Just how close the recent ‘Station’ fire in the mountains north of Pasadena came to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab is clearly seen in this astonishing photo released recently by the agency.
The fire, named for the 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. Although now more than 42% contained fire authorities in LA estimate it will take until at least Sept 15 to completely control the blaze which is attacking forest areas in the San Gabriel Mountains with no recorded fire history.
The fire, now classed as arson, started on Aug 26 and is the largest in LA County history. So far it has cost the lives of two fire fighters as well as taken millions of dollars out of the state’s hard pressed wildfire fighting budget well before the peak of the traditional fire season.
(Coulson Flying Tankers)
Fire fighting included the first use of the Evergreen converted Boeing 747-200 tanker, while other ‘heavy metal’ assets included two DC-10s and one of the Coulson Flying Tankers Martin Mars flying boats.
Some idea of how surprisingly close to the edge of the nature JPL is can be seen by this image of a deer browsing the grass within the center’s fenced off areas. Given the fury and extent of the fire it is anyone's guess as to how long it will be before sights like this, routine until now, will be commonplace again.