Monday, September 7, 2009

California's Still Burning

"LOS ANGELES – Just as firefighters were intensifying their efforts Monday to contain the flames menacing the foothill neighborhoods of the San Gabriel Valley, another part of the deadly fire in the Angeles National Forest flared up.

Fire officials canceled plans to burn out brush and create a buffer south of the ferocious fire to protect communities from Azusa to Pasadena.

Incident Commander Mike Dietrich said at a Monday night news conference that the weather — including 30-40 mph winds and 10 percent humidity — didn't cooperate, and the aircraft needed to support and monitor the burnout operations were diverted to the fire's northeastern flank.

The blaze was 56 percent contained and had blackened 157,220 acres, or 246 square miles, as it burned deeper into the wilderness in its 13th day, feeding off leaf litter on the ground, old growth and dead timber.

"Even the mountain goats won't climb in there because it's so steep and rugged," U.S. Forest Service spokesman Nathan Judy said."
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