View Full Version : Fire in So. California

09-28-2005, 11:30 PM
We've been having bad fires all day today. Its time for our Santa Ana Winds...ugh (65 mph!!!). Fire season is officially here.

The freeway (118) was closed this afternoon. So it took over an hour to get home. Traffic everywhere.

Although, that's nothing compared to those that lost thier homes. :( Fires are so devistating.

The fire was at the next exit from my parent's new home!! :eek: Because my mom was stuck on the freeway, and I now work in that town, I went to check on the house. There were police SUV's and about 3 or 4 dumptrucks at at the on/off ramps. Helicopters were everywhere!

Here are some pictures I took from my balcony when I got home:

Looking West...the wind blew the smoke all the way over here. Its at least 30-40 miles from the origin of the fire:

Looking North...the direction of the fire...

Mom called before I got home and said the hills were all on fire, they could see it all from their patio. This is where we had our really bad fires two years ago as well. They were devistating. Three or four towns...it was horrible. :( I hope this isn't a prelude to our fire season.

I had to c/p the story here, otherwise you'd have to log in to the Ventura County Star:

2nd fire threatens north L.A. County
By Teresa [email protected]
September 28, 2005, 7:15 p.m.

A fast moving fire that broke out in Chatsworth Wednesday shortly before 2 p.m. had spread to 1,000 acres by early evening, feeding on brush as it burned into Ventura County.

It was one of five fires, fanned by Santa Ana Winds, that had fire personnel battling blazes from Somis to the Los Angeles County border.

Wind advisories were upgraded to high wind warnings this afternoon, said Bonnie Bartling, a National Weather Service spokeswoman. Winds were 13 mph in Simi Valley with gusts of up to 32 mph. In Camarillo, the winds were 31 mph with 40 mph gusts. Inland, the winds were 22 mph with 40 mph gusts.

The warnings expired by 3 p.m. and winds were expected to be gone by Wednesday night, she said.

As the evening darkness approached, more than 700 firefighters were battling the blaze that threatened about 70 buildings near eastern Simi Valley. The fire started about 1 p.m. on the north side of the highway near Topanga Canyon Boulevard.

Highway 118 was closed as flames leaped from one side of the freeway to the other, said Inspector Ron Harlason of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Highway 118 remained closed eastbound at Kuehner Drive and westbound at Topanga Canyon Boulevard.

The fire, aided by Santa Ana winds, burned in a south west direction toward Santa Susana Pass.

Earlier, in Simi Valley, as firetrucks on Highway 118 raced eastward toward the blaze, other motorists were forced to leave the highway and tried to find other routes.

"Traffic is very heavy now," said Ed McNally, sitting in a wheelchair on front of Clarion Commons Assisted Living and Memory Center on Los Angeles Avenue, with his friend Tony Hernandez, as they watched stop-and-go traffic crawling past.

The street was clogged with cars and trucks barely moving after the freeway was closed down.

In the east, smoke billowed over the mountains.

Laura Rice of Simi Valley, who works in the transportation office of Moorpark Unified School District, said she and other employees were sent home early because of the fire.

She said back-to-school night and football practice were cancelled at Simi Valley High School, where her two daughters, Kristin, 17, and Melissa, 15, attend.

She said the blaze reminded her of the devastating 2003 brushfire.

"We had the same fire two years ago on Oct. 5," she said. "It was the same fire on the other side of the hills. It’s just moving so fast. It’s always like this with the wind."

Mitchell Lawson of Simi Valley said he was on his way to work at Deluxe Media Management in Burbank, where he works as a videotape editor, but was told to get off the freeway at Kuehner Drive.

His supervisor said to stay home.

"I know this is fire season. I just hope and pray our firefighters save our hills and their own lives," Lawson said. "It’s just how things are out here — fires and floods."

As some residents stood at the edge of Los Angeles Avenue and watched the smoke cloud, a driver stuck in traffic rolled down the window of her silver Toyota.

"Excuse me," she said. "Is there any way to get to L.A. from here?’’

Dennis Goar of Simi Valley said he was hiking and saw several homes burning.

"I’ve seen, myself, several structures burning at the intersection of Box Canyon and Santa Susana," Goar said.

