Monday, August 31, 2009

More Pics from the Fire

Pic from Saturday

Station Fire Crests Little Round Top at approx 4:30 PM Saturday, 8/29/2009

The Meadows is Open!

Sherriffs are checking I.D. and only letting residents back to The Meadows for now.

Welcome Back!

Pics from Saturday

From Sunday afternoon, pics from a Meadows resident. Sorry, I'm sure these are uploading out of order from the description.

The fires west of El Prieto Rd seem to be out (there was one spot of open fire at noon, but by 1:20 PM there was only smoke there). There is a lot of activity (ground crews and airdrops) above La Vina.
837 – view from my backyard ~11:50 AM
840 – view from the trailhead in the lower part of El Prieto Rd (facing west) ~1:20 PM
845 – view from the same point (facing southwest). That’s where I saw the last burning spot around noon.
847 – top of El Prieto Rd ~1:30 PM. Note the burned spot.
864, 867 – view from the vantage point above El Prieto Rd above the end of Risinghill Rd. Taken ~1:45 PM
869, 870, 876 – views from the top of Risinghill Rd. and the trail (facing northeast). Taken ~2 PM.

MFSC Monday Morning

Called the Sherriff this morning at 7:00 a.m. We're still evacuated. Sherriff did not have an estimated time to lift the evacuation.

Talked to a resident on El Prieto who is still in The Meadows. She said that everything looks good. She saw firefighters positioned on El Prieto and Gravelia.

If anyone has other information, please let me know.
Meadows FireSafe Council

Sunday, August 30, 2009

MFSC Sunday 5:20 p.m.

Hearing several updates from neighbors:
1. Sheriffs may allow us in at 6:00 p.m. or later. (Cheney Trail may not be able to get in through the night.)
2. JPL will be closed on Monday to all but essential personnel.
3. As of 1:16 p.m., a neighbor reported a small fire on El Prieto Canyon. Crews were cutting trees and dumping water on it.
4. Another report of a fire in Millard Canyon. Fire crews were stationed on La Vina side.
5. Several reports of residents being allowed in and not being allowed in. Did hear that the Sheriffs were upset with some residents when they allowed them access for 15 minutes and the residents did not return.
Again, best to check with Sheriffs for when they would lift the evacuation order. I may not have the latest information.
Meadows FireSafe Council

MFSC Sunday Morning Update

I drove over to Lincoln and Loma Alta this morning. Per the Sherriff, no further activity in The Meadows last night. Very smoky outside this morning. Still not allowing people into The Meadows. (Per J. Lopez this morning, we're still evacuated.)

Per a neighbor, all but a skeleton crew of firefighters pulled out of The Meadows at 7:30 p.m. (Not verified with the Fire Department.)

Per a neighbor, the fire did come into The Meadows on the vacant land on the west of Risinghill Road at the top of the road but was extinguished by the flame retardant that was dropped repeatedly over the hill.

Also, per a neighbor, Theo's house at the very top of Risinghill was protected by fire crews.

If anyone has other updates, please email to me.
Meadows FireSafe Council

Looking above La Vina

Looking above La Vina. These pictures were taken between 00:50 and 01:20 from the entrance to the Meadows.

Saturday Pics

From a neighbor who stayed in The Meadows yesterday.
1. taken from the entrance to the Meadows around 6:30 PM
2., 3., & 4 – taken from the trailhead in the lower part of El Prieto Rd. around 7 PM.
5. taken from the observation point above El Prieto Rd. about 7:10-7:15 PM.
6. again, from the trailhead in the lower part of El Prieto Rd.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

MFSC Saturday Afternoon Update

The Meadows continues to be under mandatory evacuation. We know of no structures damaged. They were doing plenty of water and chemical drops behind Theo's house at the top of Risinghill and down El Prieto Canyon. Parts of JPL have been closed. had a good streaming video from their helicopter that showed The Meadows periodically. Watching the local news and online news seems to be the best way to get updates.

Meadows FireSafe Council

MFSC Saurday Morning Update

Fire crews are now in The Meadows and carefully watching developments in El Prieto Canyon and the ridge north of The Meadows. Water and chemical drops are not happening this morning due to heavy smoke. Maps of all fire hydrants and pools are being given to the fire crews. Please be vigilant of the developments surrounding us.

Meadows FireSafe Council

Friday, August 28, 2009

Station Fire Update Link

Link to Station Fire Update Link:

Station Fire / Meadows Update

(pics from El Prieto Rd perspective)

As we head into the evening, here's some observations about the fire and its impact to The Meadows. Please know this is only observation from neighbors as specific information from a variety of sources has been hard to obtain.

