One of the first things Rabbi Alfred Wolf did after joining the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in 1949 was start a camping program for children.
Wolf envisioned a place that would be the antithesis of the Nazi Germany he escaped.
And it would be not only for Jewish children but for other children from Los Angeles’ burgeoning, and increasingly diverse communities. There they could organize and try to improve their lot and those of others, said his son Dan Wolf, 68.
The rabbi built two camps in Malibu: the beach side Hess Kramer and its sister camp Hilltop. In the 1960s, they became another home for a group of young Latinos who helped launch the Chicano movement.
The air quality has improved in Southern California as the Woolsey fire has slowed.
But the Bay Area and Sacramento Valley continue to be hammered by smoke from the massive Camp Fire in Butte County.
The National Weather Service in Sacramento explained why that region in still being hit so hard. “An inversion cap is acting like a lid, keeping the wildfire smoke from rising, while the mountains prevent it from moving horizontally, trapping it in the area,” the weather service said.
Why is it so smoky in the Central Valley? An inversion cap is acting like a lid, keeping the wildfire smoke from rising, while the mountains prevent it from moving horizontally, trapping it in the area. #cawx#CampFirepic.twitter.com/AvCvXljgdK
The Woolsey fire destroyed about 37 houses in Bell Canyon while up to 12 are thought to have sustained some level of damage, said Eric Wolf, president of the Bell Canyon Homeowners Assn.
Wolf said he has stayed in the 2,400-acre community since the fire started, putting out spot fires with a team of about nine volunteers.
The Woolsey fire moved unpredictably in Bell Canyon, which has 13 miles of roads. This is the first time that homes were lost to a brush fire in Bell Canyon, a community that has seen fires multiple times before, but that wasn't the fault of the firefighters, he said.
Officials with the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area say eight mountain lions are alive and moving based on GPS collars, apparently surviving the wildfires.
But the fate of five others — P-22, P-42, P-47, P-54 and P-74 — remains unclear, park officials said in a tweet Monday.
Officials say it’s too early to be alarmed. They note that their GPS collars have not yet transmitted their locations. Officials say this is not unusual. There are other means of tracking the big cats, such as the use of telemetry. But the fires make that difficult.
The vast majority of California homeowners have insurance that covers fire damage. But that doesn’t mean you can breathe easy.
Property insurance lawyers say it’s not uncommon for insurers to do everything possible to minimize payouts, especially after catastrophic blazes such as the ones now raging in Northern and Southern California.
Some policies may require homeowners to report any such damage within 90 days to qualify for coverage. Others may cap coverage at a certain level, frequently $5,000.
The husky in the online photo had burned ears and a brown spot on her forehead where the fire had singed her fur. But one look at the expression on her face, and Wade Lovett knew he had found his dog.
“She had this pout, and that's her face. As soon as I saw that, I said, ‘That's Luna,’ ” Lovett said. “She’s a beautiful dog, but when she pouts, she pouts.”
He had last seen her two days earlier, as he packed his neighbor’s truck and prepared to leave Paradise, the town he’s lived in his whole life, as the Camp fire barreled toward him. Luna was perched in the front seat and after somehow rolling the window down with her paw, she bolted. Lovett followed her by truck and by foot for nearly an hour, until the flames got too close.
An untold number of homeowners have had their lives upended by the Woolsey fire. Few, however, may have felt the fire’s destructive power more than Mark Bakalor.
On Thursday night, not long after the fire first roared to life, Bakalor and his family fled their Oak Park house as the flames approached.
Bakalor then turned his attention to his parents, who had lived for years in a house on Lobo Canyon Road in Agoura Hills, and to his in-laws, who lived in Bell Canyon. For Bakalor, both houses were too close to the fire, which was spreading quickly and in several directions at once.
The two badly burned bodies found at 33133 Mulholland Highway late Friday afternoon appear to be victims of the fast-moving Woolsey fire, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Homicide Bureau Sgt. Guillermo Morales.
“We do not think they were residents of that location; those people have been accounted for,” Morales said. “We think they were trying to evacuate, and we kind of know who they might be, but we’re waiting for the coroner to do the identification.”
The bodies were found in the driver’s and front passenger seats of a charred SUV that had been burned so badly investigators couldn’t see its markings, Morales said. Investigators think the driver got disoriented in the fire and turned in the driveway, thinking it was a roadway, while trying to escape.