Friday, August 28, 2009

Altadena Fire: Saturday, 10:30, more photos

On the one hand, it doesn't look as sinister because you can't see that much orange flame. On the other hand, it has really spread since yesterday. (Mandatory evacuations underway in The Meadows and La Vina.)

(Photo ID from Greg Sweet: "The hill surrounded by smoke in the photographs taken from the Community Garden is called 'Little Round Top'. That is the sight of Owen Brown's Grave."

For evacuation information, I think (link on blogroll) is the most up-to-date.

From Greg Sweet: "I receive an email this morning from Forest Volunteer Richard Nyerges. He and a dedicated crew have maintained the trail and campground in Bear Canyon for many years. He sounds uncharacteristically negative; probably feeling defeated. He invites us to pass this along.

Hi Everyone,

Well it looks like the Station Fire may very well burn into Bear canyon. This evening I could see fire on top of Brown Mountain and Bear is on the other side. With the FS working and protecting homes, and with the remote area that Bear canyon is located, I would best guess that they will draw a line around Bear and let a large area burn. Lets hope that the fire acts like a fire should and if it does burn Bear, its only here and there. No matter what though, come the winter rains all the sediment will flow down hill and fill all the pools. If that happens it will be at best 10 - 15 years before the pools clear out. We can hope a large heavy rain in 5 years might wash them out. This is of course only if the canyon burns but right now there is fire heading into the canyon.

In early October, Maybe the 10th, I will put together those who wish to join me on a recon trip into Bear Canyon to access the damage if any. Let hope for minimal burn down deep on the canyon floor.

If anyone would like to join me, we will be carrying in tools to do any repairs that might be and can be done. Let me know if you can join in and I'll put together a list. (

If you know of anyone who might be interested in joining in, please forward this along. Thanks

If we find the culprit who started the fire, hold me back. I can't say here what I'd do to them.

If you do venture in the hills, be safe.


(I'll be joining. -- Karin)



  1. Thanks for the information. I could see flames at the top of Brown Mountain from the 9th floor of Caltech's Millikan building at 1 pm. Now a lot of smoke seems to be coming from behind there - is Bear Canyon alight? I hope they can stop it coming closer to Altadena, and preserve the Sunset trail, Millard canyon and all the houses.

  2. I hope so too Bellis. Should anyone send info my way, I'll be happy to post it. Please keep in mind these are first-person accounts.

  3. It's great that many of the local bloggers are posting about this.

  4. Sounds good, KB, about your AD Stables. But does that mean the horses are staying put there? And, how's the air quality for them?

  5. Damn, that's as hard for you all as the hurricane and tornado seasons are for us here in the southeast. Our prayers and good thoughts go out to all of you. Keep us posted KB.

  6. From the vantage point of my computer the fires look awfully close to the Altadena Stables and Altadena in general.

    Curious, are you and your friends and the Stables out of danger? Or are you and your horse considering evacuation?

  7. Karin, glad it's looking better now. Stay safe.

  8. TOtally. Freaked. Out.

    I'm going to keep coming back here to get the scoop from Altadena. I was stunned taking pictures tonight. It's surreal to be this close to something so massive.

  9. Your photos say everything. Keep us posted. It is so hard to watch from this far and not know.

  10. How far from your house is this? It's hard to know what to do when your home is under threat by some natural disaster. For hurricanes, the rule of thumb is, if they tell you to evacuate you have to do it three days before the storm hits or the evacuation is a potential disaster of its own. I don't know how to think about fires, but I hope you've got a plan just in case, KB.

    Another blogging buddy up in Santa Cruz said that their fire is supposed to be, in part, a renewal for some plant species. Let's hope something good comes out of yours but is contained soon.

  11. Thanks so much for the frequent and in depth updates. I live in Monrovia but have been in upstate NY for the past few weeks and will remain here for awhile. There really are no great sources for continuous updates on the progression of the fire aside from you wonderful local bloggers. Thank you for your dedication to keeping us all posted... fingers crossed for you and all of our neighbors there.

  12. Is the ranger station still standing? I thought the fire was on the White City ridge. A ridge shooting straight up to a long flat area. Is that the loop that joins up with the Burton/Brown Mountain fire road?

    go to my comment thread (last video)

  13. Thanks for the photos and info. I hope you stay safe.

  14. Thanks again for everyone's concern. I am not in the line of fire, and the sky around me is much clearer this morning than is was several hours ago.

    Sounds like the major evacuations are in La Canada. One of the reasons this has been so HUGE is that certain parts of the foothills/mountains haven't burned in decades.

    PJ is right. We have many native plants that will thrive after a fire. There are even some native plant seeds that will not germinate without fire. The people and other animals are another story.

  15. Do take care of urself this is what i can say !!Unseen Rajasthan

  16. I woke up with a start, worried about you and Linda. Earl says you can see the fire in the mountains from Fair Oaks in South Pas. I haven't ventured out yet but I smell ash from inside.

    This is awful.

  17. The hill surrounded by smoke in the photographs taken from the Community Garden is called 'Little Round Top'. That is the sight of Owen Brown's Grave.

  18. that little grove of oaks (right past the turnoff road that takes you to the grave site; and passes several cabins) is that part of the burn? I adore that little curve of shade

  19. pasadenaadjacent,

    It sounds like you are referring to what I call Brunk's Corner, named for a man that has only been identified as "Old Man Brunk". If you mean the fork in the road at the forest service housing, I am sure that it has burned.

    Thank you for reminding me, there are surely several Forest Service employees and their families displaced/homeless.

    I will try to find out and contact Karin if there is something we can do for them. The Forest Service pays very little and one of the only perks is affordable housing (in a beautiful setting).

  20. GS, I have to assume the fed govt/USFS, wood pay to rebuild their EE housing. I'll admit nowadays the feds may feel in worse shape than their employees, with trillions & trillions in debt, so that it may be a while before they even spend a dollar for an outhouse!

    Yes, Mountain Man, do ck out what is their situation & what we may be able to contribute to their well being. Good work as usual.

    btw, I'm just wondering what assistance the websites of our govment reps are providing?

  21. Regarding the Forest Service employees that live (lived?) in the Arroyo Seco, those facilities are owned by the Forest Service and rented to the employees. There has been a concerted effort to reduce housing on The Angeles (and consequently their budget - witness the old Oak Grove Station at Hahamogna) but the problem is that our local rangers are paid on a Federal scale. The forest worker in LA gets paid the same as an equal level employee in Arkansas, but we all know how much more expensive it is to live in SoCal.

    I don't know that we can help these people, but I want it to be known that they are SOL as much as anyone that gets burned out of the hills, probably more so.

  22. Ciao, I passed here to say Hello and I see that fire. I hope you, your horses are well.
    It looks terrible.