Woke up at 6am to 10-20 mph sustained winds and it’s already 89 degrees outside! The Santa Anas have officially started for the fall. You know it’s going to be a hot day when you had to keep the A/C on all night to keep the house under 85.
Apparently the forest fire started around 4 am on Mount Wilson and has been burning relatively steadily since.
This isn’t the closest fire to the house–that award goes to a medium sized brush fire about 8 doors down when I lived on Adams Hill in 2012, which was out in just a few hours–but it is the closest and the largest thus far. While it would take me about 3.5 hours to hike to the location of the fire, it’s because it’s located on a mountain and would take some winding mountain paths as well as a 4,700 foot climb. Sadly, most everything between us and the fire is all dry brush.
Fortunately today it’s not as hot or as windy as it has been here for the past month. Typically the winds have been to the North West this month, which would potentially serve to protect the house. The fire isn’t very close to residential neighborhoods (ours is the closest though), but there is an estimated $500 million in infrastructure and assets at the top of the hill as it is the home of the Wilson Observatory as well as a multitude of broadcast equipment for all of the major LA television and several radio stations.
Since at least 9am, I’ve been seeing a rotation of at least three helicopters and a large plane (747?) doing water drops on the hillside to battle the fire. Some of the photos above have these aircraft visible.
I still vividly remember the massive Station Fire in this area from August 2009 that still stands as one of the nation’s largest and significantly threatened the Observatory at the top of the hill above us. I was in San Diego the day the fire started and still remember the massive pyrocumulus cloud that I could vividly see the entire drive back home to Los Angeles.
Sadly, site deaths (thanks FriendFeed) have not preserved the photos, but here are a few tweets almost a week apart about the original:
Pyrocumulus cloud overlooking my local grocery store this afternoon as result of Station Fire. [pic] http://ff.im/-7sVUb
— ChrisAldrich (@ChrisAldrich) September 1, 2009
View of Mt. Wilson (Station Fire behind it) from Rose Bowl prior to UCLA home opener. [pic] http://ff.im/-7ICWM
— ChrisAldrich (@ChrisAldrich) September 5, 2009
4:00 am Fire reported
8:00 am 26 acres burning and 0% contained
9:00 am the blaze had burned about 30 acres and and was 5 percent contained, according to the U.S. Forest Service
4:00 pm No visible smoke apparent from the Pasadena side facing North, but the fire is still blazing
9:00 pm No visible fire from the Pasadena side still, but fire is still at 30 acres and 25% containment
— Ginger Chan KTLA (@ktlagingerchan) October 17, 2017
— Angeles_NF (@Angeles_NF) October 17, 2017
— LASD Altadena Sta. (@ALDLASD) October 18, 2017
— Jeremiah Small (@jeremiahsmall) October 18, 2017
— Matt Hartman (@ShorealoneFilms) October 18, 2017
- Brush fire erupts near Mount Wilson Observatory, communication towers (ABC7)
- Brush Fire Burning on Mount Wilson Threatens Several Structures, Including Transmission Towers (KTLA5)
- Wildfire approaches Mt. Wilson Observatory, threatens TV towers (LA Times)
- Water-Dropping Helicopters Attack Brush Fire Near Historic Mount Wilson Observatory (NBC4)