Los Angeles Fires: A Twitter Timeline

The Station Fire near Los Angeles has burned more than 164 square miles, destroyed 53 homes and killed two firefighters, and it isn't anywhere near under control yet.

While the television and Internet are full of news accounts, gripping photos, and videos, Twitter updates provide a more personal view of the fire, a sometimes-wrenching, sometimes-humorous narrative of the fire's development from last week. By following the fire on Twitter, 140 characters at a time, a more presonal picture of life near the blaze evolves: scared homeowners, people awed by the sheer size of the flames, residents looking for an outlet to thank rescue workers, and kids happy for any excuse to get time off from school. We've collected a mere fraction of the Station Fire tweets below, unedited. Some of them are purely narrative; others contain links to videos and images of the fire, often taken by the posters themselves. (Note: Though we've made every effort to select tweets from informed posters, we have not been able to confirm the accuracy of the information contained in the posts.)

AUG. 25: The blaze is first reported, having burned only 15 to 20 acres in Angeles National Forest. An hour after the fire is announced, the tweets begin, but are slow for the first few days and mostly just direct readers to news accounts.

A fire has errupted in the Angeles Nati'l Forest approx 5pm (Los Angeles)
6:03 PM Aug 25th from web

Smoke from the fire today in the Los Angeles National Forest. http://twitpic.com/feza1
9:25 PM Aug 26th from TweetDeck

Forest fire northeast of Los Angeles fouls Southern California air ...: Los Angeles Times http://bit.ly/db4to; b.. http://bit.ly/4RlZu
8:13 PM Aug 26th from twitterfeed

AUG. 27: The fire grows from 350 acres to 500 acres during the course of the day. Evacuations begin late that night.

It's snowing in Los Angeles. White flakes of wild fire ash.
10:24 AM Aug 27th from UberTwitter

HOT. Its 106 deg in Los Angeles area. There is a fire in the LA Forest, smoke billowing in an orange mushroom cloud above.
4:13 PM Aug 27th from web

the latest in the Station fire: 300 acres burned, 10% containment http://bit.ly/emI8B #stationfire
4:21 PM Aug 27th from web

The good thing about the #stationfirethat I saw earlier- smoke went straight up. No wind. maybe fire makes local wind, but overall calm
10:56 PM Aug 27th from web

CA-LAC-Soledad: New fire in the Santa Clarita Valley section of Los Angeles County. Location is 14 Fwy and Soled.
4:27 PM Aug 27th from twitterfeed

I want to cry... Los Angeles is on fire.
7:19 PM Aug 27th from mobile web

AUG. 28: The fire begins to spread southeast toward Altadena from its starting location. It has consumed 1,500 acres and is reportedly 10 percent under control.

Holy mother of god. Insane tower of smoke from the La Canada fire: http://yfrog.com/164s8j stationfire
11:32 AM Aug 28th from Twitterrific

Photos of the progression of La Cañada stationfire fire last night: http://tr.im/xn8E
12:35 PM Aug 28th from web

@jasonbrush from my office window. stationfire http://yfrog.com/8b2ugj
1:06 PM Aug 28th from Tweetie

The fire helicopters don't stop stationfire
2:45 PM Aug 28th from TwitterFon

getting nervous about stationfire; voluntary evacuations a mile away!
11:00 PM Aug 27th from twhirl

Just ran down the street to look back on the ridge above us. The entire mountain is engulfed. This is bad. I fear for Altadena. stationfire
11:17 PM Aug 28th from Tweetie

AUG. 29: By early morning, the fire is down to 5 percent controlled and has burned 5,500 acres. As it continues to expand with a western arm, authorities order more evacuations.

Fire sucks.  lacanadafire  stationfire
1:48 AM Aug 29th from UberTwitter

Station fire seen from Monrovia about 2hrs ago. http://tinyurl.com/lkkcbn  http://tinyurl.com/lf3xbp, http://tinyurl.com/mwch4k stationfire
4:28 PM Aug 29th from web

just watched the DC-10 dive-bomb a ridge above the Rose Bowl to drop retardant...Dude, so cool. stationfire
5:30 PM Aug 29th from web

We live half a mile from evacuation zone. Now: Water in jugs, non-perishable foodstuffs in bags, clothes in carry-ons. #stationfire
6:27 PM Aug 29th from web

when the firefighters are running away, that's bad, right? #lafires #stationfire
11:19 PM Aug 29th from web

AUG. 30: Two firefighters, Ted Hall and Arnie Quinones, are killed when their car careens down a hillside. Meanwhile, the fire continues to grow and moves to within two miles of the historic Mt. Wilson Observatory. By nightfall, more than 42,000 acres have burned.

