Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Valley! The Valley! The Valley's On Fire

Here's the view from the front door of blogger Koganuts, who posts several pictures from Wednesday night's massive brush fires at his site and

By late Wednesday, the fires could be seen in most of the San Fernando Valley, as flames rose above Chatsworth in the northwest. (As Koga points out, porn country. Oh, Pat Robertson will have a field day with this.) The 118 remains closed. Writes the LA Times:

Fire departments had been warning for months that the near-record rains Southern California experienced last winter had led to thick growths of brush, creating conditions for a severe fire season. Several of the most destructive wildfire seasons on record have come after winters of heavy rain, including in 1993, when hundreds of homes were lost in Laguna Beach and Malibu.

But although firefighters had been bracing for the hot winds of fall, they scrambled to respond to fires stretching from rural Somis in Ventura County, down through the northern foothills of the San Fernando Valley and out to San Bernardino County.

The most serious fire struck about 2 p.m. north of Chatsworth and burned more than 3,500 acres. It was only 5% contained late Wednesday. It started south of the Ronald Reagan Freeway near Topanga Canyon Boulevard, then jumped the freeway and raced north into a canyon area where small shacks and large mansions dot hilly chaparral. At least one home and several outbuildings were burned.

As usual, the first Santa Ana winds of the season are being blamed. Check in with Brian Humphrey's L.A. Fire Dept. blog for an insider's view in the days to come.

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