Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Altadena View of Station Fire, Wed, 10 p.m.

Go figure. I know SoCal isn’t the center of the universe, but interesting to note, our fires fell off the Yahoo top ten search list hand-in-hand with Whitney Houston. Guess we’ve both been burning too long.

We're currently trumped by -- among others: Sex and The City 2, and Levi Johnson (had to look that last one up, accidentally contributing to his popularity.)

I don’t have much for the final update, but maybe can feign intelligence by numbers:
$27 million spent
140K acres burned
28% contained
4,700 personnel at work
Major fire 3 miles north of Eaton Canyon, which I think puts it somewhere between Altadena and Sierra Madre.
Per the LA County Fire site, all evacs have been lifted. Per Inci, that isn’t so, though perhaps those evacs are outside of county.

We’re still in Whiskey Tango Fred territory.


7 p.m.


No good news

This from Greg Sweet re: Big Santa Anita Canyon and pack station, followed by LA Times update:

"...The backfires set to protect the observatory did just that. But in burning away from the mountain top they burned into upper BigSAC and upper Winter Creek. The fire was also approaching from the West Fork of the San Gabriel River all on its own.

Bulldozers cut a line to the east of BigSAC, probably along Clamshell road, which puts the pack station, Sturtevant's Camp, and 80 historic cabin in the danger zone.

The official word at that time from Engine 17 of the Forest Service was that they were instructed not to defend the Big Santa Anita. No explanations; period, end of story..."
[More in comments section]

Los Angeles Times link regarding looming danger to Santa Anita Canyon here



3:30:
This just showed up in comments. Can't verify accuracy, but right now, I like anything that smacks of good news. Hope he checks back in.

Outwardscott said...
"My name is Scott Johnson. I was the former Camp Valcrest Manager in the mid 1990's.

Newcomb's Ranch "DID" survive. They were serving food to firefighters this morning. More than 300+ firefighters and at least 10 dozers are staging out of the Angeles Crest Christian camp located on Sulphur Springs Rd. near "Three Points". All the residential camps are O.K. but fire activity has picked up this afternoon, especially in upper Devils Canyon. Crews are cutting dozer lines and lighting backfires.

More information later." [Outwardscott]


2 p.m.











The poor man's Lois Lane here. A couple of things:

Brief talk with firefighters at Altadena dr/Alta Loma

There are no new evacuations planned for Altadena Drive, Altadena in general. Doesn't mean it could never happen, anything is possible in this fire. A small group of firefighters and stacks of heavy-duty hoses are stationed here as a precaution. Lots of hoses still in the boxes. Major force of fire lies far to the north and is traveling east. I liked these guys. Firefighters are always nice -- I mean it -- they have great bedside manner, almost like veterinarians.

Comments on my blog are not edited or fact checked. I would urge we err on the side of caution before making conclusions. I've asked for further information/something official from Greg Sweet regarding his disturbing news about Santa Anita Canyon.


8 a.m.

Once again, sky this morning is that pinkish-gray (now in the running for my least favorite color), but air humid and less smoky than yesterday.

140,000 acres burned, 22 percent containment. Containment will improve today if winds cooperate.

The battle for the heart and soul of Mt Wilson continues, but prognosis was guardedly positive as of a half hour ago.

Most evacs have been lifted in Altadena, La Canada, La Crescenta. However altadenablog.com (on blogroll) mentions a new evac possibility in Altadena area.

Check Pasadena Star News Larry Wilson's blog here for a trek through the Arroyo as it looks today. Apparently some long-hidden relics (old foundations, signs) are now visible. NOTE: Of course the Arroyo continues to smolder and will not be open to the public for some time.

Compendium of photos from LA Times site here.

Still trying to locate information on wilderness areas... (I've heard from two different first-person accounts that Newcomb's Ranch did burn down. If anyone has more or different info, please let me know.)

49 comments:

  1. As I said things are looking nicer, and Ecco Mountain is saved.

    You should all listen to a old horse.

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  2. Thanks for the update, KB.

    How much longer will the mtn lions, bears, coyotes, skunks, bobcats, etc have to continue to roam our streets until they will be allowed back into the mountains? I sure hope it's before the public is allowed.

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  3. From an old horse

    Actually the Hunt Club carving was hidden in plain site. Over where you first cross over the river on foot on a side trail to the right.

