Scenes from the Angeles National Forest: What remains of Hidden Springs Cafe



The Station Fire has claimed the historic Hidden Springs Cafe, a treasured stopping point and java spot for anyone passing through the Angeles National Forest. Owner Jim Lewis ran the business for 32 years.

From the L.A. Times’ L.A. Now:

“Lewis … said a number of his
customers and friends had called him to say they saw the cafe site on a
television broadcast Tuesday morning. People recognized the lone,
old-fashioned phone booth standing amid ashes because it is the only
one in the Angeles National Forest, he said.”

In memoriam, Los Angeles Magazine has resurrected its 2001 review, which dubbed Hidden Springs “the ultimate rest stop”:

“On a dry day the drive from La Canada takes about 15 minutes, but by
the time the cafe comes into view, a couple of curves north of the Big
Tujunga tunnel, civilization seems to have been left behind. But then,
commercial establishments of any sort are rarer than rattlesnake bites
within national forest boundaries.”

These photos from our sister publication, the Los Angeles Daily News, show all that remains of the cafe that was obliterated by flames Tuesday. (Photos by Gene Blevins / Staff)


Scenes from the sky Monday over Mt. Wilson


Below, an aerial view of the Station fire burning in the Mt. Wilson area on Monday. (Photo by Hector Mata / Associated Press)


Below, the Mt. Wilson Observatory, in the bottom right corner, peeking through the smoke from the Station fire on Monday. (Photo by Hector Mata / Associated Press)


Below, a group of communications towers surrounded by smoke atop Mt. Wilson on Monday. (Photo by Hector Mata / Associated Press)


Scenes from the ground Monday in La Caada and La Crescenta


Below, firefighters make their way down a steep hill after lighting a backfire to eliminate tinder and slow the spread of the Station fire in La Caada Flintridge on Monday. (Photo by Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

Read more about the firefighters’ effort to set backfires and clear vegetation in this Star-News report.


Below, hotshot firefighter Angel Reyes sprays water to protect a house in La Crescenta on Monday while the crew burns away vegetation to create a fire break. (Photo by Philip Scott Andrews / Associated Press)


Eric Spiegelman’s eerie, breathtaking time-lapse footage of the Station Fire

If you haven’t yet viewed this video of the Station Fire from Saturday afternoon, it’s a must-see. If, like me, you’ve already played it through 10-plus times, watch it again. (Via LAObserved)

Time Lapse Test: Station Fire from Eric Spiegelman on Vimeo.

UPDATED 4:30 p.m. Wednesday: Station Fire resources and blogroll for up-to-minute information

Station Fire resources:

At this time the Station Fire continues to be a slow moving fire and if
the fire continues moving toward Sierra Madre, officials do not expect
it to enter the City for at least five days. This prediction is
contingent on if the current weather conditions continue.” (3:04 p.m. Wednesday)

“Monrovia’s Sawpit Dam helibase is operational for helicopter use in fighting the fire around La Canada Flintridge. As a contingency plan, bulldozers from the U.S. Forest Service are working in local foothills to cut fire breaks Monrovia. The fire is not currently a threat to Monrovia.” (3:05 p.m. Wednesday)

  • Los Angeles County Fire Department incident information for Station fire — With details on mandatory evacuations, evacuations that have been lifted in La Canada and Altadena (residents only), Red Cross shelters and animal shelters
  • For evacuation information on Station fire, call 211
  • Altadenablog — Station fire updates lead the site. Recommend reading the comments. 
  • Glendale city site — With regular updates on mandatory evacs and centers affecting Glendale residents
  • Situation summary from Los Angeles County Web site — includes road closures, new and existing shelters, shelter closings, and evacuation info

How to help:

  • The Red Cross evacuation center at La Canada High School
    is seeking air conditioning vendors with portable units to help cool
    their gymnasium.
    To help, call La Caada Flintridge City Hall at (818) 790-8880
  • Lonnee Hamilton’s blog — Hamilton has begun to pool community resources, volunteers and donations to aid evacuees and firefighters

News media:

  • TCN North Now — covering Glendale, Crescenta Valley, Burbank and La Caada

School closures and updates:

  • Glendale UnifiedAll Glendale schools will remain CLOSED on Wednesday. A message from the superintendent is available on the district. Web site.
  • La Canada UnifiedAll LCUSD schools will be OPEN on Wednesday. Outdoor activities will be suspended until air quality improves. Notices will be posted on district Web site.
  • Pasadena City College will hold enrollment spots for students affected by fire — via Star-News. College officials will continue to update the news section of the PCC Web site. Information line open at (626) 585-7315.
  • Pasadena Unified suspends outdoor athletic activities. School was not yet in session.
  • Los Angeles Unified — Schools in Sunland and eastern San Fernando Valley region were not yet in session. Outdoor athletic activities suspended.

Live Web cams:

  • While the Mt. Wilson tower cam is down, you can view a time-lapse sequence of photos from Sunday night showing the approach of the fire.

Video sources:

“Channel 9’s fire coverage in the 9 o’clock hour included several minutes with reporter Dave Lopez on the battle by firefighters to save the La Caada Flintridge home of the station’s helicopter pilot, Larry Welk.”

Twitter feeds to monitor:

  • #StationFire hash tags on Twitter
Local blogs are igniting, too, with photos and discussions on the blaze:

  • Pasadena Daily Photo — Petrea Burchard’s before and after pics tell the story. (“Before” image is from Tuesday, Aug. 18 — aka not so long ago.)
  • KCHblog out of La Canada Flintridge
  • Station fire images on Flickr
  • Susan Kitchens’ 2020 Hindsight blog — With links to more local resources
(Photo, a view of the Station Fire from Hollywood, courtesy Zack Morrissette)