Photographs from the San Gabriel Complex Fire in CA

Something you don't see everyday...A DC-10 a couple hundred feet off the deck
Something you don’t see everyday…A DC-10 a couple hundred feet off the deck

Mary and I love where we live, just inside the Angeles National Forrest, in Azusa, CA.  Unfortunately, we live in the “fire zone.”  This past Monday, we evacuated as the Fish Fire and Reservoir Fire exploded around us.  We always take our cameras, as you never know what you will see.  Here are a few photos from our week holed up in a hotel, including a massive and dramatic retardant drop by a DC-10 Supertanker.

The view from Interstate 210 East
The view from Interstate 210 East

The Reservoir Fire started north of us and mostly moved away from our home.  The Fish Fire started west of us above Duarte and Monrovia and slowly burned east and north toward us.  The Forest Service merged these two fires under a single incident command called the San Gabriel Complex Fire.  We had a pretty good view from the Embassy Suites in Arcadia.


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The terrain in the San Gabriel Mountains is very steep and it is hard to get fire crews on the ground.  The only option is to let the fire burn itself out and to lay retardant down to protect homes and set down a perimeter.

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The largest plane in the fleet is a specially designed DC-10.  I saw it for a few days and then it was off to another fire in Kern County, burning right now.

Notice the little lead plane guiding the DC-10 into position.

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The good news is we got back into our home after 4 nights and the San Gabriel Complex fire is about 50% contained.  There are still many helicopters in the area making water drops.

Sunrise on a smokey morning

Luckily, and with a lot of hard work from fire and police authorities, there were no lost structures or lives in this fire.  We appreciate what the forest service and fire authorities did.

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  1. Najasila

    Saw the hills burning from a meeting in Pasadena. So glad your home and family are safe. Amazing to see the plane drop, and to actually see flames?? Wow!

  2. Lettie

    So sorry you had to experience the evacuation. Glad your home is okay. These photos are awesome in a frightening way. They show how very brave the firefighters on the ground must be and the pilot of that plane!

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