morning along with other Area E engines from Compton, Montebello, Santa Fe Springs and Vernon. They are currently assisting with fire suppression and structure protection.

A second strike team from Downey -- Engine No. 63 with Battalion Chief Bruce English -- was deployed just before noon.

"Earlier today I visited Downey's command center to observe the assembling of a potential second strike team to assist on the fire," said Mayor Fernando Vasquez. "And I have been in continual communication with our fire chief and assistant fire chief during this emergency."

The mayor also noted that the AQMD has released an "Unhealthful Air Quality Forecast" due to the Colby Fire and cautioned residents that smoke may impact the Gateway Cities areas.

The AQMD recommends that "individuals exercise caution and avoid unnecessary outdoor activity in any area directly impacted by smoke."

Further information regarding air quality can be found on the Southern California Air Quality Management District's website,