"I was up hiking at Corriganville Park. I got done hiking, and saw the smoke. I was up on some big rocks and kind of looked over the valley almost, and saw some houses. One stands a couple of stories. I feel for the people because there’s nothing they can do about it. That’s where they live."

Some residents in the Santa Susana Knolls, where power was intermittent, evacuated their homes.

Employees at Boeing’s Santa Susana Field Laboratory were evacuated from the rocket test site in the mid-afternoon and the lab’s on-site nine-person fire department went to work, said Boeing spokeswoman Inger Hodgson.

"It was definitely smoky," Hodgson said. "Many of us started leaving at 3:15 p.m. Shortly after that there was an announcement to leave."

In the Lake Manor neighborhood on the Los Angeles County side of Box Canyon and resident Todd Doherty debated whether or not he would leave. By 4:25 p.m., he was done debating and had started packing, gathering up his two daughters, three dogs and three cats.

"I’ve only caught one cat," he said. "It’s really coming down Box Canyon. The smoke is changing colors. It’s now a ruby red."
In the city of Simi Valley, the emergency operations center was activated and personnel from the police department, city departments, school district and recreation and park district converged at police headquarters to quickly respond if the fire heads into the city.

"Is there a plan in place?" City Manager Mike Sedell asked. "Yes, there is a plan in place."

The Red Cross has set up temporary shelter for those displaced by the fire at the Rancho Santa Susana Community Center at 5005 East Los Angeles Ave.

The day began with a fire on Browns Canyon Road.

Jan Eddy, manager of Where Trails Begin, a horse boarding facility on Browns Canyon Road, got a wake up call at 5 a.m. from a friend who heard about the fire.

Although the brush fire was about four or five miles from the ranch, Eddy was at the facility by 5:30 a.m. to check on 80 horses.

"We have trailers here and a lot of people to help in case we do have to move," she said as she waved to firefighters from the Ventura County Fire Department who whizzed by in their trucks. "We do have a plan just in case."

Eddy said in case of emergencies, the animals could be boarded temporarily at Pierce College.

Although Eddy, other ranchers and nearby residents were not asked to evacuate, the 65 mph Santa Ana winds was a concern for fire fighters.

"That's why we are going to have crews out here all day to work on any hot spots," said LA County Fire Department Inspector Jason Hurd. "Due to the high winds and low humidity, we will have strike teams staged in Calabasas and Santa Clarita."

In Moorpark, reports of a fire burning near the college came in at 12:07 p.m. Crews found flames burning the hillsides behind homes on Pecan Avenue and moving toward Chapman Place and Marquette Street, said Ventura County Fire Department Spokesman Joe Luna.

By 12:14 p.m. 3 acres had burned and by 2 p.m. the fire had been knocked down but had burned 30 acres and damaged two fences.

About 200 firefighters, aided by 16 trucks, two water tenders, two helicopters and two bulldozers ,worked successfully to keep the fire from crossing Happy Camp Road.

Keith Lawrence was mowing the grass at the home on Marquette Street in Moorpark he shares with his family, when he noticed smoke in the air. Family friends who live 10 houses away called to tell him to get out of the house. Flames had already moved down a hill toward their back yard.

"My dad’s still up there right now with the firefighters," said Lawrence, 20, who grabbed the family’s three dogs and left.

For some residents, the blaze, which burned in an avocado orchard, was reminiscent of the wildfire that burned through Fillmore, Santa Paula, Moorpark and the length of Simi Valley two years ago.

"This scares you because you know how bad it can be," Moorpark resident Lana Wick said, as she cradled bottles of water, while watching a blackened, smoldering hillside across from Pecan Avenue. "The firefighters did a remarkable job that day."

Moorpark College canceled classes Wednesday night. The college closed all student service offices tonight.

The college is expected to reopen on schedule on Thursday.

The college hopes the closures will help reduce the traffic on nearby roads that are needed by emergency vehicles after fires broke out earlier today across the county.

"Although the fires are at least eight to 10 miles away, we are concerned for our faculty and students who would have to deal with bumper-to-bumper traffic and road closures and would add to the traffic congestion as they try to come to campus," Moorpark College President Eva Conrad said.

Another afternoon fire ignited about 2 p.m. near Somis burning about 10 acres of brush.

