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Marek and Sesnon Fire Update

Posted by feww on October 14, 2008

The Fire Industry’s War on California Resumes: How much will it cost to ‘fight’ the fires this time?

An update on SoCal’s Marek and Senson fires:

  • At least two deaths were reported.
  • Gov. Schwarzenegger declares a state of emergency in the burn areas.
  • Marek fire has consumed 6,000 acres (northeast side of the San Fernando Valley).
  • Sesnon Fire in the Porter Ranch area scortched about 5,000 acres (west side of San Fernando Valley).
  • Santa Ana winds blew up to 75 kmph with gusts reaching 115 kmph.
  • 1,000 firefighters and nine water-dropping aircraft were deployed at Marek Fire.
  • About 40 mobile homes, a dozen homes and an unspecified number of commercial sites burned at Marek Fire.
  • A Los Angeles County fire Inspector described the fire as a “blowtorch we can’t get in front of”.
  • Communities as far as Malibu, 35 km south of the fire were alerted by fire officials.
  • Officials prevented residents from driving into a Porter Ranch gated community to keep roads clear for emergency vehicles.
  • People parked their cars, ran to their homes and grabbed what they could carry. A few residents were seen clutching paintings as they fled their homes.
  • Marek Fire was just 5 percent contained, and prompted evacuation of about 1,500.
  • Flames jumped the eight-lane Foothill Freeway, which was closed in both directions between the 118 Freeway and Interstate 5, a three-mile stretch.

SoCal Fires Update October 15

Fleeing the Fires

Residents flee fast-moving brush fires in Los Angeles as wind gusts of up to 115 kmph shoot flames 70 m into the air.” Photo: Dan Steinberg/Associated Press. Image may be subject to copyright.

“We could have had an army there and it would not have stopped it… Wind is king here, it’s dictating everything we are doing.” Said the Los Angeles Fire Department Battalion Chief.

“This is what we feared the most … The winds that were expected — they have arrived.” Said a Los Angeles County fire Capt.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District urged people to avoid outdoor activities because the air quality may be unhealthful due to smoke pollution from the fires. Schools in the area were closed.

Of the two deaths so far reported one was a motorist who was killed in a head-on collision on a freeway ramp after vehicles turned around driving against traffic to exist the freeway to avoid the fire.

Cars travel in the wrong direction on the 118 Freeway as they are directed back to an onramp, where they exited to get out of the way of smoke and flames from the fire burning in Porter Ranch. October 13, 2008. (Photo: Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times).  Image may be subject to copyright.

The Sky Terrace Mobile Lodge in the northeast San Fernando Valley suffered significant damage to residences and structure from the Marek fire. October 13, 2008.
(Photo: Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times). Image may be subject to copyright.

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