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SurferJoe46
01-09-2009, 04:39 AM
Here in SoCal, we have not yet really entered the fire season - but we are making a really good start.

Here's a link to my Picasa Web Album with pixs I shot yesterday- These were from my home and also on the way to Mountain Center and then Anza to delivery some packages.

http://picasaweb.google.com/vreeland.joe/SoCalFires?feat=directlink

The "Station Fire" is too far away from me to be a threat, but the smoke will hit here if the winds change.

We aren't expecting the Santana Winds yet as there's got to be a LOW pressure zone sitting off the Northern Coast of California to get the cyclone effect and the compression winds coming through the canyons.

If they hit, the fires will reverse directions and threaten LA and all points to the South and West of it. Right now we have an on-shore flow and that keeps the area kinda clear for the moment.

The Station Fire is threatening Wilson Observatory and the major TV/Radio and Cell phone towers. That fire has burned 875,000 acres and has only 3-5% containment.

Oak Glen fire has 0% containment so far and it is just less than 24 hours old. That area is a big tourist area for apples and crafts. Riley's Farm, one of the biggest displays, is threatened if the fire jumps Oak Glen Road.

The Guvernator is on TV right this moment.

Fire departments are from the Federal, California State, Riverside, Orange, LA and San Bernardino Counties and local/municipal authorities.

Some units from Montana and Wyoming have arrived, and Oregon, Washington state, Arizona and Nevada all have crews here.

The biggest threat right now is the Station Fire - two firemen have died in it so far. It has burned steadily and doubled in size every night.

The threat of a wind change and loss of even the 12% humidity factor is not good. We expect to see 3-5% humidity here in Hemet today.

Temps are in excess of 100F for most of the area; mountains are somewhat cooler in the mornings.

tut
01-09-2009, 05:48 AM
Thanks Joe. Interesting photos. Must be frightening for those in the path of the fires once the wind gets up.

SurferJoe46
01-09-2009, 06:12 AM
It will be, and we just heard (daytime here) that the Oak Glen/Yucaipa fire has doubled again.

The Station Fire is now going in ALL directions - and that's a new thing.



Report is 2-hours old here------

The Station fire, which has destroyed 21 homes and killed two firefighters, was burning within a quarter of a mile of Mt. Wilson as firefighters prepared for another long, hot day.

Inspector Edward Osorio of the Los Angeles County Fire Department estimated property damage from the fire at $7,671,000 and rising.

The fire is expected to move in a northeasterly direction, and officials are putting significant resources on the northern edge of the fire near Acton.
Officials said the goal for today was to keep the fire west of Highway 39 and Angeles Crest Highway; south of Highway 14, Pearblossom Highway and Highway 138; east of Interstate 5 and north of the foothill communities along the Angeles National Forest border.

Mt. Wilson was believed doomed last night, but Osorio said aggressive brush clearance by crews and drops of fire retardant from the air seem to have helped.

"At this point, I don't think it suffered any serious damage. We'll probably get some flare-ups or threatening flame activity, but we don't think it's going to be a major problem," he said.

The Station fire doubled in size to 85,000 acres overnight and destroyed more structures.
"That fire burned just like it was daytime. Usually you get recovery because humidity goes up at night, which slows the fire down and you're able to construct more line around the fire," said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Nathan Judy. "But last night that wasn't the case."

The exact number of homes consumed by the Station fire remains unclear, but officials said several homes south of Acton were lost last night and this morning. Earlier, 18 homes in the Tujunga Canyon area were lost, but officials expect that number to rise.

More neighborhoods were evacuated overnight as the fire pushed in three directions.

"We are making progress, but it is very slow and very dangerous," incident commander Mike Dietrich of the U.S. Forest Service said at a news conference this morning. "We have to wait for the fire to come to us."

At the bottom of Mt. Wilson Road early this morning, firefighters bedded down in the ash-flecked open air, the forest pitch black except for the flames lighting ridgelines in the near distance. The head of the fire appeared to be across a broad and deep canyon from the Mt. Wilson compound.

Some radio and tv stations are off the air, but the real danger is that cellphones will be dropping relay links now.

SurferJoe46
01-09-2009, 06:44 AM
The Station Fire MIGHT get 50% contained by Sept 18th they say - unless the Santana winds show up.

Trev
01-09-2009, 08:38 AM
I saw on TV the other night they were using a DC10 water tanker on the fires around LA.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10594439

The fire season has just started in Australia.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10594436
:(

SurferJoe46
01-09-2009, 08:41 AM
Here's a bunch of new pixs - not mine but open to public use -

http://picasaweb.google.com/joseph.vreeland/ForPressF1?feat=directlink

They've called in a couple of 747s for drops too.