Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Crews try to construct line around Station fire

September 9, 2009 |  9:35 am


Helicopters have dropped crews at the Station fire's eastern edge to try to construct a firebreak near Chileno Canyon and control the blaze's spread into the San Gabriel Wilderness, officials said today.

The 2-week-old fire is 62% contained after blackening 160,357 acres and destroying 78 residences, officials said.

The western and northern edges of the blaze are holding, but the east and southeastern portions remain worrisome, said Tom De Bellis, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service.

"They created some landing zones out in the wilderness so they can get more crews out there," De Ballis said. "About 400 firefighters are creating a fuel break on the eastern edge."

Mark Savage, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Fire Department, said 21 hand crews -- comprised of about 20 people each -- have been flown in over the last two days to directly attack the fire along the eastern edge. Because the fire's behavior has calmed, crews can directly attack it from the east instead of staying in a more defensive mode.

Officials over the last two days have had to postpone planned backfires in the area from Mt. Wilson to the north and northeast and in the Cogswell Dam area because weather conditions were unfavorable.

Firefighters today were hoping for calm winds and ideal temperatures so they could conduct the controlled burns, De Bellis said. The fire still threatens 3,850 structures, though there are no evacuations, he said.

-- Ari B. Bloomekatz

Photo: Fire  crews from New Mexico walk in to cut a fire  line in the Juniper Hills area. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Fire300 Firemap295
Photos: Wildfires | 360° view | High-res | Mapped Interactive map: The Station fire