La Tuna Fire Spurs Community to Action

Photo courtesy Rora Melendy
At about 11 p.m. Friday night, the growing La Tuna Fire appeared to be just behind the hills near Rora Melendy’s home.

Rora Melendy was at Los Gringos Locos on Friday afternoon when she looked up and wondered, “Is that smoke?” A quick check of the “LCF Community Watch” Facebook page confirmed it — a brush fire was burning in the Tujunga area. The La Tuna Fire had begun.
About 1,000 firefighters from agencies across Southern California battled the blaze over a steamy Labor Day weekend as it scorched more than 7,000 acres; temporarily closed a significant stretch of the 210 Freeway, jamming Friday traffic; destroyed five homes and led to 10 injuries. In La Cañada Flintridge, Sunday’s final Music in the Park concert was canceled, as was the La Cañada High School home football game. An investigation into the fire’s cause is underway, authorities said.
In LCF, the community watched anxiously, remembering the Station Fire that began just a few miles north of the city in 2009. For more than 50 days, that fire burned a county record 161,189 acres and took the lives of two firefighters. It also destroyed 215 structures and accounted for more than $95 million in damage, all told.
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Crime Uptick Has Unnerved Residents Looking for Answers

In addition to Neighborhood Watch groups, local sheriff’s personnel recommend residents take other steps to dissuade criminals, including responding to an alarm when it’s been triggered.

A trio of Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s deputies got an earful Monday morning from a La Cañada Flintridge resident who was offended they stopped him after receiving a tip about suspected mail theft.
“I matched the description of someone who’d been going through mailboxes — maroon T-shirt, black pants, about 55 years old,” said Gary Kwasniewski, who actually is 60 and who makes it a habit to walk from his home to the post office a few blocks away because he likes the exercise.
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