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Station fire is largest in L.A. County's modern history

The Station fire is the largest blaze in Los Angeles County's modern history and is continuing to grow, said county Fire Department Capt. Jerry Meehan.

"This is the biggest ever," Meehan said.

He said the fire was unusual for other reasons as well, including that it was not wind driven and that flames reached reported lengths of 300 to 400 feet. Meehan studies the history of fires in the county and describes himself as "the wildfire guy".

"This is the hottest-burning, most damaging I've seen," he said.

The Station fire passed what had been the county's biggest blaze, the 1970 Clampitt fire.

But the Station fire is still much smaller than some of the biggest fires in state history.

The largest was the 2003 Cedar Fire in San Diego County, which burned 273,000 acres and 2,800 structures. The 2007 Zaca fire charred 240,000 acres in the Central Coast mountains. The 2007 Witch fire in San Diego County scorched 197,000 acres and destroyed 1,650 homes.

 - Ari B. Bloomekatz at Hansen Dam

Comments () | Archives (12)

Too bad the Times doesn't republish some of its news stories of fires from decades ago.

Relatives email that the smoke from the fire is affecting the air quality of Denver, CO.

Let's see. Maybe a pot plantation worker, working for a Mexican drug cartel, making a fire to stay warm? Here in Northern California it's usually the cause from a man-made fire in Shasta-Trinity Forest.

Something I don't understand. I remember watching the fire when it started last week. I could see it clearly from the freeway and it was really small. My first thought was, ok they'll put it out no sweat, so it doesn't grow anymore.

So... why didn't they put it out?????? How difficult could it be back then? Now this is totally out of control.

Did someone say that if they put it out right away they wouldn't be able to charge all the extra hours, resources, etc?

And the size of the Station fire is ______________?

i hope they stop the fire already because is affecting our schools and the envirement!!! =]

Great reporting!!! You forgot to mention one significant fact. How big is the Station Fire?????!!!! We are out of town & trying to get accurate information.

why after so many fires so much lose of life and land and lifestyles why like in the middle east put a massive water treatmaent station thatt turns salt water to freshthen run sprinkler sytem into forest and prevent fires or at least save most of the land and lifestlyes of so many .instead of burning up and wasting trillions of dollars and trees and land that will take years and years to regrow sent this message to wash.forest people enviormentalists and gov,ca years years ago and they still ignore system someone is making big mistake decissions or somebody is making a ton of money .do not understand why awater sprinkler system in fores has not bin planned ?

For those interested in the facts and details, if you want up to date fire info go to one of these sites:

http://www.inciweb.org/ (current fires - incident info)
http://www.inciweb.org/incident/1856/ (Station Fire)
http://www.nifc.gov/ (more fire incident info)

Here's what was posted as of Sep 3, 2009 around 8:38 pm

Fire Status
Fire Name: Station
Geographic Location: Highway 2 North of La Canada - Flintridge, CA
Acres Burned: 147,418
Start Date: August 26, 2009
Time: 3:20 p.m.
Percent Contained: 38%
Estimated Containment Date: 9/15/09
Cause: Arson
Injuries: 7
Structures Threatened: 6,000
Commercial Buildings Threatened: 200
Residences Destroyed: 64
Commercial Property Destroyed: 3
Outbuildings/Other Destroyed: 27
Communication Sites Destroyed: 2
Total Personnel 4,847

By the way, two of my "boys" (21 & 23 yrs) are down there from Oregon and Washington trying to save your homes and wilderness areas. Yes they want make some money to pay for their college education, but I can guarantee you they and their colleagues are not "milking" this to make more money. They work long hard, dangerous days to put these fires out ASAP. Their company, Grayback Forestry, has on multiple occasions received recognition for their valiant efforts at putting out fires in a timely manner and stopping the spread of destruction.

Just curious, "SS", if you watched it when it started and it was small, why didn't you just put it out? No sweat, right?

i would like to see u people try to our job and fight fire for 18hrs plus in well over 115 degree weather with the wind blowing like the dickens i've been doing this job for 3 yrs now and there trying to do all they can so if i were u before u open ur mouths u should into how the weather affects fire behavior in the type of vegitation that there in, so shut up!!! im from so.cali aka glendora and it needs to burn and if ur that lazy to put a good perimiter around ur home or just simply dont build it by vegitation then it would be fine. so in my oppinion let it burn. cali u knw u guys are not even in the santa anna wind season yet so this anit nothing yet. by the way just an fyi some of us fire fighters fight fire beacuse it helps pay for college or in my case i just simply luv doing the job because its fun.

and BK3 good luck to ur boys hope there doing everything to stay safe.

I laud the news article for keeping things in perspective here. The last few days I
have been moaning about the heat and yet have not had to cope with the direct effects
of this persistent blaze which has already destroyed homes. I remember a family known
to me since grade school who had to evacuate their home in El Cajon during that awful
Cedar Fire and more recently as well--their home was not damaged. My big fear
is if the winds pick up before full containment we could have a real hellburner on our
hands. I praise the exhausted firefighters for rising to the occasion on this one.
It is disgusting to think this one could have been set...


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