YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsStation Fire

Station Fire

September 9, 2009
'Playground of L.A.' lies in ashy ruin," Sept. 6, and "Crews fight fire above Monrovia," Sept. 7, and "Heaven or hell, it's all L.A." Opinion, Sept. 7 L.A. is rightly mourning the deaths and destruction caused by the Station fire. But why is there little debate about how to prevent a repeat? Wildfires are an annual blight here. Many are man-made and therefore preventable, yet the prevailing attitude seems to be to pretend they are acts of nature that we simply have to put up with.
September 25, 2009 | JAMES RAINEY
It would be easy to miss this newsroom of the future. It's disguised inside a graceful wood shingle home, just beyond the living room crammed with children's toys, tucked on one side of a modest kitchen. From this modest perch in a woodsy section of Altadena, beneath the towering San Gabriel Mountains, Tim Rutt has created a blog that has made him the talk of his community and the latest star of the kind of hyper-local journalism that is sprouting around America. Rutt's banner moment came a few weeks back, when the Station fire roared across the mountains above Altadena and his altadenablog.
September 15, 2009 | Ari B. Bloomekatz
Air quality has improved to "good" and "moderate" levels in Los Angeles County after clouds of smoke from the nearly three-week Station fire prompted health officials to caution residents and warn against strenuous outdoor activities. The South Coast Air Quality Management District has not issued a smoke advisory since Thursday and has since reported that most unhealthy air in the Los Angeles Basin is not attributed to the fire, said spokesman Sam Atwood. "There is a small possibility where there could be some unhealthy air quality in areas that are directly impacted by smoke, but we just haven't seen that occurring in the San Gabriel or San Fernando valleys the last couple of days," Atwood said.
June 16, 2010 | Paul Pringle
The U.S. Forest Service failed to fill an order for air tankers that its own commanders urgently requested for an assault on the disastrous Station fire before it began raging out of control, according to records and state officials -- a finding that rebuts months of assertions by the federal agency that it took every step to deploy the planes as quickly as possible. The state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said it could have made as many as four tankers available to the Forest Service on the fateful second morning of the blaze.
September 3, 2009 | John Johnson Jr.
The historic Mt. Wilson Observatory, site of some of the greatest astronomical discoveries of the 20th century, appears to have escaped serious damage from the Station fire, but scientists working on the mountain say the blaze still managed to take a toll on the ongoing research there. Hal McAlister, observatory director and head of the CHARA experiment that uses six telescopes to measure shapes and sizes of stars, said he was on his way to teach on Monday at Georgia State University, where he is an astronomy professor, when he heard that firefighters had pulled out and ordered his staff to leave.
September 8, 2009 | Jason Felch and Rich Connell
Winds and low humidity stoked flames on the northern front of the huge Station fire Monday, while the western flank from La Cañada Flintridge to Acton remained quiet. "I feel very good with the progress made today," U.S. Forest Service incident commander Mike Dietrich said early Monday evening. "I would like to see more. We'll continue tonight and go after it tomorrow." The 157,200-acre blaze, the largest in the recorded history of Los Angeles County, was 56% contained. Winds blowing 30 to 40 mph energized the fire in the Pleasant View Ridge area of the San Gabriel Wilderness, north of Mt. Waterman.
October 2, 2009 | Paul Pringle
Three weeks before the deadly Station fire erupted, the U.S. Forest Service issued a cost-cutting order to reduce its use of state and local firefighters, documents and interviews show. Reinforcements from Los Angeles County were scaled back early in the battle against the fire in the Angeles National Forest, and federal officials now say they are investigating the actions that allowed the blaze to rage out of control. An internal memorandum obtained by The Times instructed forest supervisors in the Pacific Southwest region to, "as appropriate," replace non-federal crews with the service's own personnel and equipment "as quickly as possible."
November 19, 2009 | By Paul Pringle, Los Angeles Times
Sharply questioning the U.S. Forest Service's aggressiveness, the Los Angeles County Fire Department says in a report on the deadly Station fire that the federal agency should change its policies to allow night flying by water-dropping helicopters and make greater use of local reinforcements to attack any blaze in the Angeles National Forest. In the report, a review of the first five days of the Station fire, County Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman urges the Board of Supervisors to lobby the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Congress to alter the Forest Service's practices to ensure "a timely appropriate response to wildfires" in the Angeles.
November 1, 2009 | By Paul Pringle, Los Angeles Times
On a sizzling August morning, as flames burned unchecked down the road, fire crews milled about at an Angeles Crest Highway ranger station. Others were parked along the pavement -- a critical line of defense -- their engines quiet and hoses slack. It was more than an hour after first light, and some six hours after U.S. Forest Service commanders had determined that the fire required a more aggressive air attack. But the skies remained empty of water-dropping helicopters -- tankers that were readily available.
Los Angeles Times Articles