Saturday, August 29, 2009

Last update for Saturday: Altadena Fire

8:30 p.m.: All looks very quiet up the hill, nothing to photograph thank god. Ran into a friend of mine holding on to three riding horses and 3 minis, waiting for evacuation instructions. She and her husband board the fellas a little north of Alta Loma. Although things looked good for now, it's a mandatory. And this whole thing has grown and shrunk and grown again so many times, it's not to be trusted.

From 7:30 update: All the horses at Altadena Stables have been moved to the Equestrian Center in Burbank. I was just at Alt Stables, and streets are blocked, but it doesn't look bad. Still, who knows? Marcy and company loaded up more than 30 horses, and were just now moving hay and shavings for probably the next couple of days. How they could move 30 horses in two hours is testimony to great horsemanship, dedication, and just all-around exceptional management.

Alta Loma has been (blocked? evacuated?) from Lincoln to Lake. And yet a band is playing at Farnsworth Park. Most of the fire seems to be heading down a trail to the west of Glenrose, but still up the hill. I'll go up there shortly.

This via Altadena Women's Network:
---- Begin forwarded message from Gino Sund, chair of Altadena Town Council -----

Update on fire: latest flyover with visual and infrared analysis by County Fire indicates that the fire is moving away from Altadena but still in direction of Mt. Wilson. No structures burned and danger to residences seems to lessening.


They are doing an all-out assault right now. I'm close to the flight path and the planes have been charging up and down the hills for about the past hour. I know it's burning bad on the back side of our San Gabriels, but it seems the fire-fighters have, for now, beaten the fire back from the eastern march so I can no longer see it directly up the hill from my house. I'd say it is now directly up from Fair Oaks, and you can see the flames.

Perhaps we'll learn what the plan was later, but I'm guessing it was to charge with full force, rather than one plane or two at a time?

As I understand it firefighters are putting in a fire break just north of Loma Alta, which is the street where I run every day. A family I know from our co-op is looking for a place to stash chickens, one horse, and three dogs in the event they must evacuate. If you're in the area and think you can help, email me and I will forward to them. (ALL ANIMALS HAVE FOUND A PLACE.)

The fire keeps growing and pushing east. Helicopter and plane-wise, I don't see much activity from the good guys. Perhaps there's another strategy?

(I finally hear some fixed wing overhead. Fire has now pushed east far enough to be parallel to my street, though still in the hills. For those who asked, at this point my horse is further away from the fire than I am.)

CO brought up a good point. What is our wonderful county rep, M Antonovich, doing to keep us informed? Big fat nothing from what I can find. Altho his website does have a picture of him on horseback. To show he's one of us, I guess.


  1. I just left a comment & I 4got to ask if your latest update is as of Saturday/Today? Obviously, now it is.

    How I wish I could help with the animals, but think about getting your request out to others who can extend the spread of your call for animal shelter. I'm sure others are in need of the same in your immediate area & probably aware of such shelter.

    From my angle, the sky was looking better today than yesterday, however, just now I'm noticing a continuing breeze which probably isn't helpful.

    It's definitely looking worse eastward than just a couple hours ago. Moving east may be good for some, but not for others.

    I sense the anxiety, but first remember to be prepared for yourself & your loved ones, KB. If I hear anything, I'll let y'all know.

  2. Not looking good.

    On the news last night there was a temporary dog shelter set up around a pool, I think in flintridge, where there is also a human shelter. Check local listings. That doesn't help the peoples horse or chicken, but it's a start.

    In terms of Antonovich, start a calling and email campaign the get the lazy ass working. Even if they only send field reps it's a start.

    Stay Safe! If they tell you to pack up and go, go! Your life is more important then building blocks.

    I've been in a similar situation when I lived through one of the many Topanga Canyon fires.

  3. I'll put a link to this post on my blog, too.

  4. I have to admit, I'm really worried here, since the wind direction is very unsecure here.

    I think it's wise to stay low.

  5. Be safe. I hope you have better
    days ahead.

  6. Reuben saw a DC-10 brought in late today to spread retardant. All the years of observing wildfires in Idaho, Colorado, and Arizona, and he's never seen a DC-10 working one before. Massive. Ten times the spread of a regular bomber.

  7. I'm just going to echo the "stay safe."

  8. Ain't no one sleeping tonight. But you can't believe how this little town works together.

  9. I've been out of commission all day and not online, but we saw the aircraft overhead. Impressive. Seems like they may have made headway. The LA Times reports that the fire covers 20,000 acres now and is still only 5% contained; they expect full containment by September 8th.

    The Times also said they had evacuated north of Alta Loma. Perhaps that explains the barricades?

  10. Thanks for keeping us informed. The local media is so frustrating - nothing on the fire near you this morning even though it's ONLY 5% contained! If it's not BREAKING NEWS, the TV crews lose interest (or the sponsors do!) I can see a huge smoke cloud buiding over the area. I hope you are getting some rest during the day.

  11. I can't believe it's spread so far both east and west. We could see the huge plume above Magic Mountain (recently declared a wilderness area) from Santa Barbara. Poor wild animals - not much hope for them, sadly. I hope the Meadows and Millard Canyon are safe!

  12. Karin,
    Just wanted to let you know Punkin is safe and sound at a friends house in Sunland, away from fire activity. (Actually its the gal who was helping evac horses from the stables today). We got evac about 4PM and are at my mom's in Alhambra with all the cats. We are safe, worried, but safe. Hugs, see ya laters

  13. It's up again. I wonder how many times I can walk in and out of my front door before I give up and just sit outside and watch the whole damn thing all night.

  14. It may be turning away from you & heading toward Mt Wilson, but that's no good either. I think only one guy is left holding down the fort up there.

    Just don't want it to go even further into the Big/Little Santa Anita Canyons & the Chantry Flats areas! The CF Pack Station with my friends the mules and/or donkeys (i'm 1/2 brained currently) wood have to evacuate as well - not to mention the cabin owners along the stream. The historic Pack Station has been there 4ever despite many death threats to its existence over the years.

    Let's pray this fire doesn't wait to burn itself out until Sept 8th. KB, try to get a good nites sleep to recuperate.

  15. Watched all the major network news channels at 11:00PM tonight; they are worthless. The one thing 3 channels mentioned is that the wind "MIGHT" pick up tomorrow. If there is any truth to that (and I always wonder) you really need to stay alert.

    When I lived in Topanga Canyon the fire had reached the top of a ridge, the wind was blowing south and it held fire there. But at the time we were told to be ready, if the wind shifted I would've had to evacuate. Luckily that didn't happen, the wind continued blowing south, but I stayed up all night watching and waiting.

    Be careful.

    You win the fire reporting Snicker bar award!

    You won't believe my WV: wines (true)

  16. Keep us informed but stay safe. Our prayers are with all of you.

  17. Karin, I just wanted to say I hope you and all your critters, friends and friends' critters are okay.

  18. Cafe, you put a fear in me. Those cabins.