From El Prieto Side: the fire crested a peak northwest of Little Roundtop. (The peak to the northwest visible from the Meadows. Brown Mountain is not from here; it is farther east, farther north, and higher). This still is not immediately threatening to The Meadows. Both water and chemical plane drops were performed which quickly turned dark smoke to white. A chemical drop was also performed down El Prieto Canyon presumably as a precaution. From a perspective at the very top of El Prieto, the fire continues to appear west of us.

From the access to El Prieto: Flames can still be seen from the mountains above La Canada and in the mountainside almost directly north of The Meadows. Again, not immediately impacting us.

From Risinghill: One can see flames at the ridge on the mountains above and in the canyons below the mountains, but again not immediate threat to The Meadows.

A consensus opinion is that since the fire is not immediately threatening homes, it is being allowed to burn to reduce the fuel and quickly followed by water and chemical drops.

Crime: As posted earlier, the Sheriffs are patrolling the neighborhood. Please be vigilant of unusual activity and call the Sherrif (626-798-1131) as we continue to have many unknown cars coming into the neighborhood.

Please let me know of any other information you may have. Again, this is mainly observation from residents of The Meadows.

Increased Patrol Presence

With the fire has come an increase in curious persons and cars here in The Meadows creating safety concerns. In addition, a Canyon Crest neighbor's car tires were slashed last night.

Altadena Sheriffs will increase their presence in The Meadows this evening including a watch at Lincoln and Canyon Crest to help identify residents as legitimately having access to The Meadows. Please be sure to have you I.D. with you should you need it.

Also, if you see suspicious activity, please do not hesitate to contact the Altadena Sherriff at 626-798-1131.

The Meadows FireSafe Council

Sheriff Presence to Increase Tonight

Altadena Sheriff Department will be sending additional patrols to The Meadows tonight. With the increased traffic coming through the neighborhood to see the fire, it was felt that we as a community needed a stronger patrol presence to avoid a potential crime increase.

One neighbor's car tires were slashed last night on Canyon Crest.

Please do not hesitate to call the Sheriff if you see unusual activity.

Water Drops

Perspective of water drops from Aralia and Canyon Crest.

Station Fire Update

Just saw the water dropping helicopter head towards the fire.

This from the L.A. Times this morning:

"In the Station fire in the Angeles National Forest, firefighters cut breaks above La Cañada Flintridge in an effort to stop flames before they reached hundreds of homes in neighborhoods near Angeles Crest Highway, the U.S. Forest Service said. [Updated at 6:36 a.m.: The fire jumped Highway 2 and into the Arroyo Seco area overnight. Fire officials were concerned about homes along Starlight Crest Drive, which runs just east of Highway 2 and is adjacent to a watershed park. The blaze had burned 1,500 acres and was 10% contained.]
Around midnight, flames were about three-quarters of a mile from residential neighborhoods, the Forest Service said. Hundreds evacuated their homes.
An evacuation center, which had been designated at Crescenta Valley High School, was moved to La Cañada High School, the Forest Service said."

More Burglary Information

From our Altadena Town Council:
There has been a rash of day time burglaries throughout Altadena in the past couple of weeks.

The most common pattern is that a perpetrator rings the front door to determine if anyone is home. If there is no answer, they go around the back to gain entry.

Normally, there are accomplices in a car parked a block or so away.

Anyone who has any suspicions about someone going door to door should call the Sheriff's station at once. The deputies are on high alert about the burglaries and are looking for any information about suspicious persons or cars on the street.

And from a comment to the blog:

Early Sunday morning, August 16, there was an auto break-in in the 4100 block of Canyon Crest Road. Items were taken from the car that was parked in the driveway.

Station Fire Timelapse from The Meadows

From a Meadows resident, timelapse photography view of the fire from The Meadows last night.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

More Pics of Station Fire

From a Meadows neighbor, pics of the fire from La Canada (I think) and JPL. Gives good perspective on location.

Station Fire as Seen From Meadows

At around 7:30 p.m. this evening, flames from the Station fire in La Canada could be seen from the west side of The Meadows.

The Meadows FireSafe Council sent a mass email to neighbors with an attachment with great information about readiness in the event of a fire.

Please check your in-boxes (including junk and spam) for that email. If you did not receive it, I may not have your latest email. If you'd like to be included, please comment back to this post with your email or send me an email at

Station Fire Website Link

Here's a link to the incident website for the Station Fire in La Canada.

La Canada Station Fire

Have been trying to round up information on the La Canada Fire. As of this post, here's what I know:
1. The fire is 300 acres burning North
2. It has come over the ridge towards La Canada
3. Updates should be on momentarily.

Here's an email from JPL but this does have old information. May be from yesterday:

The Station Fire which ignited three to four miles northwest of JPL late yesterday afternoon has burned less than 100 acres. The fire is burning in rough terrain with heavy brush which has resulted in a large visible plume of smoke.

