Fire in Monrovia growing by the hour

A fire broke out this morning on Avacado Place in Monrovia near the “M” that is visibile from the 210 Freeway.  It was started by a gardener accidentally.  (Contrary to popular rumor it was not a 420 celebration).

Snarks aside this is a serious matter being made worse by lookie loos.  As of 4PM it was over 90 acres and a 3 alarm fire.  The lookie loos are so bad and thick it is getting hard for the fire fighters and law enforcement to get up to the fire.  Please stay away from the fire zone and use the parking lots at Santa Anita Mall, strip malls along Foothill and Huntington in Monrovia if you have to come see the smoke and flames.  Thats a good vantage point to watch and not interefere with evacuees leaving or those of us in the affected area from getting in and out of our homes.

As I blogged a while back during another brush fire, the hills above Monrovia and Duarte haven’t burned since the early 60’s and that is nearly 50+years of fuel to feed a fire.

More as this story develops.

Win Tix to Cirque Berserk This Saturday!

cirqueLA cirque-gone-feral performance troupe Cirque Berserk have arrived at the Nokia Theatre for a month-long engagement, and we’ve got a FREE pair of tix just for you!

You’ll enjoy your evening of lovely fire dancers, disturbing clowns, stunning aerialists, music and burlesque, chez bLA and Goldenvoice (thanks guys!).

To win: Tell me, in the comments, which sideshow attraction you would be if you had to be in a traveling circus. Would you be the bearded lady? The giant? The knife thrower? The fortune-teller? Let a girl know! We’ll randomly pick one lucky winner to go.

You can buy tickets here.

Photo by Brion Topolski.

Luckily, The Fire is Just a “Refinery Burn Off”

IMG_1755I spotted the same fire spotted by Will (see post directly below) on the East side of the Palos Verdes peninsula, in El Segundo, as seen from a different angle in Marina del Rey, less than 10 miles to the North.  My little Canon Elph can’t quite capture the flames moving and reaching 30 feet or more in height.  My first thought was that, at minimum, this is a large house fire, and maybe something bigger.

Fortunately, KCBS TV just reported that it’s a deliberate “refinery burn off.”  I sure hope that word spreads, otherwise there could be plenty of alarmed folks out there.

In Memoriam: Rikki Madrigal’s Story, by Brian Bentley

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing but burn, burn, burn like fabulous roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!'”Jack Kerouac

I agonized over how to write this, primarily because I knew the subject; she meant many things to me. Other folks around town have written it up already, but I really wanted to “do it justice”–not to mention the whole subject really threw me for an emotional loop–and so I lagged. But my personal baggage should not come between this post and whomever out there who may need to read it, so I’ve tossed my half-completed Notepad drafts into the recycle bin and have just come here, to the wordpress page, to compose this on the fly.

Los Angeles is full of a special breed of amazing women, inspired women, women who wear their damage like red dresses and with whom you fall impossibly in love. These women blaze a trail through the city, equally torn between their dreams and their demons. They’re artists, and in turn they inspire art; despite their sadness, they shine. You’d think with all the beauty that ripples out from them, they could see some sort of way through, but their lives accelerate too fast, and close in on them, and the beauty happens less and the desperation happens more.

I wish I could seize every one of these women by the shoulders and force her to grab onto peace, onto serenity, like a buoy in a sea. To hang on, and to slow down, and to change; to stop burning out so fast like a flare shot off into the night sky, falling fast and guttering, the sparkle turning, too fast, to ashes.

This is the story of Rikki Madrigal, whom I knew towards the end of her life. I did not know her well. When I knew her, I was pretty lost & sad as well.

If I knew her today I would never let her walk away from me the way I did the last time I saw her.

Continue reading “In Memoriam: Rikki Madrigal’s Story, by Brian Bentley”

Twitter on our community “LAfirestories” twitterfeed.

You can twitter about your experiences, concerns & ideas without creating a twitter account.

In addition to the email for your fire stories, concerns & questions (see post below this one), I’m also conducting an experiment: I’ve created a twitter account that anyone can login to and twitter about the fire, whether it’s just about your experience or whether it’s breaking news. I’m hoping no one abuses it. Let’s see what happens:

Twitter your fire story from LAfirestories at twitter.com: http://twitter.com/LAfirestories.

