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Life and Arts

La Cañada History: Angeles Crest reopens to traffic 3 months after Station fire destroys guardrails, pavement

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Drivers travel along Angeles Crest Highway in the Angeles National Forest north of La Cañada Flintridge on Dec. 1, 2009, one day after it reopened to traffic. The road had been closed since the Station fire that started on Aug. 26 of that year, ultimately consuming more than 160,000 acres and taking the lives of two firefighters.
(File Photo)

Ten Years Ago

Nov. 30, 2009, saw the reopening of the 66-mile, two-lane Angeles Crest Highway, which had been closed for three months due to extensive damages sustained during the huge Station fire. The lengthy closure reduced traffic in town by approximately 55%, according to a city official, and affected some La Cañada businesses. The co-owner of Hill Street Café told a reporter his business dropped by about 15% during the period. “You can’t imagine how many motorcycles come here, and how many cars come to go up Angeles Crest and then come here to eat,” he said. A Caltrans spokesman cautioned the highway could face further closures if mud and debris were to be washed off the slopes as expected during the next rainy period.

Twenty Years Ago

A 12-liter, $2,000 collector’s edition “Millennium Magnum” of Korbel Champagne, donated by the Vons market then located in Plaza de La Cañada (where Gelson’s is today), was raffled off to raise funds for the La Canada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce and Community Assn. during December 1999.

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Thirty Years Ago

The cutting of a red Christmas garland marked the grand opening of the La Cañada Flintridge Post Office‘s first contract postal unit at Marsh Village Pharmacy in the 2100 block of Foothill Boulevard. At the satellite station a full line of postal services, with the exception of registered mail, would be offered.

Forty Years Ago

A La Cañada Flintridge resident, Judge Shirley M. Hufstedler, was confirmed as the nation’s first secretary of education under President Jimmy Carter, overseeing a $14.2-billion budget and 17,000 employees.

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Fifty Years Ago

Two homes on Domal Lane in the Flintridge area were scorched after a close call with a brush fire that consumed 150 acres. The blaze was sparked by power lines that arced during a windstorm.

Sixty Years Ago

Using aircraft, the U.S. Forest Service and Los Angeles County together completed reseeding 14,200 acres of the Angeles National Forest that had been burned in the October 1959 Woodwardia fire. Costs for the reseeding efforts were pegged at $26,000 for the forest service and $2,750 for the county.

Compiled from the Valley Sun archives.

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