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Station Fire Update 8-31 — Why Now?
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Station Fire Update 8-31

FireThe fire in the Angeles National Forest has now burned over 105,000 acres and at least 74 structures. It is 5% contained.

The Station Fire started off Angeles Crest Highway (SR 2) about one mile above Angeles Crest Fire Station around 3:30pm [PDT]Wednesday August 26, 2009.

Two Los Angeles County firefighters have died in a motor vehicle accident. In addition there have been 3 civilians burned, and one firefighter treated for heat exhaustion.

Currently there are 44 hand crews, 399 engines, 43 water tenders, 48 dozers, 8 air tankers, 13 helicopters, and 3,655 total personnel assigned to the fire.

Among the aircraft is at least one DC-10, capable of 12,000 gallon drops.

The Whittier Daily News has a short explainer on the fire creating its own weather, including winds.

The facilities on Mount Wilson are safe for the moment, but there are no guarantees.

Links: InciWeb, LA Times, KTLA, and Pasadena Star-News [Note that the InciWeb is extremely slow to respond, and you will probably get a reset message]

Maps: LA Times fire map and the Enplan Wildfire Viewer

[For more information go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Fires” for all of the posts related to wildfires on this site.]


1 hipparchia { 08.31.09 at 9:15 pm }

During the 2006 season, the aircraft was offered on a “call-when-needed” basis, which came with a $26,500 per-flight-hour (three hour minimum) cost and a 12- to 24-hour activation delay.


For the 2007–2009 fire seasons, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger authorized a contract for exclusive use of the aircraft at a cost of $5 million per year, or an average of about $41,000 per day for the June 15 to October 15 fire season; there is an additional $5,500 per-flight-hour charge.

a pretty penny. and a pretty plane too.

the taddeo links are dead now, but with your fire updates and all the katrina coverage, i’ve been mulling over the subject recently.

2 Bryan { 08.31.09 at 10:00 pm }

I assume that in no time the homeowners’ insurance in California will go the same route as the wind insurance on the Gulf Coast, and the government will have to step in to provide it. The first step will be a separate “wildfire” provision, i.e. there will be a specific rider required to get coverage. In no time there will be a need for National Wildfire Insurance and National Hurricane Insurance and National Earthquake Insurance, just like National Flood Insurance.

The insurance companies don’t like the risks involved with being insurance companies.

3 hipparchia { 08.31.09 at 10:21 pm }

The insurance companies don’t like the risks involved with being insurance companies.

can’t blame them for that. i wouldn’t like those risks either. which is why i’m a blogger and a crazy cat lady instead of an insurance company.

i can see some limited uses for insurance companies, but for just plain pooling fairly predictable [on a population level or long time scale] big risks — health care, natural disasters, etc — looks like we’re better off nationalizing it and doing it ourselves.

we know we’re going to have hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, crop failures, sick people… that are going to have measurable impacts. giving money to gamblers to play with in hopes that they’ll give it back to us when we need it isn’t working out.

4 Bryan { 08.31.09 at 10:33 pm }

In as much as they decided to become insurance companies of their own free will, and can stop being insurance companies whenever they wish, that they continue to take money for a service they avoid providing enters into the world of fraud.

I agree, some things need to be spread over the widest possible population, and catastrophic insurance is one of them. We already end up paying for people who aren’t insured, or whose insurance doesn’t pay out, in one way or another, so we should formalize reality and set up a working program. Flood Insurance is a good model, because people are somewhat familiar with it, just like Medicare is a good model for health insurance.

5 cookie jill { 08.31.09 at 10:48 pm }

It is just soul wrenching. I am worried about a Vedanta Temple that I used to go to when I lived down in La Crescenta. It’s high up on the steps of the San Gabriels and has been there since the 20’s.
.-= last blog ..the station fire =-.

6 Bryan { 08.31.09 at 11:34 pm }

They has some success with backfires in that area today, so they are in better shape than anyone to the North and Northeast which seem to be the current direction of the expansion.

OT: I sent you a reply about the picture. That is exactly what the Whittier piece is talking about in this post.