Wildfires that have scorched the foothills overlooking Los Angeles in recent days have impacted two Disciples congregations in La Crescenta, Calif. Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), which was located in an evacuation area, was forced to cancel its services on Aug. 30 because of the fire threat. Foothill Christian Church (Disciples of Christ held services that day while blinding smoke and ashes lurked outside.
“Smoke was think and the air quality was so bad we had to wear masks,” said Greg Davis, pastor of Central Christian. “Our parking lot looked like it snowed from the ashes that fell from the air. This is a fire that didn’t need to occur, especially the loss of life and property.” Central Christian was used as a host station for the police officers who were keeping the area secure.
Fire officials have ruled that the blaze was arson. It cost the lives of two firefighters, who
died in a truck accident Aug. 30 as they sought an escape route for their fire crew after their camp was overrun by flames. The wildfires have destroyed 78 homes, blackened at least 250 square miles and cost $61 million.
A layman at Central Christian, Marc Toone, had been scheduled to preach there on Aug. 30 but the fire made it too dangerous. “I’ve been here 16 years and that was the first time I’ve ever noted a service being missed,” said Davis. “It’s a very, very pretty area usually but right now we can’t even see the mountains because of the smoke. We are really appreciative of the firefighters. Everybody in southern California is effected by fire smoke. It is terribly sad to think that somebody out there would do this.”
The Church is planning to host a pancake breakfast to benefit the Red Cross and/or the fallen firefighters’ families. It’s the second time in as many years that Central Christian has had a pancake breakfast for the benefit of wildfire victims. “We are hoping it doesn’t become an annual event,” said Davis. Those interested in finding out more about the pancake breakfast may contact Central Christian at 818-957-7820 or visit www.glendalechristian.com