Fortunately, the wind is blowing at only five to eight miles per hour towards the north-northwest. The fire is not currently posing a threat to JPL. We anticipate that the Angeles Crest Highway (2) will remain closed throughout the day and evening. The JPL Fire Department is providing assistance to the U.S. Forest Service which is using the MESA to service its water dropping helicopters. Plans are for the helicopters to remain on the MESA throughout the night.

We are continuing to monitor the fire’s size and direction of burn for any appreciable changes.

Any updates will be communicated by email; or, the Emergency Public Address System or the Emergency Communication System.Due to the Station Fire and the Morris fire, both burning in the San Gabriel Mountains, air quality is expected to be poor today and for the next two or three days. Local temperatures are forecast to reach over 100. JPL personnel are advised to use caution during activities outdoors in smoky conditions.

All JPL personnel, especially those with heart or respiratory disease, are advised to avoid non-essential prolonged vigorous outdoor activity and to limit time spent outdoors when smoke is visible or the odor is present. Individuals with medical conditions sensitive to smoke exposure should monitor their condition and should continue taking their prescribed medications. Those who have asthma should keep their “as needed” medications or inhalers with them at all time. JPL personnel who must work outdoors should drink plenty of fluids throughout the day and rest indoors as needed.Office of Protective Services

More Buglary Info and Additional Crime

Some additional information on crimes that are being committed in Altadena. I haven't heard of any incidents in The Meadows, but no reason we shouldn't be sure to lock our doors, cars, garages, etc.

From our Town Councilperson, "...this is an organized crime", " is important to know that this is not just a random thing, these criminals know what they are doing."

From our Sheriff Liaison:
"Just in case you think the sheer number of burglaries isn't enough, here is information on a very brazen incident that occurred last night at Pepper and Glen Canyon. Thanks to Pasadena PD and the Altadena Sheriffs Deputies, there was a good outcome."

This email was sent to the Sheriff Liaison:
"Unfortunately, last night we became a victim of these thefts. A 15 year old Hispanic male came inside our house sometime between 11 and 1 AM, took my wife's keys off the entry table and then stole her car right out of our driveway. They had to drive between two other cars in the small circle drive and then over our lawn to get out onto glen canyon.

Usually we are in bed much earlier, but last night I stayed up to watch coverage of the La Canada fire and made it until 11 then went to bed. Our dog was not awoken as we sleep at an end of the house pretty far from the front door and she was in there with us. She woke up when the
Sheriff knocked on the door at 1:20 AM. The car had been located a few miles away and the kid driving it apprehended by Pasadena PD over near Howard and El Molino. He told the police he had permission to be driving the vehicle at the time, totally lying to the police while in

In executing some good police work, they had pulled him over because he looked out of place in the car and/or was driving erratically. The Sheriff escorted us down to pick her BMW up from
Pasadena PD and I must say all of these good folks were nothing but kind, helpful, understanding and wonderfully competent.

The car suffered some front quarter and right side damage and my wife's GPS and Bluetooth speaker system were both gone."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Water Use Workshop, Saturday Aug. 29

Altadena Heritage will is having a workshop on water use in the landscape including effective irrigation systems and practices, rain water harvesting and greywater systems.

Saturday, August 29 from from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Community Center, 730 E. Altadena Drive.

Irrigation contractor Tom Poplin will explain how to retrofit old systems, and a representative from J. Harold Mitchell Irrigation Supply will answer all questions.

Free to members, $5 to non-members. For more information, visit or call (626) 797-0054.

Recent Altadena Break-ins

From our Sheriff Community Liaison:

Many of you are aware, some more painfully than others, that we are experiencing a big spike in burglaries in Altadena - both residential and auto.

These burglaries are not isolated to Altadena. They are occurring all over Southern California.

Many gangs seem to have burglary teams. You may recall that at the beginning of summer, one group of burglars was caught in La Crescenta, and they were tied to Altadena burglaries. Within a few days, another burglary suspect was caught in the act in West Altadena.

Yesterday, two sets of burglars were caught outside of our area, all gang members. It is likely that one of the sets of burglars will be tied to some of the burglaries in Altadena. It is currently unknown whether the second set will be connected to any of the burglaries here.

We all should pay attention to any groups of two or three or four people, men or women, walking the neighborhood, knocking on doors, looking for opportunities.

If there is no response at the door, they often head to the rear or side yard to look for ways to gain entry. Some will defeat security systems, and dogs are not a deterrent. If someone inside the house answers, the burglars will often make up some story about car trouble, or a lost dog, or how they're "looking for a friend who lives here".

