My parents were interviewed by ABC news in La Canada yesterday, and they aired the segment today. My mom talks on camera, and you can see my dad and sister in the background working to put in sand bags, etc. You can also see my family home. If the mud comes, this may be the last pics I ever see of it!source page: http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/1009/668083_video.html?ref=newsstory
(my Mom's interview is at the 1 minute mark)
Wednesday Sept. 2, 2009, 3:20 PM
Well, we are finally back in our home.
I woke up at about 5:00 AM on Saturday, and although there did not seem to be any immediate fire danger, the smoke and ash were very thick. As the sun came up, the falling ash looked like grey snow, and it was difficult to breathe.. Finally about 7:45 AM I woke Robin, and told her we had to get out of here.
We threw a few things in the car, along with the two dogs and the cat and drove up to our place in Lake Arrowhead. We were already gone, but apparently, a mandatory evacuation notice was issued about 11:00 AM, and the sheriffs came by and told everyone to leave.
We don't have a landline phone at Arrowhead, so no internet, but we kept in touch with cell phone. Our son Greg (who lives in Humboldt County) started monitering the internet and keeping us informed. He started a blog listing all the internet sites concerning the "Station Fire," including the City of La Canada Flintridge site which has an active website that has been updated hourly with detailed information as to closures and evacuations. Some of the news reports and the website updates were getting their information off Greg's blog--pretty funny, since he lives almost 700 miles away.
We were also kept up to date via cell phone connection with a few neighbors, some of whom stayed at their homes in spite of the mandatory evacuation orders. We are very indebted to them and their willingness to share their "on-the-site" observations. \
At about 5:30 PM last evening, it came over the radio that the mandatory evacuation notice had been lifted. Unfortunately, our cat had decided that the bedspread made a much more attractive place to do his business than the litter box, so when the notice was announced over the radio, we had just put the huge bedspread and the sheeets in the washing machine at the laundermat. The washing, rinsing and drying cycle takes over an hour, and it takes another half hour to get back to our home at Arrowhead, and then two hours to drive back to La Canada.
So, we decided to stay there last night, and come home this morning. Unfortunately, when we were ready this morning to come home, the Damn cat couldn't be located. He finally came back about 1:00 PM, and we drove home and arrived about 3:00 PM.
It is nothing short of miraculous. There are almost sixty houses in our neighborhood, all of them backed up to the Angelus National Forest, AND NOT ONE SINGLE HOUSE WAS LOST.
The fire burned down to within a few feet of the landscaping, but was stopped, not only before it burned our house, but stopped before it burned our landscaping--Amazing!!! Even our pine trees were saved.
Everything is a mess. A thick layer of ash covers everything. Our pool is black with ash and soot. The house reeks of smoke, but there is no permanent damage.
Anyway, that's the latest report on the Gehr saga--we're all fine, and our house is fine, as are the houses of all our neighbors. God was keeping watch over us--and so were the heroic firemen who risked their lives to save our property.
Bill & Robin
Here is the tweetgrid.com layout that I am using to monitor twitter for up to date info on the fire (lots of pics too). I think that this tweetgrid is the best source of raw, up to the minute information that I have found, give it a try! http://is.gd/2ES3L
I have been asked what search terms are used for the columns in the tweetgrid.com link, above (which you should feel free to modify).
1. La Canada OR Flintridge
2. La Crescenta OR Tujunga OR Sunland -handyman (the "-handyman" switch eliminates some annoying twitter spam)
3. "Angeles National Forest" OR "Station Fire" OR "Angeles Crest"
Likewise, there is an updating graphics engine at Twitcaps that will present you with photos and videos from around the web. I am using the search term "La Canada", please modify it to your town or even "station fire" for slightly different results. http://twitcaps.com/search?q=La+Canada
KNX1070 has streaming audio available and is doing fantastic job of covering fire, very current info. (and, it even works on my mac!) http://www.knx1070.com/
KABC is a great source of streaming video, @wilw (author/director/actor Wil Wheaton) on twitter sez "Thank you to @abc7 for being the ONLY local station covering the huge brushfire that's threatening homes in La Crescenta, where I grew up." http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/index
Live fire and police radio frequencies can be monitored streaming over web here (try the feeds with the most listeners first): http://www.radioreference.com/apps/audio/?ctid=201
La Canada Flintridge city website has fire updates. Looks like they're posted hourly (mostly): http://www.lacanadaflintridge.com/
Insightful and information-rich blog of the fire from a firefighter's perspective. Great maps and satellite imagery. http://firefighterblog.blogspot.com/
Aggregated data collected by the Los Angeles Times and displayed in Google Maps http://tr.im/xknl
Mount Wilson Observatory Webcam (west view), LIVE! Updated every two minutes. http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~obs/towercam.htm
Mt Wilson Observatory Blog, lots of fire updates from their perspective: http://www.mtwilson.edu/fire.php
The LA County Fire Department website with tips for evacuations and safety during fire storm situations. http://www.fire.lacounty.gov/SafetyPreparedness/SafetyPrepFireStorms.asp
City of Glendale Emergency Opera tions Center fire information (lists evacuation info for La Crescenta): http://www.ci.glendale.ca.us/
Altadena blog begins to track fire updates as fire spreads in that direction. They have redirected a weathercam toward the approaching fire. http://www.altadenablog.com/2009/08/station-fire-continuing-updates.html
Directory of Glendale blog starts tracking fire updates: http://www.directoryofglendale.com/blog/headline/hourly-updates-la-canada-fli...
"The Real La Canada" friend feed is collecting information and stories about the fire from locals, check it out at http://friendfeed.com/thereallacanada
Another good list of resources, photos, and other information about the Station Fire from Susan Kitchens at 2020 Hindsight: http://www.2020hindsight.org/2009/08/29/station-fire-in-la-canada/
Excellent article about the the effects of this and other fires on the local residents by Kathy Kristof of CBS Moneywatch http://tr.im/xqtJ
This is Station Fire: http://twitpic.com/fx2f8
8/31/09 NEW LINKS:
As the fire spreads, there are new links that may begin to contain relevant information to those tracking the fires, such as:
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff incident news web site: http://incident.scvsheriff.com/news_room/
LA County Fire Department information: http://www.fire.lacounty.gov/
LA County Department of Public Works, Road Closure Info: http://dpwgis.co.la.ca.us/website/roadclosures/main.cfm
Phil Hulett of KFWB is back on the job, get breaking fire updates at http://twitter.com/philhulett/
TCN North Now: news about Glendale, Crescenta Valley, Burbank and La Cañada - summarizes some good local fire news coverage: http://tcnnorth.wordpress.com/
***Please note, this post is now closed. However, most of the links are to dynamic information sources that update periodically, and can still be of great value to anyone trying to stay on top of the fires.