Packing up and getting out of Dodge!#StationFire #LaCanadaFlintRidgeFire"
9:59 AM Aug 30th from Tweetie

i hope the acton market burns down so we can finally have an albertsons#stationfire
11:32 AM Aug 30th from web

There is a god and he loves us!! Thaks#stationfire for closing our school!!
3:25 PM Aug 30th from web

Holy smokes; massive glowing plume tonight just west of Mt. Wilson is scarier than last nights 50 ft flames. stationfire
8:38 PM Aug 30th from TweetDeck

We can see flames in the mtns. from our backyard. This is a (creepy) first. Was it just 3 days ago I thought smoke was scary? #stationfire
10:17 PM Aug 30th from web

love this song anyday but today i recommend for anyone worried about stationfire death cab 4 cutie "grapevine fires" http://twt.fm/264159
10:33 PM Aug 30th from twt.fm

I pray the stationfire doesn't reach Mt. Wilson and the observatory. That would be a true tragedy.
11:14 PM Aug 30th from TwitterFox

Heading back to La Crescenta, orange flames are lit all across the 210 freeway -looks like something out of Super Mario Bros. #stationfire
11:19 PM Aug 30th from web

AUG. 31: The fire passes the 100,000-acre mark and continues to move west swiftly. Authorities say there is no prospect of control in sight.

Is it me or is the traditional media totally slacking on the #stationfirecoverage? What would we do w/o blogs + Twitter?
10:07 AM Aug 31st from TweetDeck

Condolences to family & friends of fire Captain Ted Hall & firefighter Specialist Arnie Quinones. http://bit.ly/11Txro#StationFire
11:00 AM Aug 31st from TweetDeck

StationFire approaching LA Power lines in Acton. Cellphone tower relays, Radio & TV transmitters at Mt. Wilson. Prepare for outages.
11:51 AM Aug 31st from web

RUMOR: stationfire = OBAMA INSIDE JOB aimed at making citizens value their community & increase dependence on socialist F.D.
12:13 PM Aug 31st from web

Should Read: Station Fire Realtime Image Stream @http://bit.ly/eZwEz stationfire wildfire altadena station
1:37 PM Aug 31st from web

staycation_la If you're asked to evacuate, please do so. There's no need to put your or other lives in danger. StationFire
2:12 PM Aug 31st from web

What is it, five days now? #stationfireThat awesome miles-high smoke cloud behind downtown #LA almost seems like a permanent fixture.
2:59 PM Aug 31st from web

"If my house goes, I wanna go with it." NITWIT! #stationfire
9:30 PM Aug 31 from TweetDeck

SEPT. 1: The fire grows to 122,000 acres overnight, but firefighters say early in the day that it appears to be slowing. The blaze is only 5 percent under control, but authorities say they expect that to increase significantly during the day.

And in Sierra Madre, it smells like Christmas. #stationfire
12:30 AM Sept 1 from Ping.fm

AMAZING TimeLapse photography of the #stationfire http://bit.ly/136tBk
2:30 AM Sept 1 from web

The Station Fire, as seen from my balcony StationFire http://post.ly/3aKB
1:30 AM Sept 1 from Posterous

I think Mt. Wilson just burst into flames. I will Picasa the pictures in the morning. This fire is unbelievable. Stationfire
1:30 AM Sept 1 from web

I would let 20 Mt. Wilsons burn if it could save one family's home. The human trauma this thing is wrecking is mind numbing.  stationfire
1:30 AM Sept 1 from web

If people ask me where I'm from now on, I'm going to say Mordor. stationfire
2:30 AM Sept 1 from web

Sleep is for the YAWWWN sorry, been a long day. Still not evac'd! stationfire
5:30 AM Sept 1 from web

Got friends in the wildfire zone? Tell them to get out and go to a hotel. Insurance will cover them.http://bit.ly/17rp5g stationfire
9:30 AM Sept 1 from web

@imnotteo I've kept updated on the #stationfire. These photographs are beautiful, but they frighten the hell out of me: http://bit.ly/EVol6
2:30 PM Sept 1 from web