It was reported yesterday that someone gained entry by removing a window air conditioner in central Altadena. In another neighborhood, entry was made through a window on one side of the house, but the burglars had also opened a window and door on the rear, perhaps to exit quickly if necessary.

The most recent rash of auto break-ins are smash-and-grabs. The vehicle window is broken and a valuable is grabbed. These break-ins occur in the early morning hours, between midnight and 5 am. In the residential break-ins, the suspects often work in teams, with one or two canvassing for opportunity and others waiting in a car down the street, or around the corner.

If you see people walking in your neighborhood who are unknown to you, it's a good idea to just call the Altadena Sheriff's Station, describe what you're observing and the deputies will come out. Please do not confront strangers yourself. It is much better to let the deputies talk to them. It may be that they have a legitimate reason for being there, but it's also possible that they do not. Let the deputies sort it out.Park your cars in your garage if you have one. Do not leave any valuables in your car, especially those things that are easily grabbed, including portable GPS units, phones, MP3 players, handbags, wallets, coins, computers, or anything else that gives burglars an easy choice to make.

When in doubt about anyone in your area, call the Sheriff's Station. 626 798 1131.Stay vigilant, stay safe and don't make it easier on burglars and thieves.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rental Needed

I have someone looking for a rental house in The Meadows. Needs to be at least two bedrooms. Anyone know of anything?


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Art Opening

Meadows neighbor, Jane Szabo, has reentered the art world and will be one of the artists showing at "Art Opening at Gallery at the End of the World" on Thursday, September 3 at 6:00pm. (Jane was the artist who restored our Smokey the Bear sign.)

Come and support the arts (and Jane) at McGinty's eclectic Gallery at the End of the World.

Thursday night (9/3/09, 6-9pm) is a traditional art opening, no charge.
Friday night (9/4/09, 7:00pm - 1:00am) is a fun art party with live music and a $5.00 cover charge.

To see more details and RSVP, follow the link below:

Trail Clean-Up

"When I went up the Owen Brown Trail today to clean off the many deposits of dog-feces that I spotted on it yesterday, I was delightfully surprised to note that someone beat me to it. To whoever did it, a great big thanks! With that kind of spirit, we can maintain a very pleasant trail, up here in our 'back yard.' "

Ray Backes

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Too Toxic to Trash

Here's the next local roundup. Great way to dispose of old computers, phones, paint, etc.

Household Hazardous and E-Waste roundup
Saturday, September 12
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
County of Public Works Headquarters
900 Soouth Fremont Avenue

More info at or

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Basic C.E.R.T. Course

Oct. 13-17, 2009
Oct. 13-16 6:30 –9:30pm
Oct. 17 8:00am—4:00pm

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program is an all-risk, all-hazard training. This valuable course is designed to help you protect yourself, your family, your neighbors and your neighborhood in an emergency situation.

CERT is a positive and realistic approach to emergency and disaster situations where citizens may initially be on their own and their actions can make a difference. While people will respond to others in need without the training, one goal of the CERT program is to help them do so effectively and efficiently without placing themselves in unnecessary danger. In the CERT training, citizens learn to:
*Manage utilities and put out small fires
*Treat the three medical killers by opening airways, controlling bleeding, and treating for shock
*Provide basic medical aid
*Search for and rescue victims safely
*Organize themselves and spontaneous volunteers to be effective
*Collect disaster intelligence to support first responder efforts*

The course is conducted over 4 weeknights and 1 full Saturday


Course facilitate by the Community/Law Enforcement Partnership Programs Unit and the Regional Community Policing Institute-California

Space is limited!
Register for this FREE COURSE ONLINE at
or call (323) 526-5015

Co Sponsored by the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation

Saturday, August 01, 2009

CA Fair Plan Hearings

Insurance Commissioner Poizner Announces Hearings to Examine Availability of Homeowners Insurance and Fair Plan Concerns in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles.

Seeks Feedback from Wildfire Survivors, Insurers and Consumer Groups

Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced that the Department of Insurance will hold hearings for Santa Barbara and Los Angeles residents to discuss any concerns they have with the availability of private homeowners insurance and the Fair Plan.

Commissioner Poizner invites all stakeholders to attend the hearings so that he may gather information and feedback from policyholders, insurance agents and brokers, consumer groups and Fair Plan representatives. The Commissioner will use information gathered in the course of the hearing process to determine any recommendations he may make to improve the availability of private homeowners insurance in wildfire areas, and how Fair Plan policies are assigned.

Location of the August 19 hearing:
Ronald Reagan Building
300 South Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA

Location of the August 25 hearing:
Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors Hearing Room
County Administration Building
4th Floor
105 East Anapamu Street
Santa Barbara, CA

for more information: