Almost two years to the day after an unknown arsonist started what would become the 10th largest wildfire in modern California history, life has returned to normal in La Cañada Flintridge, but scars of the disaster remain.
While the Station fire’s perpetrator remains at large, the community has moved from rebuilding homes to rebuilding real estate values. As anxious hikers wait for beloved trails to reopen, the Los Angeles County Fire Department and U.S. Forest Service have come together with a new plan for coordination between the two agencies so that when the next wildfire breaks out, they’ll be prepared to prevent it from turning into another full-fledged disaster.
The Station fire, which started on the afternoon of Aug. 26, 2009, eventually consumed 160,557 acres of land, destroyed 209 structures and claimed the lives of two firefighters. As a result of the deaths, when evidence of arson was discovered, the case was assigned to the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Division. Two years later, detectives are no closer to arresting a suspect.