A firsthand account

This comes from blogger Bear Chick:


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We’re smack in the middle of Brea/Anaheim Hills/Yorba Linda, then being called the Freeway Complex fire. Last night Carbon Canyon was added and this morning Chino Hills and Diamond Bar came into the mix and now it’s called the Triangle Complex fire. I don’t think we’ve ever been this close to a fire this big. We’ve seen fire in the hills in Yorba Linda but the problem with this weekend’s fire was the Santa Ana winds kicking up. The Brea fire is about 2 miles from us, which seems like a safe distance I suppose but the fire crossed a freeway in Yorba Linda! For those of you not familiar with freeways in Cali, the 91 probably has at least 8 lanes where the fire jumped it. So 2 miles away doesn’t seem that far in view of Mother Nature’s leaping ability!

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Last night in Yorba Linda

This photo comes from AP with the following caption:
Residents look on as a wind driven Santa Ana fire threatens homes, in Yorba Linda, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008. Southern Californians endured a third day of destruction Saturday as wind-blasted wildfires torched hundreds of mobile homes and mansions, forced tens of thousands of people to flee and shut down major freeways. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
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Hear the fire fight on the Internet

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Scan America has a link to live audio from the front lines of the fire fight in the San Fernando Valley. Much of the traffic is Verdugo dispatch and Los Angeles County Fire. Here’s a direct link to the audio.

Here’s the photo caption:

Vehicles burn early Monday morning, Oct. 13, 2008,  after intense Santa Ana winds  whipped up a 3,700-acre wildfire. (AP Photo/Mike Meadows)

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Fire update day two; one dead, thousands evacuated

Here’s the latest from the Associated Press on the Marek Fire:

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Two wildfires driven by strong Santa Ana winds threatened neighborhoods on the edges of the San Fernando Valley on Monday, killing one person, destroying several dozen mobile homes and forcing evacuations.

Firefighters were struggling with a 3,700-acre blaze in the Sylmar area in the valley’s northeastern corner when a new blaze erupted at midmorning a few miles to the west in mountains above the Porter Ranch area and quickly grew to 500 acres.

“It is a blowtorch we can’t get in front of,” said Los Angeles County fire Inspector Frank Garrido.

Fire officials could not immediately estimate how many homes in Porter Ranch were in the fire’s path. Flames burned furiously at midday just across a road from one development of luxury homes.

The fatality occurred at the so-called Marek Fire burning in the Sylmar area. where neighborhoods abut rugged canyonlands below the mountainous Angeles National forest. The victim was a man who appeared to be a transient living with a dog in a makeshift shelter, officials said.

An estimated 1,200 people were evacuated due to the Marek Fire, which was just 5 percent contained.

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Two thousand acres and counting in Little Tujunga

Inciweb now indicates the Little Tujunga fire has spread to 2066 acres. Here’s the latest AP story:

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Firefighters backed by water-dumping helicopters and planes gained ground Sunday on awildfirethat destroyed two homes and forced the evacuation of about 1,200 people in a rugged area 20 miles north of downtown. The blaze charred up to 750 acres and also burned a garage, several sheds and three motor homes, said Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman Ron Haralson. No one was seriously injured, but a firefighter and one resident reported minor breathing problems.

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Little Tujunga noon fire update

Here’s what AP is reporting about the 750 acre fire near Sunland and little Tujunga:

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LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Firefighters backed by water-dumping helicopters and planes gained ground Sunday on awildfirethat destroyed two homes and forced the evacuation of about 1,200 people in a rugged area 20 miles north of downtown.
Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman Ron Haralson said the blaze charred up to 750 acres and also burned a garage, several sheds and three motor homes.
No one was seriously injured. A firefighter and one resident reported minor breathing problems.
Haralson said firefighters are “getting a really good handle” on the blaze that started early. Sunday. But powerful Santa Ana winds are expected to arrive in the evening, and gusts could spread embers igniting brush, grass and chaparral in the area.
About 450 homes were evacuated early Sunday when the blaze moved southeast toward city limits, said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Stanton Florea.
“It burned right down to a couple of neighborhoods,” Florea said.
The fire was burning south of the Wildlife Waystation, an animal sanctuary and rehabilitation facility set on 160 acres. The nonprofit agency houses more than 400 animals, including lions, bears and deer. Officials were loading up the animals in case the fire switched direction.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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