Skip to comments.Official: LA-Area Fire Human-Caused ("Station Fire")
Posted on 09/02/2009 1:22:11 PM PDT by kellynla
The monster Station Fire burning north of Los Angeles was human-caused, a U.S. Forest Service official said Wednesday.
Meanwhile, fire crews prepared for potential setbacks because of returning drier conditions, MSNBC.com reported.
Investigators don't know specifically how the Station Fire was started but have enough information to determine it was caused by a person, the Forest Service's deputy incident commander Carlton Joseph said during a news conference. Investigators were determining whether the fire was accidental or arson and identified the point of origin as mile marker 29 on Angeles Crest Highway.
Firefighters caught a weather break Tuesday when moister, cooler conditions moved into the area.
"Now we're going to have drier conditions, so fire activity is going to pick up quite a bit," Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Mark Whaling said Wednesday. "It's still a very dynamic fire even though it looks calm right now."
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger visited the fire area Wednesday, dishing up breakfast for firefighters and giving them protein so "they get all pumped up for the next fight out there with those fires."
Since erupting Aug. 26, the Angeles National Forest blaze has burned through nearly 219 square miles, destroyed more than five dozen structures, killed two firefighters and forced thousands of people from their homes.
Officials also expressed concern about the fire's threat to the Mount Wilson observatory and communications complex, the Los Angeles Times said.
(Excerpt) Read more at upi.com ...
Well - let me be the first:
If this was a year ago, then we would be hearing “Bush’s Fault!”
But since the 0bamaMessiah is in office, we now can hear “it STILL must be Bush’s fault”.
Now I’m going to go puke.
I have always wondered how they can figure out how a fire started? What different sign is there from say spontaneous combustion, a lightning bolt, or a hot tail pipe?
It’s actually Brush’s Fault, not Bush’s ;-)
They rely on when and where it is reported initially,, areas that are most suspect will be examined closely for telltale signs or evidence,, fire&forest forensic scientists.. could have just been a rock off of a mower blade ,, they’re pretty good at it. they get a lot of practice lately.
I watch a couple of USFS Rangers down on their hands and knees on the side of a Freeway until they found a white ash remains of cigarette. The another fire they found a paper match folder set up to ignite when a match stuck in the side lite the rest. All that was left was ash but is was enough. Since the “Station Fire” was right up the road from
a USFS Fire Station the first crew there had a pretty good idea where the source started. A series of 4th of July sparklers thrown from a PU Truck started a half mile long string of fire. They found all 12 of the sparklers.
I didn’t mean to say that the “Station Fire” was started by sparklers. I was trying to show another case of arson fire
where alot of work found the sources.
Ernest, I was wondering if and when we would hear of a cause, as I didn’t recall hearing that info. I gather they still haven’t determined whether accidental or deliberate.
I actually heard this days ago.
More specifics about this was that the fire was started not far from where there was a rest stop area for cars to stop.
The thing they have NOT been able to tell yet is whether it was an accident or something as sinister as terrorist.
Bottom line. “if” the Feds had allowed us to cut the forestry back over the years we might have saved the lives of two Firefighters, almost 100 homes and who knows how many millions of dollars to fight the fires.
Hah! Whatever the cause is, officials are very tight-lipped about it!!
I am just very upset that the majority of the damage to life(my grandfather was a Fire Captain) & property that these fires have caused over the years could have been prevented “if” the gov’t had allowed us to “clearcut” the forestry.
“stupid is as stupid does.”
It's not forest, it's scrub. There's no economic value to it and thinning it over the hundreds of thousands of acres of the San Gabriels, with it's steep hillsides, would be hugely expensive, dangerous and difficult.
“There’s no economic value to it and thinning it over the hundreds of thousands of acres of the San Gabriels, with it’s steep hillsides, would be hugely expensive, dangerous and difficult.”
Every heard of GOATS!
I have come to learn over the years that our terrain is unique. Although there is pine, there are a variety of other low-growing plants: ceanothus, manzanita, sage, oak, etal. This, combined with rugged mountain terrain, poses a challenge to clearing. As mentioned by another poster, even weather conditions enter in as a factor in when to clear. This is an early “fire season.”
Whatever the case, the alternative which we have just experienced is definitely not the answer.
Probably more than you. I driven past the point of origin of this fire many times. My favorite hike in the world is up Colby Canyon to Josephine Saddle, then along the ridge and the class 3 scramble to the top of Strawberry Peak. I've hiked from JPL up around Switzer Falls to the highway. I've been all through there. At the upper altitudes, on north facing slopes. you got pinyon pines and junipers. In the bottoms of the deep canyons that have running streams most of the year, you've got some scattered hardwoods. But most of it, especially the areas the burned in this fire, mostly look about like this:
The technical name is chaparral, but I think it can safely be characterized as scrub. You can't walk over it. You can't walk under it. You can't walk through it.
Amazing pictures here:
Yes. The private outifts that use goats to clear land for government agencies, as is done on a small scale around San Diego and a more extensive scale around Laguna, charge $750 an acre. In this fire, 145,000 acres have burned. To have cleared that land using goats would have cost north of 100 million dollars. What has been spent to fight the fire is about a quarter of that.
To have the entire 650,000 acres of the Angeles National Forest cleared by goats would cost half a billion dollars. And then there's the Cleveland National Forest, the Los Padres National Forest and the San Bernardino National forest, just within a hundred miles, all with pretty similar vegetation. It takes 70 goats four days to go through one acre. That's 180 million goat days to cover the Angeles National Forest.
How many goats do you envision the federal government contracting with?