To login: You can login with the email metblogsfirestories (at) gmail (dot) com (of course please change the “dot” to a . and the “at” to an @, and remove any spaces). Your password is bigdumbfire.

I dunno if anyone will use it, but I’m curious to see how it’ll work.

Your stories are LA’s stories

We at metblogs can’t cover the fire like TV can, but we do one thing that I think we do better than almost anyone, and that’s sharing personal stories about what it’s like to live in LA.

And right now, it’s a little scary to live in LA.
I want to open Metblogs LA up to your stories:
If you have a story of gratitude towards firefighters, neighbors, or family;
if you want to share what your experience has been like;
if you have a message to get out;
if you’d like to ask for support;
if you’re seeking legal/insurance advice;
–and I personally am seeking stories about how we can help (do the shelters need food, water, or toilet paper? do the fire stations need food or gatorade for firefighters? what can we DO?)

–please send anything you’d like to share with the community to metblogsfirestories (at) gmail (dot) com.

I’ll be posting them all in some sort of wiki or a new little blog dedicated for this purpose. I reserve the right to edit them for language (although as I’m sure you’ve all gathered, I don’t have much of a problem with foul language), for spelling, and for clarity.

You can also e-mail your photos to that account as well. I’m sure we can do video too (please use a file-sending website like yousendit.com, don’t email the video file directly). I’m working on building a container for all your info now.

Big Dumb Fire in Sylmar fucking everywhere

Again.

[EDIT] 9:59PM: BEST MAP OF AFFECTED AREA HERE

[EDIT] AS OF 12:42pm, the best map I can find of the fire area & evacs is here.

[EDIT] as of 10:26 am, here’s a map of the affected area:

The following is from ktla news:

Fire officials say 2,600 acres — more than four square miles — have burned so far, with more than 1,000 structures threatened by uncontrolled flames.

Tanker planes were grounded at about 9:00am due to the dangerously high winds, according to a U.S. Forest Service base manager.

A red flag warning is in effect until 4:00pm today. Strong, sustained winds continue to blow, but are expected to die down somewhat by this afternoon. However wind will continue to gust to 50 mph throughout the day.

Evacuations Centers

Sylmar High School
13050 Borden Avenue, Sylmar
(818) 833-3700

San Fernando High School
11133 O’Melveney Avenue, San Fernando
(818) 898-7600

Kennedy High School
11252 Gothic Avenue, Granada Hills
(818) 271-2900

Chatsworth High School
10027 Lurline Avenue, Chatsworth
(818) 678-3400

Horses horses and other livestock are being housed at
Pierce College
6201 Winnetka Avenue, Woodland Hills
(818) 719-6401

Hansen Dam Equestrian Center
(at Foothill Boulevard and Orcas Avenue)

Fire Information: (800) 439 2909

Freeways are closed in the entire north end of the San Fernando Valley.

Road Closures

5 Freeway closed in Newhall Pass. Vehicles are being taken off the freeway northbound at the 118 freeway and southbound at the 126 freeway.

210 Freeway closed in both directions between the 5 freeway the 118 freeway.

118 Freeway connection roads closed at the 405 Freeway.

405 Freeway closed northbound at the 118 Freeway.

14 Freeway closed at San Fernando Road.

Evac instructions as of 2:00am (yes, I am up reading Twilight & smelled smoke):

Sylmar Fire Evacuation Information:

SYLMAR (CBS) ― The Mission Division Police Department is evacuating all residents north of the 210 Freeway and south of Olive View Hospital and Hubbard.
On the westside of Sylmar, evacuations are ordered for residences north of the 5 Freeway. The eastern boundary of the evacuations is set at Hubbard Street.

There is an evacuation center in place at Sylmar High School, located at 13050 Borden Avenue, and San Fernando High School, at 11133 Omelveny Avenue in San Fernando.

Pets can be taken to the evacuation centers and will be kept on the football fields.

Large animals can be stored at Hansen Dam, at 11770 Foothill Boulevard in Lakeview Terrace.
View Larger Map