Friday, September 4, 2009

City Preparations Update

Sierra Madre, CA September 4, 2009, 5:30 p.m. – City Preparations Update

The Sierra Madre Fire Department and City Officials continue to closely monitor the Station Fire. There is still no imminent danger to Sierra Madre residents and no evacuation orders have been issued. The City of Sierra Madre will maintain its current state of optimal preparedness throughout the Labor Day weekend.

The Station Fire continues to be a slow-moving, terrain-driven fire that is currently 42% contained and has burned 148,258 acres. Current estimates place the closest edge of the fire at more than 3.5 miles north of the City. Incident Command indicates that areas south and east of Mt. Wilson are still a high priority. This includes the foothill communities, including Sierra Madre and Chantry Flats. Incident Fire officials have been giving the enthusiastic approval of the City to maintain an informational bulletin board at Kersting Court. At this time, the City is unsure when it will arrive or the duration it will be located within our City.

The fire is now moving into heavy fuels, timber trees, and thick brush within the San Gabriel Wilderness north of the Cogswell Reservoir. This area has no historical record of burning and heavy smoke columns are expected. Current weather patterns are slightly pushing the fire further north and away from the city. This weather has shown to reduce the smoke in the area; however the heavy brush will continue to produce Pyrocumulus clouds, as see over the mountains this afternoon.

Work on multiple protective fire breaks has been completed as of early this evening. The fire breaks are designed to hold the fire well north of the wildlife/urban interface. Firefighting operations will continue to take place both day and night to hold the fire north of the containment lines that have been established from Mt. Wilson to Highway 39. Controlled fire operations may also be conducted along these lines which are at least three ridges (or about 3.5 miles north) away from Sierra Madre. The controlled fire operations increase the effectiveness of the fire breaks, but should produce more smoke and flame in areas north of the City.

The City of Sierra Madre would like to request that all residents to take time to review their emergency preparations and plans for all emergency situations including wildfire, mudslides, and earthquakes. Residents are encouraged to be “Ready for 7”; with 7 days worth of food, clothing, medicine, pet food and supplies should they have to leave their homes. Please visit the City’s website, for more information.

As the fire predicted to continue to burn for many days, wild animals will be leaving their habitats and entering the City. Public Safety Officials warn residents to be cautious and leave all wildlife animals alone. For the safety of these animals, please do not feed them. Residents may want to take caution and keep small children and pets indoors.

In compliance with an order from the US Forest Service and the LA County Sheriff Department, the City is closing until further notice Bailey Canyon, Mt. Wilson Trail and access roads to Chantry Flats. These closures will continue throughout the Labor Day weekend and will be strictly enforced.

Fire conditions are changing constantly and this message contains the most current information the City of Sierra Madre has at this time. City Hall will be closed in observance of Labor Day Monday, September 7, 2009; however, City officials will continue to monitor and update the City’s message boards throughout the weekend. At this time, the City Council meeting for Tuesday, September 8, 2009, will take place at its regularly scheduled time.

For more information, please tune into SMTV3, channel 3 on Time Warner Cable, or eBlasts will also be sent out to registered users – to register for email alerts please visit, click on AccessSierraMadre, and then click CommunicationLink to register your email address.