April 2008

Updates from Alice Sarkisian Wessen and others


The Mt Wilson TowerCam is currently turned towards the
South with a Birds Eye view of the fire.

Current weather for Altadena:
Altadena Weather Cam:

From J. Lopez, Deputy Forester
County of Los Angeles Fire Department

FYI, For Current Fire Information Go To:



Be safe,
J. Lopez, Deputy Forester

NEWS FOR RELEASE: April 28, 2008
MEDIA CONTACT: Joy Guihama, Public Health Department, (626) 744-6050
Statice Wilmore, Public Health Department, (626) 744-6051


As a result of the ongoing wildfires in the foothills above Pasadena, Sierra Madre and Arcadia, air quality continues to remain unhealthful throughout the San Gabriel Valley.

As of today, the South Coast Air Quality Management District has upgraded the local air quality scale to unhealthy particle pollution levels for sensitive groups.

Pasadena Public Health Department is providing the following advisory for anyone children, seniors and anyone with medical issues such as heart disease, emphysema, asthma and other lung conditions:

* Stay indoors as much as possible.

* Keep windows, doors and fireplace dampers shut if possible.

* If possible, circulate clean air indoors through the use of air conditioners and/or air cleaners and purifiers. Air conditioners with HEPA filters further reduce the level of particles that circulate indoors.

* Avoid non-essential, prolonged vigorous physical activity outdoors.

* Monitor medical conditions and be vigilant about taking medications prescribed by health care providers.

* Anyone with asthma should keep “as needed” medications with them at all times and contact their health care providers if symptoms develop.

* People who develop persistent coughs or develop breathing difficulties should contact their health care professionals.

For more information visit the city of Pasadena website at http://www.cityofpasadena.net or the Air Quality Management District website at http://www.aqmd.gov, or call Pasadena Public Health Department (626) 744-6012 or AQMD at (800) 288-7664.

# # #

Winds are expected at 15-20 mph today and containment isn’t expected until Tuesday or Wednesday per KPCC.

Currently 350 acres burned and 400 firefighters are on the scene. Here are updates from area listserves.

Feel free to cross post
Other Altadena listserves bcc’d to protect the privacy
of their emails.

To all neighbors and other Altadena neighborhoods

At 11PM, about 100 homes are being evacuated as the
100-acre wildfire in the Angeles National Forest
creeps closer to foothill neighborhoods in Sierra

We are lucky (so far) that the winds are not picking
up. Of course that could change.

Firefighters hope to have the fire contained by
Sunday, according to Elisa Weaver of the Arcadia Fire

I found the best breaking news at KFWB:


CBS 2: http://cbs2.com/firewatch/

Alice Wessen
Moderator, Chaney Trail
President, Chaney-Millard Fire Council
— Gaboon <gaboon@sbcglobal.net> wrote:

> 11:57pm
> Dear Altadena Neighbors,
> I just spoke with our own County Fire Station 12 to
> get an update on
> the Sierra Madre / Chantry Flat fire burning east of
> us. From our
> ridge we can see the orange glow of the fire and
> feel the
> intermittent wind shift this way.
> Our fire station is well aware of the fire and on
> alert status. I was
> concerned about bothering busy fire personnel;
> however, they were
> appreciative of the call and pleased that our
> neighborhood wants to
> be informed. It was recommended that I call Sierra
> Madre Fire Dept.
> Dispatch for the most current news to share with
> you…
> Sierra Madre Fire Dispatch said that the fire is
> currently burning
> just above Sierra Madre. A portion of the fire
> caused an evacuation
> of Chantry Flat earlier in the evening. The historic
> pack station and
> horses there seem safe at the moment, but the fire
> has already burned
> over 100 acres and is not contained in any
> direction. The fire is
> currently wind driven and burning slowly in a
> Southwesterly
> direction. She said that a mandatory evacuation
> order is about to be
> issued for homes just below and to the Southwest of
> the fire. Though
> the fire is burning slowly, there is concern about
> wind increasing
> later tonight. No water dropping aircraft can attack
> the fire until
> morning.
> For the Chaney Trail Neighborhood, there are Fire
> Safe Council reps
> who will keep a weather eye out and call if any
> imminent danger
> develops, even late at night. I’ve spoken with Alice
> Wessen, our
> listserve moderator / Fire Safe Council rep. She
> will be vigilant and
> alert other Fire Safe Council members as necessary.
> Outside the Chaney Trail Neighborhood, please
> forward this to your
> own Fire Safe Council and neighbors, as you think
> best.
> While there is no immediate danger, this might be a
> good time to be
> aware of your fire preparations. Consider this a
> practical rehearsal.
> That’s all the news I know at this time.
> Stay Safe,
> Lori

