Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Not Again!?!

Bel Air Fire, Stone Canyon Road, 1961. Photo by Jon Woods for the Valley Times.

One of the worst fires in my memory was the Bel Air fire of November, 1961. The Santa Ana winds were blowing, fanning the flames. So many homes were lost. My Aunt and Uncle owned a home in Bel Air and I remember my Uncle telling me that he was up on the roof with the home's Caretaker, both wielding garden houses to wet down the wood shingle roof and keep the sparks from igniting. It worked! Marvin and Louis save the house when so many structures all around them were damaged
LAFD, near the Bel Air Fire, 1961. Photo by Alan Hyde for The Valley Times
Click HERE to see KTLA-TV news coverage of the Bel Air fire.
As a direct result of the Bel Air fire, the City of Los Angeles initiated a series of laws and fire safety policies which included the banning of wood shingle roofs in new construction. There were also new laws about hillside brush clearance. Thankfully, these laws stand today. 
The high Santa Ana winds that we are experiencing now are REALLY fanning the flames in Southern California. We have numerous fires burning. Closest to us is the Skirball Fire in the Sepulveda Pass, threatening homes in Bel Air and surrounding areas once again! The 405 Freeway is closed in both directions. My office balcony has a view of the Getty Center, in the center of this fire. You can see all the smoke surrounding the white buildings on the hill.
Smoke and fire surrounding Getty Center, Bel Air. December 6, 2017
The air quality on the Westside of Los Angeles isn't great today. Stay safe. Proceed with caution.
Skirball Fire view from La Cienega/Jefferson Metro Platform. Decemeber 6, 2017

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At 11:58 AM PST, Blogger Jamie Jamison said...

My family moved to LA in 1960. I was 7 or 8 at the time but still remember the Bel Air fire.

At 6:09 AM PST, Blogger Deb said...

My daughter-in-law had to find an alternate route to an audition yesterday since the 405 was closed. She and my son have opened their apartment to a friend who's been evacuated. Scary times!


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