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14 August 2006 @ 06:56 pm
The Looooooong Weekend  
- Pack, run around to make sure the pets are cared for the instructions are written, the right lights are on...
- Nine hours drive in a pickup truck to Orange County. Arrive at motel after midnight. "Sleep" on god-awful hard bed.

- Wake up with sore back and hip.
- Off for a day with the in-laws.
- This is actually pretty nice. It is Jim's mother's birthday. The whole family takes her to an indian casinoPechanga. At 86, sitting in front of a slot machine is her favorite thing to do. The entire five hours, I spend all of two dollars on a 5¢ slot machine. The rest of the time I am visiting with Jim's brothers at a table in the food court.
- The evening is capped at a brother's house for cake and ice cream. Then back to the hotel and the bed from hell.

- Wake up sore
- After a visit with the folks, Jim and I go to the aquarium in Long Beach. This is our kind of fun. We love museums, too.
OBSERVATION: Of course there were families with small children, they all had HUGE STROLLERS. Since the children were never IN the strollers this made the observation areas much more crowded.

- I am really, really ready to go home. We are packed and say our goodbyes and are on the road by noon. On a normal trip we would be home by 9pm. But that is not to be. The north bound lane of the 8-lane interstate-5 is closed for 4 hours because of a huge brush fire.

Brush Fire Scorches 2,500 Acres

By Jessica Marks
Signal Staff Writer

Jason Cunningham of LACFD camp 122 looks over his shoulder as the fire approaches him and the home he was assigned to protect off Gorman Post Road.

About 2,500 acres were burned, a hundred homes were voluntarily evacuated and one firefighter injured as a brush fire quickly swept through Gorman on Sunday afternoon and evening.

The fire, which sparked up at about 12:30 p.m. in Gorman near the Quail Lake Road exit off the Interstate 5 freeway was spotty, and three separate fires in the vicinity were reported to authorities, said Jason Hurd, inspector with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

"Crews are working hard, dealing with difficult conditions out here," Hurd said. "They're dealing with flashy fuels that had all season to dry out."

As of 9:30 p.m.., the fire was 15 percent contained and gaining speed along the border of Los Angeles and Kern counties as the winds gusted up to 12 mph and pushed the fire uphill, helping it move faster along the dry grass in the area.

"We've seen warm temperatures, lower humidity and a pretty constant breeze - all are favorable for fire conditions," Hurd said. "They all played a part in the fire's rapid spread today."

Between 250 and 300 firefighters traveled from all over Santa Clarita, La Canada/Flintridge, Kern County, Lancaster and the city of Los Angeles to extinguish the flames.

Two fixed-winged airplanes were used to douse the areas with flame retardant, and four helicopters dumped water over the fire.

The I-5 freeway was shut down in both directions at one point, causing traffic to jam on the northbound side for miles, with backups stretching from Quail Lake Road down to just before Templin Highway. The freeway was reopened by 4:30 p.m.

There were no homes burned in this fire at press time, but the danger came close - scorching earth within a few feet of homes. Hurd added Sunday evening that the fire was no longer threatening any homes.

One firefighter was injured in the blaze with moderate injuries and was treated on the scene.

Livestock, including horses and cows, are housed along Gorman Post Road, which was hard hit by the fires. Horses could be heard neighing as the fire edged over hills, getting closer to them before they were removed from the area.

The official cause of the fire is unknown at this time, Hurd said.

We backtrack and take another route. Twelve hours later, home-sweet-home. The bright spot to this dismal day was a few hours in a beautiful valley that runs along the east side of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties (hwy-33 from Ojai north).

Did I mention that I hate to travel.
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