    I was under the impression that it didn't go into the canyon bed. Bloody mess but oaks do tend to come back

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  4. the Pasadena hunt club sign is amazing, if heartbreaking

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  5. This is just so incredible, it's hard to fathom. I sincerely hope the weather holds and conditions continue to improve. Do stay safe.

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  6. At least a lot of people get to go home.

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  7. Nothing wrong with old horses.

    Now your crackerjack reporter is going out to check the eastern flank. Of the fire. Possible evac coming up north of altadena drive? Doesn't make sense, at least from yesterday p.m.

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  8. You're no Old horse, KB. I'm sure you're the last blogger they'd be calling an old horse.

    Now me...people treat me like a human. PEOPLE, of all people! They call me a dog, but they should also treat me with love, like a dog.

    Take your air filter mask when you venture out, KB.

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  9. If you gals are talking about the Valley Hunt Club here in Pasadena in your comments here, please then let me know more what you're referring to.

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  10. Forgive the chauvanist slant but you've been doing a yeoman job since the beginning of the fire(s).

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  11. Just to specify here: I never called Karin an old horse.

    And I also understand the fire-threat to Altadena is back again, changing from last comment.

    I don’t like that.

    Be careful, Karin!

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  12. Station fire caused by humans? What a shocker.

    I saw nothing -- flame-wise -- driving the length of Altadena and Sierra Madre. But I'm off to get some photos of firefighters who have a staging area near lake/alta loma. I drove by, but thought I'd go back for a dog and take a disingenuous stroll. This area where they're staged, it burned badly in the 90's, so does not have decades of old veg fuel.

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  13. I haven't dared go up there and get in the way, Karin. You know me. If you talk to them, ask them if they want us to bring them anything.

    About 45 minutes ago I could see the pyrocumulus over Mt. Wilson or perhaps further east, but it's gone. Still too smoky to see the mountain at all from here, a couple of blocks south of Washington. We hear the aircraft; that's reassuring.

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  14. The background of your blog is what I would call a pinkish-gray. Time for change?

    The word in the first couple of days of the fire was that it had two points of origin.

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  15. This is my morning news, I stayed up way to late last night.

    Just after we were bad-mouthing the LA Times, your link brought us some amazing photos. I particularly liked the bitter sweet photo of animal trainer Neil Egland hosing down the bears. Unfortunately, it made me think of all the critters who probably didn't make it.

    The only news I heard this morning was the same as you mentioned: Station fire caused by humans! Remember when our prisons were referred to as "Correctional Institutions"? If they catch him/her/them, may they be sentenced be to a lifetime of working either the burn ward of an intensive care unit or a firefighter!

    So what is your least favorite color, before pinkish-gray?

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  16. I have just received word from a Forest Service briefing that they are going to let Chantry Flat and Big Santa Canyon burn. The Station fire is to the west and they have cut a fire break to the east. This canyon is home to 80 historic cabins, 113-year-old Sturtevant's Camp, and the last pack station in Southern California. It would be a shame to loose this piece of history, but to have no intention to defend it is disgraceful. This canyon is a living museum and as much a part of LA history as the Observatory. PLEASE pass this along - and fast!

    Angeles National Forest
    Contact: Sherry Rollman
    626-574-5208
    srollman@fs.fed.us

    Supervisor's Office
    701 N. Santa Anita Ave.
    Arcadia, CA 91006
    Jody Noiron, Forest Supervisor
    jnoiron@fs.fed.us
    (626) 574-5200
    FAX (626) 574-5233
    CRS 1 800 735 2929
    M-F 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

    District Ranger
    Mike McIntyre, District Ranger
    mmcintyre@fs.fed.us
    (818) 899-1900
    FAX (818) 896-6727
    CRS 1 800 735 2929
    M-F 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

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  17. ??

    Nuttin' surprises me, Mountain Man! Maybe budget problems are a problem with this fire, just like with TV coverage due to lack of advertsing dollars.

    I didn't get the details, but on the radio this morning I heard some fire official saying his higher-ups were telling him they were gonna fight this fire in a FRUGAL manner! He tried to backtrack when the interviewer asked him to elaborate.