The blaze ignited in the 6800 block of Coyote Canyon Road and was contained by Ventura County Firefighters while multiple fires burned in Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

No structures were threatened when the fire burned.

A containment time was not available, said Michele Faina, fire spokeswoman, said.

Wind advisories were upgraded to high wind warnings this afternoon, said Bonnie Bartling, a National Weather Service spokeswoman.

Winds were 13 mph in Simi Valley with gusts of up to 32 mph. In Camarillo, the winds were 31 mph with 40 mph gusts. Inland, the winds were 22 mph with 40 mph gusts.

The warnings expired by 3 p.m. and winds were expected to be gone by Wednesday night, she said.

It will be another warm day today, Bartling said, "but we won’t have the offshore with the Santa Anas."

Temperatures will be in the 70s along the coast, and in the 80s inland.

Reading this article, it says they're keeping firetrucks on alert in Calabasas....that's where I live. If it hits here, it'll for SURE get to Malibu. That would be devistating. :(

Please keep CA in your prayers. Especially those firemen risking their lives to save us...and those poor animals that aren't lucky enough to be found in time. :(

09-28-2005, 11:51 PM
While I was at school today, we could see the smoke and flames from the fire on the last floor. I have an aunt that lives in Chatsworth (off of Topanga Canyon) and the police were near their house just in case they needed to have a mandatory evacuation. Thankfully, the fire didn't end up getting too close to their house for them to have to evacuate.

The weather has been horrible and I can't wait until it's back to 'normal'. :(

I hope you stay safe, Kelly, and everyone else that's near the fire zones.


09-28-2005, 11:57 PM
Originally posted by GoldenRetrLuver
While I was at school today, we could see the smoke and flames from the fire on the last floor. I have an aunt that lives in Chatsworth (off of Topanga Canyon) and the police were near their house just in case they needed to have a mandatory evacuation. Thankfully, the fire didn't end up getting too close to their house for them to have to evacuate.

The weather has been horrible and I can't wait until it's back to 'normal'. :(

I hope you stay safe, Kelly, and everyone else that's near the fire zones.

Thanks, Julie! You as well.

My parents and my grandma all live right off Yosemite in Simi Valley. I know they all wont be sleeping very well tonight with the flames so close. :(

09-29-2005, 01:50 AM
I hope they can get this under control soon. So scary. :( Stay safe, everyone in the fire area.

09-29-2005, 01:57 AM
OK, its getting WAY scary now!! :(

Its expanded/moved to Oak Park!!! Wait, Flamepony is closer than I am. I hope she and her family are ready to get themselves out of there. :(

Its headed this way, but they've said it hasn't moved very quickly. They're saying they have firetrucks ready to extinguish that if it gets here.

Its also about 4 exits east of me. And more north, but jeesh, this is scary!! (it goes Oak Park, Agoura, Calabasas, Topanga, etc.) The fire is almost at Oak Park...as well as Topanga...

I pulled out my cat carriers and have them all out so I can throw kitties in there if need be. I may go take some stuff to my car just so I'm prepared.

Can you all pray for those affected?? They've only lost 1 home and 1 detached garage...YAY for firemen!!

I'm kind of scared to go to sleep. I'll be sleeping on my couch tonigh for sure! (and wearing something appropriate if I have to leave. ;) )

09-29-2005, 03:48 AM
Fire pictures (from this morning/early afternoon):


09-29-2005, 08:02 AM
Wow, I can see why you are nervous. I hope you are okay this morning and the rest of the PT'er's and their families that live there. Please keep us updated. I hope you don't have to evacuate. Thoughts are headed your way.

Daisy and Delilah
09-29-2005, 09:13 AM
Kelly, this is awful. I hope you and the babies are safe, as well as the rest of your family. Those pictures are frightening to say the least. What a horrible thing to have to go through. My thoughts and prayers are of course always with you but I'll add more in today. Take care and stay safe. (((((((HUGS)))))))

09-29-2005, 09:16 AM
Goodness! Everyone stay safe out there!

09-29-2005, 09:19 AM
I guess the fire has hit Oak Park overnight. They're evacuating many people there. I'm the next town over after Agoura (where Flamepony lives)!

I'm really nervous. I have to leave in a few moments for my Cedars appointment and I'm so scared to leave my furkids. I'm keeping the news on the radio all day and will head home if I need to.

