Saturday, September 5, 2009

Update: Fire on Mt. Wilson

I sifted through the news today to bring you some updated facts about the Station Fire that threaten Mt. Wilson earlier in the week.

Due to the efforts of a corp of 100 firefighters, Mt. Wilson was saved from the Station Fire. On Tuesday, a combination of strategically set backfires and the application of fire retardants diverted the fire away from the summit. I just checked tonight and the Mt. Wilson cam is back up and running. You can check for yourself by clicking here: Mt. Wilson webcam.

As you can see from the screen capture at the top of this post, the Station Fire is still burning. So far, 25% of the Angeles National Forest has been destroyed and the Forestry Service has closed the forest to visitors until further notice. At last report, the fire was only 45% contained and had burned 242 square miles. The Station Fire makes it into the books as the largest fire in Los Angeles County history.

At the end of the week, the authorities announced that the fire was determined to be arson and the search for the person(s) who set this fire has begun.

The air quality in Los Angeles continues to be poor. Many people are suffering from the effects of the smoke, ash and, most troublesome and damaging, the invisible fine particulate matter in the air. These effects include: sore throats, watery eyes, coughing and problems breathing. The sunsets are colorful and spectular these days because of the layers of smoke in the air that surround the city and extend over the Pacific Ocean. The full moon has lit our evening walks with the dogs with its orangish glow.

Unfortunately, I learned earlier in the week that one of my classmates from social work school lost her home in Big Tujunga Canyon to the Station Fire. The lives of two firefighter were lost last Sunday when their truck rolled off the road while they were helping members of a fire camp escape the oncoming flames.

Finally, containment is expected for the Station Fire by September 15, 2009. However, the fire remains unpredictable: today it crossed the Angeles Crest Highway and headed towards the Antelope Valley town of Juniper Hills. Fortunately, the weather forecast calls for decreasing temperatures and increasing humidity which will help firefighting efforts.

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