Earlier in the morning, fire officials had reported just 5% containment for the Station fire, which had consumed about 20% of the 650,000-acre Angeles National Forest. But amid more favorable weather conditions, firefighters made significant progress, even as the fire continued to rack up its toll, burning 62 structures as of Tuesday morning, according to the forest service.
Still, it continued to tear through the wilderness and got closer to Mt. Wilson, home to an array of broadcast equipment and an observatory. Steep terrain, extremely dry brush, anticipated triple-digit heat and winds of up to 30 miles per hour will likely continue to fuel the blaze, which officials don’t anticipate containing until Sept. 15, the Forest Service said.
“Right now it’s still looking to be the same as yesterday,” said Troy Waskey, fire information officer for the Station fire interagency command center at Hansen Dam Park. The National Weather service indicated a chance of thunderstorms in the area, increasing the fire danger.
Firefighters started controlled burns Monday in an attempt to fortify a buffer between foothill communities and the fire, holding at least one mile of separation between homes and the blaze, authorities said.
The strategic burns were conducted along Santa Carlotta Street in La Crescenta, Incident Commander Mike Dietrich said.
A Boeing 747 plane had dropped at least 20,000 gallons of flame retardant on the Santa Carlotta ridge as of Tuesday, and was to perform additional drops throughout the fire line, he said.
Strategic burns continued through Tuesday in Deukmejian Wilderness Park and other hillside areas, city spokeswoman Vicki Gardner said. Many residents wore dusk masks and gathered along Santa Carlotta Street to photograph the action.