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Station Fire

October 3, 2011 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
On a sweltering morning deep in the San Gabriel Mountains, Katie VinZant donned work gloves and boots, hoisted a pickax and began bashing alien species. The 31-year-old botanist enjoys a Sunday in the Angeles National Forest as much as the next person. But when it comes to weeds that have colonized and multiplied since the 2009 Station fire, she's a terminator. Slender and trim in a T-shirt, grubby pants and tattered straw sombrero, VinZant swiped the sweat stinging her eyes.
August 17, 2011 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
One of the nation's most ambitious wildlife reintroduction efforts has suffered a setback with the deaths of 104 mountain yellow-legged frogs that had been rescued from the fire-stripped San Gabriel Mountains in 2009, authorities said Tuesday. The federally endangered frogs, which recently metamorphosed from the tadpole stage, died in captive breeding tanks over the last several weeks at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. "We have two frogs left. We're trying to determine exactly what happened," said Scott Barton, director of the zoo, which is highly regarded for amphibian husbandry.
August 16, 2011 | By Sue Horton
As nature goes, the Hahamongna basin is not pristine. The wide, sandy arroyo, bounded by oak woodlands, sits just north of Devil's Gate Dam on the border of Pasadena, Altadena and La Cañada Flintridge. A gravel operation there, closed decades ago, has left scars on the landscape, and a Frisbee golf course threads in and out of the oaks. Noise from the 210 Freeway on the south end and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the north is ever-present. And if all that weren't enough, the Environmental Protection Agency has declared this part of the Arroyo Seco a Superfund site because of groundwater contamination by JPL, which once dumped solvents and rocket fuel in the area.
August 14, 2011 | By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times
A car plunged off Angeles Crest Highway on Saturday afternoon, killing an occupant in what was at least the fourth fatal solo-vehicle crash since the highway reopened, the California Highway Patrol reported. A stretch of the steep, winding route through the San Gabriel Mountains was closed from January 2010 to June of this year for repair of road damage caused by heavy rain that washed debris from slopes denuded by the Station fire. Three fatal accidents — one involving a motorcycle and the other two solo car crashes — occurred on the highway during the first three weeks after it reopened, and CHP officers blamed all three deaths on excessive speed.
June 2, 2011 | By Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
A section of California Highway 2 between La Cañada Flintridge and Angeles Forest Highway will reopen Friday, according to California Department of Transportation spokesman Patrick Chandler. Angeles Crest Highway has been closed since Jan. 17, 2010, when heavy rain fell in the Station fire burn area and washed away three major sections of pavement through the Angeles National Forest. Caltrans had planned to reopen the road in December 2010, Chandler said, but record rainfall that month and in January 2011 brought down so much debris and water that the runoff overwhelmed a culvert and washed out a slope, necessitating further repairs and delays.
May 21, 2011 | By Catherine Saillant, Los Angeles Times
Delays on a federal proposal to add night-flying aircraft to the U.S. Forest Service's firefighting fleet are "unacceptable" and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack should push for more timely studies, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in a bluntly worded letter this week. It's been more than a year since U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell promised in a congressional hearing that his agency would study whether it was cost-efficient and safe to use helicopters after nightfall to fight wildfires.
May 16, 2011 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
The U.S. Forest Service on Monday will reopen popular picnic areas, hiking trails and campgrounds across 98,000 acres of the Angeles National Forest that had been closed since the Station fire scorched the San Gabriel Mountains nearly two years ago. The reopening could not come soon enough for Tyler Wallace, a 32-year-old engineer and avid hiker, who was forced to seek another adventure Sunday when a forest ranger said Wallace would not be able...
April 29, 2011 | By Paul Pringle, Los Angeles Times
Foothill residents and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) criticized the U.S. Forest Service on Thursday for moving too slowly to commission a new fleet of night-flying aircraft to fight fires like the devastating Station blaze. At a packed meeting in the Altadena Library, residents who lost their homes in the 2009 conflagration also pleaded with federal investigators to determine how and why the Forest Service let the fire become the biggest in Los Angeles County history. A U.S. Government Accountability Office representative said it had assigned two full-time investigators to its Station fire inquiry, which began several months ago and is expected to continue until the end of the year.
April 15, 2011 | By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times
Almost two years after the Station fire scorched 161,000 acres of the Angeles National Forest, the U.S. Forest Service has embarked on a large-scale reforestation project that may re-engineer the region's historical pine and fir woodlands. The project to be unveiled Friday aims to plant 3 million pine and fir trees over 10,000 acres scarred by the fire in an attempt to restore the area and offset greenhouse-gas emissions from a refinery in El Segundo. The campaign is the first major ecological response to a historic arson fire that burned for weeks, claimed the lives of two firefighters and cost more than $95 million to battle, leaving an area roughly the size of Chicago blackened.
December 18, 2010 | By Martha Groves and Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Time
A storm expected to be one of the strongest to hit Southern California in a decade was poised to drop several inches of rain just in time to wreak havoc on the last shopping weekend before Christmas. "This storm has a very good tap into subtropical moisture," said Eric Boldt, a meteorologist in the National Weather Service's Oxnard office. He said the large system over the central Pacific was on a "conveyor belt right toward California. " Through Sunday, the region can expect 4 to 7 inches of rain in the foothills and mountains and 1 to 3 inches in coastal and valley areas, Boldt said.
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