This is scary. Can you please pray for us?

09-29-2005, 09:37 AM
OMG....its headed this way. Mom and I are going to drop the cats off at Gini's to stay in her spare room for the day.

Thank God for Gini...not sure what'd I'd do. :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

09-29-2005, 09:55 AM
How very scary. :( :( I hope everyone gets out of harms way quick and safely!

09-29-2005, 10:01 AM
OK, I have the cat's things all ready and packed up (ready to throw in mom's SUV), all the cat carriers are out and ready. I have clothes and stuff packed for work tomorrow...

They've closed all school districts in the area. Eeek!

09-29-2005, 10:02 AM
:( Yes that is so sad of the fires.. I would be out of there with my babies in towe.. I will just stick to Tx & the hot weather..

09-29-2005, 10:05 AM
OMD....I just read this now. :eek: :( You must be so scared. Bless you Gini for helping out. Please keep us posted, OK? Saying mega prayers. Is Richard near you?? Gini, what about your neice? Is she in trouble?

09-29-2005, 10:06 AM
ok, cats are in their carriers mom's almost here.

bye guys, I'll update when I can

Please keep this whole area in your prayers

thank you

09-29-2005, 10:10 AM
Goodness. :( Any idea how this fire started? Yikes...it looks awful. :( Stay safe. Prayers that it is soon under control, and that no one has to suffer from any damage. I hope Flamepony's okay. Has anyone heard from her?

09-29-2005, 10:11 AM
Stay Safe! Sending Prayers and Hugs! ((((HUGS))))

09-29-2005, 11:05 AM
wow that is so scary. I was hoping it wouldn't come down to this. Kelly please be safe and update us when you can.

Maya & Inka's mommy
09-29-2005, 11:12 AM
OMG, those are like views from a war-zone :eek: :eek:
I hope you are safe by now, Kelly, and Flamepony too!!

09-29-2005, 11:42 AM
So sorry this is happening. I hope you, your loved ones, friends and homes stay safe!

Popcornbird, these fires usually start from dried out brush that combusts or by careless campers.

09-29-2005, 11:57 AM
It looks horrible!! :( I hope everyone stays safe and the firefighters will have it under control soon!!

How many miles is it from Gini?

Off to watch CNN now ......

09-29-2005, 12:06 PM
Oh my goodness! Kelly, Flamepony... are you ok? I'm praying that the fire gets under control very soon, and that no lives are lost.

09-29-2005, 12:39 PM
Any updates Gini?
I sent Kelly a txt and she said the cats were with you and she was at Cedars

09-29-2005, 12:44 PM
Kelly, I'm so sorry to hear this.:( I just found out that your cats are already at Gini's and safe so this is great news.:) Now please stay safe and I hope that they'll be able to contain this horrible fire. ((((HUGS)))

09-29-2005, 12:44 PM
OMG! That is so scary! I'm so glad Gini could take the kitties in for a little while! I hope everything stays safe! Please keep us updated!


09-29-2005, 12:52 PM
Prayers flying from me for all of you in the path of those fires!!!
(((HUGS))) too!

09-29-2005, 12:53 PM
YIKES!! :eek: Please stay safe everyone.

09-29-2005, 02:16 PM
Kelly honey,

Please stay safe!!! I worry about you and all PTers in the CA area near the fires!! I'm glad Gini has taken in your furkids. It's one less thing you need to worry about.

Sending thoughts and prayers. Went to church a while ago, prayed for you and lit TWO candles. It can't hurt.

Love you guys!!!


09-29-2005, 02:34 PM
Prayers on the way!! Be safe, everyone!

Fires are so scary :eek: We're lucky that we haven't gotten any big fires up here this year so far.

09-29-2005, 02:47 PM

Local newspaper.

Tubby & Peanut's Mom
09-29-2005, 03:01 PM
Originally posted by RICHARD

Local newspaper.

Thanks for the link, Richard. After viewing some of the pictures I realized that regular LA County Firemen are fighting this blaze, not just forest fire fighters. I don't know why I thought only forest fire fighters would be battling the blaze, but after realizing this I remembered that some of our motorhome friends are LA County Firemen. Two are retired, but they are still quite active with Fire Dept activities, so I'm sure they're volunteering their services somehow, and a few are still active (about my age) so I sure hope they're being careful and staying safe. :(

09-29-2005, 04:38 PM
Originally posted by Tubby & Peanut's Mom
After viewing some of the pictures I realized that regular LA County Firemen are fighting this blaze, not just forest fire fighters.

