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Tag: "fire"

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American Legion Hosts Veterans Day Celebration

American Legion Hosts Veterans Day Celebration

The Laguna Beach Police Color Guard posted the colors to start off the Veterans Day celebration hosted by the Veterans and Ladies Auxiliary of the Laguna Beach American Legion Post held at their Legion Post on Monday, Nov. 11. Mayor Kelly Boyd, a veteran, attended the event, while Laguna Beach City Council member Steve Dicterow […]

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Live-Work Project Erodes Canyon’s Character

Live-Work Project Erodes Canyon’s Character

Editor, Please come to the Planning Commission meeting Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. and express your views about the planned 30-unit apartment style housing project that looks like a dormitory right in the middle of our rural, primarily residential, neighborhood. This part of the canyon has a few businesses that were grandfathered in when we […]

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Redefining Art Inspired by Nature

Redefining Art Inspired by Nature

Sunbathers who languidly make squiggles in the sand rarely draw much attention. Not so for Jim Denevan, a land artist whose work elevates the beach-goer’s favorite pastime with huge circles, squares, even a cross and other shapes. These, carefully delineated to create a sense of light and dark, comprise Denevan’s oeuvre, which inevitably draws a […]

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Landscape Experts Debunk Conventional Wisdom

Landscape Experts Debunk Conventional Wisdom

With the 20-year anniversary of Laguna Beach’s firestorm as the backdrop, fire safety expert Richard Halsey recently described a scenario that runs counter to the popular lore. “The most volatile fuel is the home,” he said, not the vegetation around it. A properly landscaped yard with well-maintained trees and shrubs can serve as a sponge […]

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Fire Ignites a Support System

Fire Ignites a Support System

 By Marion K. Jacobs, Ph.D., Special to the Independent I was among the lucky ones. The fire was coming over Mystic and straight at us on Temple Hills Drive when we evacuated, but thanks to a wind switch later our house was saved. Over the days and weeks following the ’93 Laguna fire, I got […]

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Fire's Unforeseen Side Effects

Fire’s Unforeseen Side Effects

“It doesn’t take long to replace the material things,” said Frank Bower, who watched his Tahiti Street home go up in flames during the 1993 fire in the company of firefighters, crippled without an adequate water source. But rebuilding his life proved more difficult. Emotional damage can’t be swept up and carted away like the […]

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Stirring the Ashes

Stirring the Ashes

By Anthony Kaufman, Special to the Independent No one was sure what started the blaze that had ravaged this beachside community. I would interview those I knew who had lost their homes and look for a compelling story. I would please my East Coast editor with the tale of a little girl who saved her […]

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Is Laguna Safer Today?

Is Laguna Safer Today?

Some conditions remain unchanged since a devastating wildfire swept through Laguna Beach on Oct. 27, 1993, a $528 million disaster that consumed or damaged 441 homes and cost no human lives, but continues to influence city policy. The sun continues to bake the town’s south-facing slopes, making them drier and more vulnerable to fire’s spread. […]

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If not now, When? If not here, Where?

If not now, When? If not here, Where?

Editor, These simple questions put forth by a Planning Commission member last month encompass the heart of the matter concerning the live/work project proposed along Laguna Canyon Road. They succinctly distill the last seven years of unrelenting compliance on the part of the project’s creators to faithfully adhere to all city and state ordinances, countless […]

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Village Matters: Flickering Memories Illuminate Future

Village Matters: Flickering Memories Illuminate Future

  It was the early ‘70s and neighbor Ralph Davis pleaded with the Orange County Planning Commission, “Remember the Bel Air fire!” Somehow he had been there, perhaps as a firefighter.  Ridge and hill top development above South Laguna was being considered by the Commission. Davis was emphatic, “Ridge tops are in the most danger […]

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A Fire Victim Who Refused to Return

A Fire Victim Who Refused to Return

By Sean Orfila, Special to the Independent Venola Imrie’s journey to Laguna Beach was a familiar story for those moving here during the 1950s. Her husband Watson Imrie, an avid photographer, aspired to live closer to photographer William Mortensen, who operated a studio and school teaching his unique style of portraiture. In 1953, the couple […]

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A Miracle in Mystic Hills

A Miracle in Mystic Hills

‘The Castle’ withstands a firestorm By Loreen Berlin, Special to the Independent Twenty years ago, Laguna Beach homeowner Lona Ingwerson lived in a Mystic Hills home visible above Main Beach dubbed “the castle.” When the October 1993 firestorm swept in from Laguna Canyon, one arm of the fire climbed straight up the hills that hem […]

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The View’s Fine From Two Decades Away

The View’s Fine From Two Decades Away

It was a good mid-October day, all signs pointed to the sublime: blue skies, warm-enough water, glassy surf. In a little beach town trampled by summer tourists, it was finally a locals’ haven again. “It’s a good day,” Frank said. And a far cry from where he was standing 20 years ago. He was at […]

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Humbled by Gifts, Couple Rebuilds Their Lives

Humbled by Gifts, Couple Rebuilds Their Lives

By Robin Pierson, Special to the Independent As water-dropping helicopters soared overhead, one asked a prescient question:  “What would you do if you lost your house?” “I told her I walk what I talk…that material things aren’t most important. Health and happiness are.’” Little did he know that by the end of the day, DuBois […]

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Historical Society Recounts ‘93 Blaze

Historical Society Recounts ‘93 Blaze

The terrible Laguna Beach wildfire was 20 years ago, taking place on Oct. 27, 1993. This unsolved crime touched the lives of most all Lagunans. The Laguna Beach Historical Society program on the fire is set for Tuesday, Oct. 22, and will include photos and a report on the 1993 firestorm written by the Orange […]