The air quality is really bad now here in Pasadena as the fire rages on in the San Gabriel Mountains. It's now a massive fire threatening the community of Acton all the way on the other side of the mountains. In addition, Mount Wilson which has an historic observatory and houses many of the communications towers in Los Angeles is now threatened.
My eyes and throat are burning a bit too, although the 17 jalapeno peppers I ate as a dare might have something to do with that. It was a double dog variety, so I had no choice.
Update October 16, 2009:
InciWeb, The Incident Information System: The Station Fire was officially contained at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, October 16, 2009. Following moderate rainfall in the San Gabriel Mountains earlier in the week, fire crews were able to hike in and contain the remaining portion of the fire in the San Gabriel Wilderness area.
Post-Fire Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) and other activities:
There are three phases of rehabilitation following wildfires on federal lands: Fire Suppression Repair; Burned Area Emergency Response; and Long-term Recovery also known as BAER. Fire Suppression Repair is a series of immediate post-fire actions taken to repair damages and minimize environmental impacts resulting from fire suppression activities and is usually began after the fire is contained and before the demobilization of an Incident Management Team. This work rehabilitates the hand and dozer firelines, roads, trails, staging areas, safety zones, and drop points used during fire suppression efforts.
The BAER assessment team will determine if there are appropriate and effective measures that can be implemented in a timely manner to reduce unacceptable risks from potential flooding, mudslides, and debris flows. If the BAER assessment team determines emergency situations exist, and there are feasible and appropriate mitigation measures that would substantially reduce risks, the Angeles National Forest's short-term goal is to have treatments completed before the first damaging winter rain storm.
A variety of state, local agencies and programs are available to help homeowners. These include FEMA, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works. Residents who have not yet met with a flood-control engineer but would like to schedule a visit may call (800) 214-4020 and review the LA County DPW's "Homeowner's Guide for Flood, Debris and Erosion Control".
It has been determined that the cause of the Station Fire is arson and is now a homicide investigation If you have any information or questions please contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department at 323-890-5500. The Board of Supervisors of the County of Los Angeles has established a reward in the amount of $50,000 for any information leading to the apprehension and/or conviction of the person or persons responsible for the heinous actions that lead to a major disaster known as the "Station Fire" which started off the Angeles Crest Highway (SR 2) about one mile above Angeles Crest Fire Station on August 26, 2009 around 3:30 p.m., and at this time has resulted in the deaths of two firefighters and injury of 22 persons.
The Station Fire which started on August 26, 2009, was the largest fire in the recorded history of Angeles National Forest (est. 1892) and the 10th largest fire in California since 1933.
Update - October 3, 2009 - Station Fire still not fully contained (98%).
Laist - "U.S. Forest Officials yesterday signed an order that lifted closure restrictions on a large chunk of the Angeles National Forest. However, 450 square miles of the San Gabriel Mountain range still remain off-limits to public-at-large as the Station Fire continues to burn and personnel comb through recovery areaa. The closure will remain in affect until next year September, unless a new order lifting restrictions is signed.
In early September, officials ordered that all parts of the forest on the mountain range to be closed. The blaze, which began over five weeks ago, remains 98 percent contained after burning through some 250 square miles.
Portions of the forest now open to the public include Henninger Flats, Echo Mountain, Little Rock Dam, open space east of the 5 Freeway and most Eastern portions of the San Gabriel Mountains."
*Associated Press Updates*" 9/3/09
"More than 226 square miles of forest has been scorched by the fire. It is now 38 percent contained." Investigators launched a homicide investigation Thursday into the wildfire north of Los Angeles after determining that the gigantic blaze — which has killed two firefighters, scorched 226 square miles and destroyed dozens of homes — was set intentionally."
"LOS ANGELES 8/29/09– A growing wildfire sending massive billows of smoke into the sky north of Los Angeles nearly tripled in size Saturday, injuring three residents, destroying at least three homes, knocking out power to many more and spurring evacuations in a number of mountain communities.
Mandatory evacuations were extended into neighborhoods in the canyons on the northwestern edge of Altadena, Glendale, Pasadena, La Crescenta and Big Tujunga Canyon, Forest Service spokesman Bruce Quintelier said.
The flames crept lower down the slopes of the San Gabriel Mountains despite winds blowing predominantly in the other direction, threatening more than 2,000 homes in the La Canada Flintridge area. Officials estimated that 1,000 homes had been evacuated.
"Today what happened is what I call the perfect storm of fuels, weather, and topography coming together," said Captain Mike Dietrich, the incident commander for the U.S. Forest Service. "Essentially the fire burned at will; it went where it wanted to when it wanted to."