I should have been writing about this all along, but haven’t for some odd reason.

In February my husband and I dug up our rosebushes and replaced them with lettuce, beets, arugula, tomatoes, herbs and sweet peas. We had bought a lot of other seeds, but didn’t have enough room.  I was worried about foraging rascals of the wild coming to dine on our feast, but none appeared. We’ve eaten all but one head of lettuce, planted way too much arugula and are waiting for the tomatoes and beets to mature.

It’s been a joy to have a vegetable garden again. Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle was a bit of a spur to get us going, plus the roses were looking rather pathetic the past couple of years. It is our small effort at being more self reliant and eating healthier. We’re considering reclaiming a stretch of our lawn for cultivation, as well. We have too much lawn sucking up too much precious water. That effort will probably have to wait until next year.  We’re opening up Steve’s new office here in Altadena and trying to complete some home improvements that are desperately needed.

In the meantime I’ll support the new Altadena Farmers Market in addition to the one in La Canada and go visit the community garden on Lincoln to see what they’re up to over there.  Garden on!!

I started to write this morning that our little nest has been vacated by mom because haven’t seen her in the nest since Sunday. I have seen her flying about a couple of times, but no nest visit. As I was writing I decided to check again and there she was, though she flew away as I neared. At least she’s there and hope continues for the offspring.

From the LBNelert — would like to see more sources on this. But some common sense advice we can all follow and improve the situation: avoid using chemicals in your yard. No pesticides, no weed killers, no poisons. Use natural alternatives and work with nature instead of trying to fight it. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re not winning.

WHY FLOWERS HAVE LOST THEIR SCENT: Pollution is dulling the scent of flowers and impeding some of the most basic processes of nature, disrupting insect life and imperiling food supplies, a new study suggests. The potentially hugely significant research – funded by the blue-chip US National Science Foundation – has found that gases mainly formed from the emissions of car exhausts prevent flowers from attracting bees and other insects in order to pollinate them. And the scientists who have conducted the study fear that insects’ ability to repel enemies and attract mates may also be impeded.

I’ve been loving all the exotic sounds filling the hills of late. Birdlife is everywhere, including my yard. The other day two hummingbirds were flying around while we ate dinner outside, and now it’s obvious why. This morning my husband discovered a hummingbird nest low in our backyard sycamore tree. Beautiful little thing. 








So this little gem, along with the parrot squawks, woodpecker pecks, peacock coos, crow cackles and a pair of mockingbirds doing their Deliverance routine, and whatever songbird likes to sing most of the night, makes Altadena — a helluva noisy place to live! In a good way, of course…

We ran out and bought a new feeder to make sure the mother-to-be doesn’t have to go far for her energy. Now I need to study up so I know what to expect for the expecting!

Getting quite a response to the post about Altadena in the media. I also saw the ranch market on Orange Grove in Monk, and remember when they transformed the Presbyterian Church on Lake into a winter snow scene for Judging Amy’s wedding? The lawn was fried golden brown when they finally lifted the fake snow.

The Fair Oaks Burger joint still looks like pirates are living there. Wonder if it was for something like Chuck? I miss that show.

Keep sending your Altadena TV/commercial/movie sightings!

This Saturday, April 19, 2008 10 to 3pm

Sunnyslope Park,

Blogger’s Picnic & Softball Snark

700 N Sunnyslope Ave (at Orange Grove)
Pasadena, CA 91107

Potluck, Tea Party, Anonny Convention

Bring blanket or chair & something to share.

Be square and be there.

Sorry, my blogroll disappeared. Will find and reinstate asap!

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