Saddleridge Fire (Los Angeles) check-in October 11, 2019 6:43 AM   Subscribe

I'm near Reseda & Lassen.

They just opened my closest rec center (Northridge) as a shelter, as Granada Hills and Mason St. centers are full. So that's probably...a good sign? The air is pretty bad, I'm about to turn the AC on to filter for a little while. I went out to put some water and dog food in the car just in case, and kicked up ash off the car when I opened the hatch.

Spectrum is having a valley-wide outage, my husband just got to work in Calabasas and found out, so neither of us have good internet. I am LADWP rather than PG&E or Edison, so I don't expect my power to go out unless something takes it out.

I'm not a native and have only lived around here for 5 years, I don't know what scenarios have been hypothesized in which a fire would jump 118 and burn downhill. It seems very unlikely. Things seem real bad for the above-118 part of Porter Ranch and the hills along the highway toward Simi Valley. I am hearing that there's pretty much no way South out of Santa Clarita now, unless you want to go around the back of the mountains toward San Bernardino.

CSUN has closed, and Granada Hills HS just closed, but I'll bet the former is to reduce traffic into the valley and the latter is to use it as a shelter and just get the kids home; their air quality is likely worse than mine because the 405 is sort of a wind tunnel through the hills directly from where the fire is.

I'm here until I have to leave; I have two large dogs and no crates. I think our fire risk is moderately low, just air quality is a concern.

HOWEVER, anybody who's in worse shape than that and wants to at least get farther away, let me know. My dogs aren't even friendly to each other, but I've got at least two sequesterable areas in the house where we could take folks with pets or kids, at least for long enough to figure out Plan B.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:42 AM on October 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

This was a bit of a taste of technological breakdown for me. I knew about the fire but wasn't aware of its full scope so we left very early this morning for Oakhurst and ended up having to turn around and give up. Google Maps totally failed for the first time I've seen. It couldn't handle the road closures and kept redirecting us between different closed routes. One of them involved a twisty mountain road that would be a total death trap were the fire to come through. Even right now, a few hours later, it is still suggesting a route north via the 5 even tho it knows the roads are closed. Don't throw out those Thomas Guides yet.
posted by feloniousmonk at 11:15 AM on October 11, 2019 [5 favorites]

Lyn Never, it would be a VERY big deal if the fire were to jump the 118. If it starts looking even a little likely they'll pull in firefighters from all over Socal to stand guard and put things out. My folks were just on the other side of Valley Circle from the big fires last year and said there were trucks from a dozen different fire departments camped out on Valley Circle to douse anything that might try to jump - and the 118 is a whole hell of a lot wider than Valley Circle for an ember to jump and catch. Not saying it's impossible - I remember a fire that crossed a couple highways in SD, maybe 2003? It was BIG news - but they will pull out all the stops they can trying to prevent it, if the wind shifts that way, and I think CA fire depts have got a whole lot savvier about wildfire containment since 2003.

Best of luck to all my Valley mefites <3 Stay safe.
posted by potrzebie at 1:49 PM on October 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

Yeah, Cedar Fire jumped the 15 during Santa Ana conditions in 2003, but it did so kind of in the middle of Miramar Air Station, where there was a bunch of nothing (i.e. dry brush) on both sides of the freeway.
posted by LionIndex at 3:01 PM on October 11, 2019

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