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Flames are running along the ridge between Highway 138 and the Old Ridge Route. Scrub oak burst into flames. This photo was taken by Gary Sherfey at about 1:48 p.m., just before firefighters began arriving. The 911 calls were made by about 12:50 p.m. from several sources. AT&T workers can be seen in the truck near the fire. They said they also called in the fire. Sherfey reported they said they saw smoke start to rise in the canyon between the two roads just before the fire broke out.
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Gary Sherfey was standing on the Old Ridge Route when he took this photo, after calling 911. No firefighters were yet on the scene at 1:48 p.m. Friday, March 14. U.S. Forest Service engines came minutes after this photo was taken.
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Brush fire at Highway 138 and Old Ridge Route was called in to 911 at about 12:50 p.m. This photo taken at about that time is by Joan Kotnik of Lake of the Woods, who is east of the fire at a ranch in the area.
NEENACH, CA (Friday, March 14 at 4:10 p.m.)—The smoke is diminishing quickly. It appears the fire is under control.
NEENACH, CA (Friday, March 14 at 3:04 p.m.)—Gary Sherfey of Frazier Park said he believes there is a 20-25 mph wind in the area of the fire at this time. He called in a 911 alert at 12:51 p.m. He called Chuchupate (Mt. Pinos District headquarters of the Los Padres National Forest) at 1:33 p.m. when no firefighting assets had arrived yet. He said that U.S. Forest Service trucks arrived by 1:48 p.m. Four, including Los Padres 74, Angeles Forest 335 and 336 were working on knocking down the blaze, along with two Super Scoopers and a Los Angeles County Fire Hawk helicopter.
Sherfey said he saw AT&T workers in the area who claimed they saw the fire start. “It is burning on Tejon Ranch property and the Angeles National Forest at this time,” he reports. He adds his opinion that “if the two Super Scoopers were not here we would be talking about thousands of acres by now.” Sherfey is a former firefighter for Cleveland National Forest who also worked as a “Hotshot” for two seasons, he said.
L.A. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich said last month that the contract for the Quebec, Ontario-based Super Scoopers was extended through March 15, tomorrow.
NEENACH, CA (Friday, March 14 at 2:16 p.m.)—Super Scoopers and a helicopter plus at least two Los Angeles County Fire Department vehicles are working on the fire near Old Ridge Route and Highway 138. The smoke is visible from Frazier Park, Lebec and Gorman. Joan Kotnik (of Lake of the Woods) is working at a Pine Canyon ranch east of the fire. She says there is a gentle breeze blowing to the south.
In the morning at about 11 a.m. Kotnik reports she saw Edison crews working on high power lines, though there is no indication at this time of a connection to the fire. UPDATE: On Saturday Kotnik said the trucks actually had “SBC” logos on them, so were actually AT&T / SBC trucks rather than Edison trucks.
NEENACH, CA (Friday, March 14 at 1:59 p.m.)—Michael Braget of Hair by Michael in Frazier Park looked up and saw smoke in the sky this afternoon. Everyone who is aware of the fire danger posed by the drought is vigilant these days. There is a brush fire on Highway 138 and Old Ridge Route Road. Joan Kotnik sent photos.
We will have an expanded report shortly.
This is part of the March 14, 2014 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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