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Fire and Smoke

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Thanks to the crew at Blogging LA, yesterday's fire in Nichols Canyon was well covered. The LA Times made up for their late report about the emergency with some choice quotes from canyon residents who all seemed to be in their late twenties to thirties (remarkably young to live in such a relatively pricey area like Mt Olympus) who blame the conflagration on the homeless encamped in the brush.
Residents said they were stunned by the speed of the fire and hurriedly telephoned friends to warn them. "We saw flames shooting out. [Then] we saw all these wonderful helicopters; they were really low," said Gabrielle Einstein, 29, who lives on Genesee Avenue. "This is pretty much as L.A. as you can get: A forest fire in your neighborhood." Some residents grabbed their dogs and other valuables and fled their homes. "It went up so fast," said Ric Waugh, 37. The Nichols Canyon resident said he had arrived home from work to find a 20-foot wall of flames about 50 yards from his home... The homeless encampment that authorities suspect was the source of the fire has been an irritant for many residents, according to Waugh and others. They said they have often called the Los Angeles Police Department to complain. "This is the problem," said Nichols Canyon resident Jessica Postigo, 35. "The homeless are up into the canyon and they either smoke or light fires, and this happens, and it's scary."

Postigo said a fire started at the homeless encampment last fall, but was quickly contained.