13 November 2013

Freeway Complex Fire Anniversary Events Coming Up

Courtesy of the good people at Hills For Everyone, there will be a special event commemorating the fifth anniversary of the Freeway Complex Fire of November 2008 at the Chino Hills State Park Discovery Center at 4500 Carbon Canyon Road in Brea.  The event will take place over the next two weekends, Saturday and Sunday 16 and 17 and 23 and 24 November from 9 a.m. to Noon with free parking for those visiting the center during the program.

Courtesy of Hills for Everyone.
There will be videos, photos, maps, news articles and other material documenting the effects of the massive fire, which broke out off the 91 Freeway in Anaheim Hills and quickly moved north, destroying many structures in Anaheim Hills and Yorba Linda before charring 95% of Chino Hills State Park, while another fire that erupted in the hills above Brea moved eastward. 

The two burned substantial portions of the Brea side of Carbon Canyon, destroying the Manely Friends stable complex and coming very close to Hollydale Mobile Home Estates and residences in Olinda Village and completely burning the site where the Madrona (formerly Canyon Crest) housing project has been proposed for many years and an appeal of which is to be heard by the Brea City Council in January and February--this site has actually been hit by wildfires five times in the last 46 years.

On the Chino Hills side of Carbon Canyon, the fire didn't have the impact that it did to the west, although flames got dangerously close to the community of Sleepy Hollow before suddenly and providentially taking a turn to the east.  Many residents of the canyon spent up to three nights under mandatory evacuation orders and greater preparation by residents, fire departments, city staff and other authorities helped make the response far superior than during the previous major fires including those in 1990, 1978, 1958 and 1929, as well as many lesser ones.

Fire season in our region is now year round and the threat of another massive blaze like that of 2008 is always present, especially with another low rainfall year and dry, windy conditions from the Santa Ana effect coming around this time of year (and, in fact, right now.)  For the existing residents of Carbon Canyon, it is vital to be as prepared and fire-wise as possible and for planners in Brea, Chino Hills, Orange and San Bernardino counties and the state, smart public policy in terms of future development, fire preparation, emergency access and other matters becomes more critical.

So, this event by Hills for Everyone is an important one to attend for all those who live in Carbon Canyon and/or are curious to know about the wildfire threat and history of the region.  For more on the organization, click here.

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