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Station fire update: Blaze expands across southern California for fifth day

(AP Photo/Dan Steinberg)
(AP Photo/Dan Steinberg)
Southern California wildfire seen from space
The Southern California Station Fire as seen from space (courtesy Chelys)

Station fire update:

The ever expanding Station Fire in the Angeles National Forest has now consumed 35,200 acres and is projected to blaze through much more in the coming days as unrelenting high temperatures continue in Southern California. 

  • View the latest station fire photos in southern California

Currently 10,000 homes are threatened along with 500 other commercial properties and 2,000 more additional structures.

The fire is currently chewing through large swaths of heavily fueled areas on National Forest land, some of which has not seen a major fire for 40 years. As a result, the tinder dry trees and scrub in the area are fueling flames up to 80 feet high.  Gusty winds of up to 20 mph continue to fan and spread the flames as well, increasing the risk to all surrounding areas.

Over 1,800 personnel are on the scene working to tame the blaze, but with only 5% of the fire currently contained, full containment is not projected to occur until after Labor Day.

At the eastern front of the fire's 20 mile span, flames reached within two miles of the famous Mt Wilson Observatory. Crews are working to cut and clear vegetation in order to protect the century old institution. 

The fire also continues to threaten and damage many popular hiking, backpacking and outdoor recreation areas like Millard and Chilao campgrounds, Switzer Falls picnic area and the numerous trails and fire roads crisscrossing the National Forest.

Meanwhile, additional homes and neighborhoods continue to be evacuated along the south and western edges of the fire.  At least three residents of the area were hospitalized after sustaining serious burns and injuries while trying to protect their homes. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger urged residents within evacuation areas to leave their homes behind.

Evacuation orders are currently in effect for cities ranging from Glendale, La Canada/Flintridge, Altadena, Big Tujunga, La Cresecenta and Pasadena.  The spreading fires are expected to threaten more surrounding cities such as Monrovia and Glendora in the days to come.

For more info: See Friday and Saturday's posts on the California wildfires.