    Very sad if true. Maybe these fire officials or politicians don't know much history about our area. Except for the Chantry ranger station, I have serious doubts if the Pack Station or cabins would be rebuilt. If no cabins, less need for donkeys/mules. Maybe Camp Sturtevant would be rebuilt.

    Yes, we all have to fight the fire on behalf of these historic places. Please contact the officials listed above!

    To think they would even consider placing these historic places on their unprotected list is...
    Along with Mt Wilson, probably the most historic/important part of the San Gabriel Mtns?!!
    To go up in flames?

    Let's hope the info you heard is incorrect or subject to change.
    Good Job, Mtn Man!

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  18. My thoughts are with you folks out there. It's hard to imagine seeing it, smelling it, and constantly wondering what won't be there when you're free to look. Best to all of you.

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  19. I checked http://inciweb.org/incident/1856/, which was updated at about 1:30.
    "Angeles National Forest entire eastern main body of the Angeles National Forest will be closed effective 6:00 p.m. tonight until full containment of the Station Fire"
    and
    "Crews will continue though to cut line in to tie in with preparation work that is being along San Gabriel canyon. San Gabriel Canyon continues to be the contingency point to stop the westward migration of the fire."

    I don't see anything specific about Big Santa Anita Canyon.

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  20. This is good news: “no new evacuations plans for Altadena Drive”.

    Take care!

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  21. Thanks P. And GS, your updates are always appreciated, so we'll expect another? But as I do understand it, Chantry is not under immediate threat.

    (MTG: You're right. What could I possibly hate more than pinkish gray?)

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  22. Here's another Vote for a change of color/theme for Act !!

    Not that KB listens to me on this re this subject.

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  23. I'm so ready for some seriously good news about this.

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  24. My name is Scott Johnson. I was the former Camp Valcrest Manager in the mid 1990's.

    Newcomb's Ranch "DID" survive. They were serving food to firefighters this morning. More than 300+ firefighters and at least 10 dozers are staging out of the Angeles Crest Christian camp located on Sulphur Springs Rd. near "Three Points". All the residential camps are O.K. but fire activity has picked up this afternoon, especially in upper Devils Canyon. Crews are cutting dozer lines and lighting backfires.

    More information later.

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  25. My heart goes out to all of you. Seriously. I can feel a little better about it knowing that some of our local talent is headed out to help battle the fire. but it's going to be a long two weeks, for all of us.
    Just now NBC news said that they have found the start point, mile marker 29 on a highway but they don't know how.

    wv mingless
    I feel mingless about the whole thing.

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  26. Outwardscott, thank you. I posted your last comment and hope you send further updates.

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  27. Fire set by humans? I was thinking it had to be set by a coyote or a mountain lion.

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  28. Lot of ups and downs out there. Really like that Hunt Club engraving.

    GG

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  29. Sorry about the late update. I have been busily calling and emailing about Chantry/BigSAC. Plus I have homework because coincidentally I started classes yesterday in the Forestry program at Citrus College.

    I received a phone call this morning from Sue Burgess, one of the owners of Adams' Pack Station who had just been updated on the Station Fire concerning Chantry Flat & Big Santa Anita Canyon. She told me that they told her that the fire was closing in from west and from the north. There was no immediate threat at that time, but they wanted to keep everyone apprised.

    The backfires set to protect the observatory did just that. But in burning away from the mountain top they burned into upper BigSAC and upper Winter Creek. The fire was also approaching from the West Fork of the San Gabriel River all on its own.

    Bulldozers cut a line to the east of BigSAC, probably along Clamshell road, which puts the pack station, Sturtevant's Camp, and 80 historic cabin in the danger zone.

    The official word at that time from Engine 17 of the Forest Service was that they were instructed not to defend the Big Santa Anita. No explanations; period, end of story.

    The cabin owners have all gotten word by now and are calling the Forest Service & David Dreier's office, but in my experience from 2004, I would say that they are hitting brick walls.

    Newspapers have been notified and Radio Station KPCC has contacted Deb & Sue for comment. I have my own ideas on why Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron and her cronies would make such a decision, but I will publish them elsewhere.

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  30. All I'll say is I'm afraid I know what you're talking about Mtn Man. It woodant be a new story either.
    No cabins probably means no pack station either, unless the hikers become donkey riders.
    Isn't there a Friends of The Santa Anita Canyon group still around for support?

