Friday, September 4, 2009

Station Fire -- Friday Status - In Praise of Fire Bloggers

All signs are good. Only the faintest smell of smoke this morning at home. Smoke is light in downtown Pas as well. Red squares on the modis active fire map (indidcating fire activity within 24 hours) continue to dwindle and remain concentrated north-east of Mt. Wilson. I saw no activity on the southern front of the mountains. Accuweather still projects a cooling trend starting tomorrow with a high of 87. They forcast mid 90's today.

Last night Marcia attended the community meeting at Paznaz. I was playing soccer dad and couldn't make it. Her most vivid recollection of the meeting (aside from the crowd) were the comments from the Forest Service supervisor who emphasized that the size and devastation of this fire is unprecedented in LA County. Scrolling around the modis active fire map you get a sense for the ground this fire covered -- stretching from Santa Clarita to Acton to Altadena to Mt. Wilson and still heading east.

An overflow attended last night's meeting in Lee Chapel on the Paznaz campus. Plainly many people in the foothill communities of Altadena, Pasadena, Arcadia and Sierra Madre are interested in getting more information about the fire. Seems that officials who organized the meeting underestimated the level of interest.

Which brings me to the subject of fire blogging. It's important. And so are neighbohood email lists. When the air is thick with smoke, ash is falling and the helicopters are flying overhead, you want to know what's going on. And when your neighborhood is threatened by fire, you want information focused to where you live.

During last year's Chantry Flat Fire, local blogs were simply the best source of information about where the fire was burning and about threats to SM, NE Pas and East Altadena neighborhoods. The Foothill Cities Blog stepped up to serve as a kind of clearing house with clips and links to local blogs and traditional news sources. Bloggers in Sierra Madre tracked the fire's movements seemingly street by street. I posted photos and narrative from a NE Pas perspective. When we could see the fire from our neighbor's back yard and scrambled around for information, it was the local blogs that were most helpful.

The altadenablog has just been incredible in covering the Station Fire. The material they have posted and the many comments left by readers and other bloggers have been the best source of fire news for our area.

1 comment:

pasadenapio said...

It's remarkable to see how far our Pasadena-area blogosphere has evolved over time. The posts we do using "new media" including blogs, Facebook and Twitter quickly get passed from one person or group to another, and on and on.