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Arson is Now Officially the Cause of the Station Fire – 400 Anxious Residents Attend Meeting with Fire Officials

Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron told the meeting that fire investigators have ruled that the cause of the Station Fire was Arson

Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron told the meeting that fire investigators have ruled that the cause of the Station Fire was Arson


At a community meeting held Thursday evening at the Church of the Nazarene, Angeles National Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron said” Life is not going to be the same as we’ve known it.” She added that the Station Fire is” history in the making…” referring to the massive size of the unpredictable fire.
She then read a statement which most in the audience had not yet heard. Noiron said that after exhaustive forensic tests, the determination of fire officials was that the fire was indeed arson. At this point, enormous collective sigh could be heard in the 400 strong audience.

Facing some harsh criticism from a couple of concerned residents, Incident Commander Mike Dietrich, (wearing a black bar over his badge in honor of the two firefighters who died Sunday) pointed out that the weather was a significant factor in the quick spread of this fire. The majority of the over 400 people who attended had nothing but praise and thanks for the firefighting efforts as well as a lot of questions.

Incident Commander Mike Dietrich explains the fire's path

Incident Commander Mike Dietrich explains the fire's path

The air attacks have been significant in this fire but the smoke has delayed some operations with the aircraft.

“It’s the boots on the ground” Dietrich said- referring to the firefighters who are entrenched in the fire who are keeping this fire away from foothill communities like Pasadena, Sierra Madre and Monrovia. The general consensus is that officials feel confident. Trying to allay any fears, the Station Fire Incident Commander Mike Dietrich said he felt “It looks good for residents here in the foothills.”

Hopefully putting to rest the fears that Sierra Madre is next on the fire’s waiting list, Dietrich said he is confident the 4000 plus firefighters battling this fire will contain it soon. Officials from Sierra Madre, Arcadia, Monrovia and Pasadena attended the meeting.
As a result of the Arson ruling, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department homicide bureau has initiated a full scale homicide investigation, officials said.

Chief Donovan and Chief Heydorff

Chief Donovan and Chief Heydorff

The Station Fire, named because of its proximity to a nearby USFS Ranger Station has burned over 230 square miles of land within the Angeles National Forest and near surrounding foothill communities of La Canada Flintridge, La Crescenta, Acton, Soledad Canyon, Pasadena, Glendale and Sierra Madre. The goal of the Incident Management Team is to keep the fire west of Highway 39 and Angeles Crest Highway, east of Interstate 5, south of Highway 14, Pearblossom Highway, and Highway 138, and north of the foothill communities and the Angeles National Forest Boundary. The fire is moving into areas of the forest with no recorded fire history.

Tonight weather will be mostly clear with temperature between 64 – 74 degrees. Tomorrow will be in the low to mid nineties and 80 to 88 degrees in the upper elevations. The weekend should bring an increasing onshore flow and a cooling trend.

Photos by Terry Miller

September 4, 2009

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