California’s Station Fire Surrounds HomesSeptember 1, 2009 - 11:00 AM | by: Adam Housley
Massive flames are right behind homes here in Tujunga, California. Standing at our live location, I can feel the heat hundreds of yards away. It is already warm here and the humidity is again at record low levels. Unlike yesterday at the ‘Station Fire’ when we were in the country and more remote areas, today we are in the middle of a middle class neighborhood. Homes here built in the style of the early 70’s run right into the foothills and in this case, right in the path of the fire. Engines are parked facing out in the driveways of two-story homes and as we arrived about 3:00am local time, people were loading up and driving off, leaving hope behind in the hands of firefighters now facing in some cases 200-foot flames. Firefighters drag hoses in every direction and a large one has been trucked up the street, stretched from a different hydrant since water pressure on this block is light. I As I stand here on the street watching the massive flames form a ring of fire around this nearly empty neighborhood, I meet a number of homeowners who have decided to stay. Several man garden hoses and drench their trees and and eaves, hoping to keep embers away from starting a spot fire in their home. Firefighters and police officers give them an opening to drive their cars out if the flames consume their homes, but I know, the crews would rather they just leave and keep as much area open as possible.
The smoke here is extremely thick. Like you are standing in a steam room. As the sun finally breaks through the smoke in a faint orange glow, helicopters dive into nothingness, only to appear as the last drops of water drip from the bottom of their hulls. This firefight is so amazing to me because they aren’t being whipped as usual by the ‘Santa Ana Winds’, instead it is just the ultra dry conditions, drought and triple digit temps. Great for a fire and tough on those blocking its path.