    (I think we may have to add GS's good works with TR's, KB.)

    As before: hope, cross your fingers, and pray for rain or more humidity.

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  31. Mel Gibson's Illegitimate sonSeptember 2, 2009 at 7:41 PM

    What are you doing? Sittin' on your lazy Lois Lane Adjacent ass?

    Move it sugar tits. Get us some news!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Mel Gibson has an illegit son? WHO KNEW?

    Oh I digress, I thought you guys ( ya'll) were out of danger. Now not so much. MERDE!!! Well I"m with you through the long haul. I"m checking on and off daily. I am offering heartfelt prayers and positive thoughts for each and everyone of my dear blog friends,their families, friends, and the wonderful troops fighting the fires.
    V

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  33. For anyone that thinks this is not an Altadena story, think again! There are several long time Altadena residents who own cabins in Big Santa Anita. For instance, the world-famous Ben McGinty of the Gallery at the End of The World who owns cabin #16, built by well-known mountain photographer E.B. Gray.

    This from cabin #83:

    "I am not sure if the media is going to help. I contacted a friend who is friends with a helicopter pilot for channel 5 and 9. The reporter and pilot called the forest service who said they had nothing to say about the big santa anita tract. Given that word from the forest service the reporter was unwilling to move forward with the story."

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  34. Adjacent ass? That sets me in a tailspin.

    Ok, Lois Lane is home now and will try to make sense of county site and inci and geomac. (She's nice, but too bad she's not smarter.)

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  35. Thanks for your hiking Wednesday, KB, mental & physical.

    Remind me to owe you a macaron or two.

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  36. Took a drive up to upper Mulholland to give the pooch a walk around sunset. Coyotes just outside the the park looking hungry. Bet they were Refugees.

    Drove further west to survey the damage, and watch the sunset. I happened to like the pink-gray sunset with an intense orange glowing sun. Beautiful! I guess it's all about context.

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  37. Edit: Coyotes just outside the "dog" park...

    Hope tomorrow brings good news, but I'm worried about the migration of the Locust fleeing the Hurricane in Mexico.

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  38. I hope the illegitimate one isn't seriously calling Karin lazy. This is one of the first places I'm turning for news these days.

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  39. I can't thank you enough for all the work you did through all this. You've been amazing.

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  40. KPCC just interviewed the LA County Chief of Air Operations who said that "hopefully" Chantry Flat, along with Devil's Canyon, will be the top priorities today.

    If there is one thing that Jody Noiron hates more than cabins, it is negative press.

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  41. How long has she, Judy N, been in charge???

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  42. I'll remind you CO. MTG, all you artists seem to like it. Weird. Greg, I'm really glad Chantry is on the radar. It is absolutely one of the most beautiful places to hike.

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  43. Since she was Jody Cook - at least nine years, because one of the first things on her agenda was to send Kim Kelley a letter instructing her to "remove all improvements" from Chantry Flat, improvements meaning the pack station itself. This was in 2000. The backlash and uproar caused her to backpedal.

    I'm going to work on getting this info onto my own site so we don't put Karin in the middle of controversy.

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  44. Too late for that - with KB, your entangled with one controversial woman. And, then the ladies she hangs out with, well.. .

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  45. ok....lets clear this up

    Mel Gibson's illegitimate son who wrote

    "What are you doing? Sittin' on your lazy Lois Lane Adjacent ass?
    Move it sugar tits. Get us some news!"

    is NOT ME or Wake Up, Palm Axis, Pasadena Legal Defence or Pasadena Adjacent Ace Reporter

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  46. And, I'm also sure it's not MH, DP, or MG...

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  47. That's because shepherds aren't very smart...

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  48. What about Mt. Lowe and Mt. Markham? Did they survive? I spent the fire at ground zero in Tujunga. I watched Mt. Lukens burn behind my house for 3 days with only 1 lone sky crane working it. It burned all the way down to the houses. I never heard how the antennas fared. Though my street was evacuated, no one came by and no reverse 911 call. I watched all the backfires lit in La Crescenta which made the fire roar to Tujunga. The super scoopers and Navy planes at Pt. Mugu never went up. They were on the ground on tv. I saw no police or fire trucks up here. There were plenty of looky loos stopping dead on Foothill in traffic lanes.

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  49. What about Valley Forge? Did it survive?

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