Monday, November 17, 2008


When I'm involved in a theater production, just about everything else goes out of my head - especially when I have a cold at the same time. So on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday last week, I was either onstage or doing nothing.

It wasn't until late Saturday afternoon, when I was driving from Ontario back to the theater, that I started hearing about the full ramifications of the various southern California fires, including the fires on the borders of the Inland Empire.

Part of the reason that the fires passed me by was because they had minimal effects in the Ontario and Claremont areas. It wasn't until Sunday morning that I could even smell smoke, and it wasn't until Sunday afternoon that the smoke was heavy enough to obscure the mountains from view. The freeway closures were all outside of the immediate area, and I didn't even see any fire damage until I drove by Tonner Canyon in Orange County on Monday morning.

And I wasn't the only one who wasn't really affected by the situation. Life in Claremont went on rather normally on Sunday:

Temps are in the upper 80s and low 90s this weekend, and the fires are burning all around, but it's pretty calm and clear here in Claremont. We are in desperate need of rain here.

And, for the local blogs that I monitor, that was that about the fire until early Monday morning, when the Claremont Insider provided an update about a two-acre fire in San Bernardino.

So who WAS blogging about the Chino Hills fire?



Carbon Canyon blogger Paul:

Like many Carbon Canyon residents, I have been evacuated and remain away from my house about 36 hours now as the Triangle Complex fire has roared through the Chino Hills range and vicinity in Corona, Anaheim Hills, Yorba Linda, Brea and Chino Hills....

On the Chino Hills side, the flames reached to within probably 150 yards or so of our house, having descended the ridge separating Carbon from Soquel canyons and charred a portion of the property of friends of ours. The fire also reached the perimeter of other neighborhoods on both sides of the canyon and affected outlying areas such as the Vellano and Pinehurst areas of Chino Hills to the east and the sections north of Lambert Road and State College Boulevard, east of Brea Boulevard/Brea Canyon Road and up into Diamond Bar on the Brea side.

Long Beach blogger Jose Franco:

Julie and I went to see our nieces play soccer in Chino Hills on Saturday morning. The smoke filled sky behind these little children playing was surreal. The drive home took about two hours.

Anaheim blogger Karen:

[B]y the time we got to Chino, we discovered that the closure of one freeway had affected others. And a second freeway was shut down. The two closed freeways (the 91 and the 57) are my options for getting home to Anaheim.

But I persisted.

After spending two hours going so slowly that my mph couldn't be measured on the speedometer, I finally got a bit of a break. Then there was a major accident. Then there were just a lot of people. It took me three hours to get from Chino to Anaheim, which normally only takes about 30 minutes.

Loud & Obnoxious Vince:

Our friends in the Manahan family had to be evacuated from their home in Chino Hills and from what I've heard, they're still not able to go back to their house yet.

And there are probably others, but this first person account from John Lendl is worthy of note:

we saw glimpses of the sylmar fire when were in la but came home surprised to find a fire over in the time i got home, the fire got bigger and was over in yorba linda and anaheim hills. had lunch at lucille's for izzy's birthday. it was really nice to see my cousins and their families. i'm glad that a lucille's is now conveniently located two miles from my house. good food as always with a food coma as usual. another tko courtesy of lucille's bbq.

when i woke up, it was dark outside and the fire was even bigger. at this point...i really didn't think it would reach chino hills, let alone my neighborhood, so i went out....i came home around 11pm to find out on the news that the fire is getting more serious and it was making its way through carbon canyon. minutes family realizes the fire is in chino hills state park (which we live near the entrance of) but not yet in our city boundaries. i decide to stay up while my parents sleep.

around 2:30am...i decide to step out of the house and see what's going on with the fire, only to be shocked at the sight of the fire slowly but surely engulfing the hills by our neighborhood. at this point...i knew we weren't safe anymore and we had to leave asap. i immediately woke up my parents and we rushed to pack up our cars with essentials. while i maintained a calm mood...i was definitely nervous and scared....

Read the rest here.

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