Station Fire, Los Angeles County

The Station Fire is estimated to have chewed through 105,00 acres thus far, having doubled its size in only six days.  A swarm of firefighting aircraft dump fire retardants around the wildfire’s perimeter, trying to check its advance.

An Evergreen 747 Supertanker makes a flame retardant drop in the Acton area in California August 31, 2009. As of Monday evening, a total of 6,300 homes throughout the fire zone were under evacuation orders, authorities said. The so-called Station Fire more than doubled in size as it burned out of control for a sixth day, charring 105,000 acres (42,500 hectares), up from 42,000 acres (17,000 hectares) late on Sunday, and sending up towering palls of smoke that fouled the air for miles (km) around.   (REUTERS/Gene Blevins)

An Evergreen 747 Supertanker makes a flame retardant drop in the Acton area in California August 31, 2009. As of Monday evening, a total of 6,300 homes throughout the fire zone were under evacuation orders, authorities said. The so-called Station Fire more than doubled in size as it burned out of control for a sixth day, charring 105,000 acres (42,500 hectares), up from 42,000 acres (17,000 hectares) late on Sunday, and sending up towering palls of smoke that fouled the air for miles (km) around. (REUTERS/Gene Blevins)

Station fire, from Anthony Citrano's Flickr photostream.

Station fire, from Anthony Citrano's Flickr photostream. The smoke/ash column is reported to be about four miles high. Photo by fashion photographer Anthony Citrano.

DC-10 Dropping phoscheck from San Rafael Hills.  From Kansas Sebastian's Flickr photostream.

DC-10 dropping phoscheck from San Rafael Hills. From Kansas Sebastian's Flickr photostream.

Station Fire over La Cañada Flintridge.  From mbtrama's Flickr photostream.

Station Fire over La Cañada Flintridge. From mbtrama's Flickr photostream. The famous Jet Propulsion Laboratory is in the foreground.

One interesting sidebar involves the rental of DC-10 tankers; California legislators made an oopsie and then quickly corrected it:

The state budget that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed last month canceled the contract for California’s largest firefighting tool, a DC-10 jet,  to save taxpayers about $7 million.

It was replaced with a contract for two DC-10s on a pay-as-you-go basis, but at a higher hourly rate. But after several fires hit Northern California earlier this month, authorities reversed that decision and signed a 90-day contract for the plane, which costs taxpayers an average of $43,404 a day.

“The determination was made that it would cost more to have it on an as-needed basis than on an exclusive-use contract,” said Cal Fire aviation chief Bill Payne.

— Zavis, Alexandra and Cara Mia DiMassa.  “Budget crisis hasn’t slowed aerial assault on Station fire, officials insist.”  L.A. Now blog | Los Angeles Times, 30 August 2009

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