We have LA City, County, Ventura County firemen out there at the moment. The Dept of Forestry and "smoke gangs' from the jails should be getting out soon.

We are ringed the Santa Monica mountains, Angeles Nat'l. Forest and a few others. The fire is on the border of the L.A. Ventura County line, the Northwest corner of the county.

I live 3/4s of a mile from County FD Heliport/Urban Search and Rescue HQ -the yard where they keep the huge bulldozers they use to cut the firebreaks......

At sunset they fly the big FireHawk Helicopters back home-coming home to roost..... Last night there were no 'roosters'!
About 9 last night they started moving the 'dozers to the west end of the valley-About 14 miles.

When THEY move you know it's a huge fire!:(

Laura's Babies
09-29-2005, 06:08 PM
My heart and prayers go out to all of you for your safety and for your homes and loved ones to stay safe too.

Anita Cholaine
09-29-2005, 06:18 PM
How scary!:eek: Please, stay safe everyone.... Sending prayers for all those affected by the fire......... Hope it can be controlled soon.........

09-29-2005, 08:08 PM
The fire is 5 percent contained with 3,000 firefighters on the lines.

I had heard that there were almost 20,000 acres burned.

I went out to run an errand during lunch and I could see the smoke over the mountains, the fire is about 20 miles away!!

You can see the TV coverage....


Click on the web cast link to watch.

It's also 100 degrees out in the area where the fire is.

If you can watch check out the pilots and the way they make a water drop onto the fires.


09-29-2005, 08:52 PM
Well, my whole family live here near the fire areas. I sure hope this gets contained soon. The ashes are falling all over the place. I am praying for everyone to stay safe from these fires.

09-29-2005, 08:55 PM
How scary. :( I haven't had a chance to watch the news so this is the first i've heard of this.

I hope all of our PT'ers are safe and continue to be safe. :(

09-29-2005, 09:14 PM
My aunt did end up having to evacuate last night, and she's staying at her mom's house along with her fiancee, dog and cat.

A couple of schools in the area have also had to evacuate and close, but I doubt my school will end up having to do that.

Stay safe, everyone. :(

09-30-2005, 10:58 AM
Just wanted to bump this up and offer up more prayers for everyone who is affected. Please be safe and check in when you can.

09-30-2005, 01:08 PM

The Super Scoopers are coming tomorrow.....

Thank you Canada...


The wind shifted last night and we got ash and smoke in the area...Today here at work there is a smoke smell here in the office.

There are another two fires that have started. One in the hills above Burbank and one in San Bernardino..:eek:

09-30-2005, 01:47 PM
Richard, does anyone know what's causing these fires yet?? Is it just hight heat and dry brush???

Buddy Blaze Lover
09-30-2005, 01:58 PM
Gosh, this is really scary!!:( Prayers are on the way...and I can really "relate" to all you in CA...I remember fires we had when we used to live in So Cal, but not this bad...and now I just got news that in Simi Valley, Wood Ranch area where we used to live, everyone is evacuating now. This is all just devastating!:(

Tubby & Peanut's Mom
09-30-2005, 02:42 PM
Originally posted by slick
Richard, does anyone know what's causing these fires yet?? Is it just hight heat and dry brush???

Slick, I heard this morning that they are already starting to investigate the origin of the fires, but at that time they didn't know anything yet. I can't imagine that they would have been set deliberately. Maybe a cigarette out the window or a campfire gone astray, but anyone who would set a fire like this deliberately needs to be locked up for a long long time! :mad:

09-30-2005, 04:28 PM
The BIG fire started at 3:45 in the morning....the winds in that area were about 60 mph. I think a power line down might be the culprit...

The Burbank fire is kinda weird..it started on a hillside....it may have been airborne ashes from the other end of the valley- but the Topanga fire is about 10 miles away.

The San Berdoo fire was near a bunch of campgrounds so that may be the start of it...


Did you see the film clip of the Super Scooper???

Those guys are brave and crazy.

09-30-2005, 04:57 PM