Thursday, September 17, 2009

Angeles National Forest - Along the Metrolink Tracks

Ruth Sandra Sperling
RSS Designs In Fiber - Internet Shop of Handmade Items In Fibers

Even though the skies have been clear over my house with no noticeable smell of smoke (at least to me), the Station Fire is not totally out yet and I am still checking the InciWeb Incident Site for the Station Fire whenever I sign on the Internet.

I think this InciWeb Site is really great for the people in the communities around the Angeles National Forest - or for anyone who cares about what is actually going on. I do not depend on the news reports, though I do occasionally read news articles online and check the pictures and videos. I like really being informed!!

Well, Monday and Tuesday this week I also went down to Los Angeles on the Metrolink train - it runs on tracks east of the Freeway, Highway 14, and through areas of the Angeles National Forest - mostly west of the Station Fire as far as I knew, but I wasn't sure what I would see on the train trip.

I watched carefully for signs of the Station Fire and I am happy to report that there were very few signs of it, though it looked like there was some blackened land back in the mountains east of Acton. The familiar trees and bushes mostly looked they always had - including Thousand Oaks (which was evacuated for a few days).

Basically, the Fire-Fighting Crews were quite successful at containing the Station Fire on the western edge - including keeping it out of Placerita Canyon and away from Sylmar and Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, which is quite a relief!!

They also kept it contained enough to keep it out of the east Antelope Valley, where I live!

Though they are still working on the containment line - and there are still hot spots - it is now 93% contained and the full containment date is now Sept. 22nd.

I am not surprised it is taking so long - I can just imagine the fire creeping through the brush and chaparral in the crevices and canyons -- in past years I spent enough time up there to realize the terrain that the Fire-Fighting crews are dealing with -- especially with chaparral communities that have been growing for years and years and have not burned for 40 years or more. I can just imagine the walls of chaparral in some areas!

I am just Hugely Thankful that the crews have enough experience and training to do what they are doing!!

In our Mediterranean Climate of our California forests, I have had to face and deal with the fact of fire in these forests for years now. Having talked with Fire and Fuels Specialists in the California region of the US National Forests at Public Meetings, I have learned a lot.

Our beautiful landscapes of California unforutnately have droughts, fires and floods -- but the way they evolved, they are well-suited to recovery.

This so un-natural fire happened and now all I can personally do is look to the recovery.

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