Santa Anita Fire/ Chantry Flat Fire: Overnight flareup, no structural damage

UPDATED (scroll to bottom for updates)
(According to Pasadena Star News, this fire has three names: Santa Anita Canyon Fire, Chantry Flat Fire, and Santa Anita Fire.)

I went outside around 10 or 11 last night to look at the hills and see what could be seen. There was one ambiguous point of light (was it flickering?) that was visible from one location but not visible from the street.

91024, InSierra Madre, and Sierra Madre News.net mention the late night flare up. Sierra Madre News posted updates all night [no permalinks to posts; it’s all on the front page of the site]. The best statement, in all caps, is no structural damage overnight:

Fire update 7:10am
City Manager and Emergency Operations Director Elaine Aguilar talking about the fact no structures were lost overnight – “The fire came right up to the rear properties, and the firefighters did a phenomenal job protecting the structures. I was really impressed, it was amazing.”
Fire update 6:55am
REPEAT – NO STRUCTURAL DAMAGE OVERNIGHT!!! Absolutely amazing. I’m expecting a press release by e-mail, will post it when it comes in. Meantime, here’s what was said at the press conference, in a nutshell. Firefighters made stands at a few homes overnight, but no homes were lost. The main area of concern for structures as of the conference was up around the north end of Auburn Ave. Air crews will be starting up again at any time. Three new strike crews arrived overnight. Weather conditions today will be hot, in the nineties, but humidity will be a little lower. Four hundred residences have been evacuated, about 1000 people displaced. Still just the three injuries, a bee sting, a bad knee from terrain, and a fatigue related injury. The newswoman from Channel 2 was doing live remotes throughout the press conference, right next to my camera. I’m going to try and put the audio from my voice recorder with the video from my camera, and hopefully get that posted a little later.
Fire update 6:53am
NO STRUCTURAL DAMAGE OVERNIGHT!!!

Here’s the AP story on it

Current status: 30% contained 23% contained [see update from Pasadena Star News, below]

Fire crews battling a wildfire had a close call early Monday as winds, which had been fairly tame, unexpectedly kicked up and sent flames within yards of several houses. Firefighters watered down embers that drifted onto a few roofs and fought back the blaze.

UPDATE: Also worth reading: Pulling Together, a description from the command center– this is from Sunday night. It’s written by Jae, who says “I’m the Planning/Intelligence Coordinator for the Emergency Operations Center. It’s my job to know everything about everything and outplan the fire’s effects”

It’s like war out there. The troops come in, rest for a few minutes, re-arm, eat something, and head back to the fight. Some of the first responders are just now coming off the line after over 24 hours on station. Its amazing what these brave men and women are doing for our community. If you only knew how absolutely close we came to losing a large portion of the town last [Saturday] night… until the winds changed in our favor.

UPDATE 10:41am: Just saw this post w/ pix taken after being awoken by dog barks at 3am (must. resist. urge. to snark about political ads)

We were woken up at 3:00 am this morning by the dog barking and this scene of the fire creeping over the next ridge towards us. It appears that we are not out of danger yet.

The Foothill Cities Blog, as ever, gets good stuff. The comment section very helpful; people write reports, and last night’s flare up begins at around comment 63 or so.

The FC Blog’s Centinel discovered an
amazing photo set The caption in the first photo tells how photographer lead.salad got such wildfire paparazzi close up photos:

I was able to park my car at the foot of the mountain, walk past countless fire trucks (some filled with prisoners) and police officers, and hike 2 or 3 miles up the fire-scorched hill. I walked past a few families hosing their houses down, still refusing to evacuate. Nobody stopped me from entering the inferno

Don’t try this at home. Or in the foothills. But go and look at the photos.

Inciweb is calling this fire the Santa Anita Wildland Fire. The link goes to their incident report about the fire.

UPDATE 12:45 pm.
The latest story from the Pasadena Star News: Fire containment slipped back to 23% (was 30%); that last flare up burned more ground and shifted numbers. (hey! PSN is giving time-stamped updates to their story. Good)

Another photo set from Saturday/Sunday by Starfire imaging.

UPDATE 2:45 pm
The fire has moved west in the San Gabriel Mountains since it began. I went to lunch near Santa Anita Ave, and looked at the fire’s progress. It was a striking contrast to Saturday at 3 pm when I saw the fire not long after it began. On Saturday afternoon, I exited the freeway at Santa Anita and saw how smoke from the fire was just a bit to the right of Santa Anita. Or, to put it in clock parlance, if straight ahead is 12 o’clock, the fire was at about 12-thirty. By that same measurement, the fire is at about 10 o’clock.

Debbi at Altadena Above It All posted a “Hey Altadena, Heads up!” bulletin to get prepared “in case it comes our way.” Well, it’s moving in that direction all right. Fortunately, the winds are light-to-none, so it moves slowly.

One response to “Santa Anita Fire/ Chantry Flat Fire: Overnight flareup, no structural damage”

  1. Mary Anderson

    Wow – great coverage – I am commenting for the first time by the way – so “Hello” as well – I can see the ridge line and the smoke at this moment from my office. What amazing firefighters we have here in SoCal!