Sand fire exposed misplaced property markers

A member of a hand crew readies a water hose as he joins firefighters and water dropping helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft fighting flames of the Sand Fire along Placerita Canyon Road in July, 2016. Dan Watson/Signal

When the Sand Fire died and the smoke cleared, what regional planners found standing on the suddenly barren hills were misplaced property markers noticed for the first time.

Brush burned by the fast-moving wildfire exposed the property markers, Susan Tae, supervising regional planner for the county’s “north section” told The Signal Monday.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles County’s Regional Planning Commission spent the day correcting maps they found to be wrongly mapped out.

One of their re-mapping chores was to properly update their maps of the Sand Canyon area, Tae said.

“There were mapping adjustments to four parcels based on updated survey information,” she said.

“The boundary between the plans is being adjusted so the new location of the parcels is not split between the plans.”

Fortunately the wrongly mapped properties were all within the Angeles National Forest, Tae said, as opposed to property belonging to residents.

The survey mistake affecting the four land parcels in question was off by about “a couple hundred” feet, Tae said.

The Sand Fire, described by fire officials as an incredibly fast-moving fire, began in the early afternoon of Friday, July 22, 2016 off of Highway 14 just northeast of Sand Canyon Road.

It burned at least 41,432 acres, killed one Sand Canyon resident, destroyed 19 homes, and prompted the evacuation of several SCV neighborhoods. According to the Angeles National Forest Fire Management,  battling the fire involved 30 engines, 19 hand crews, 3 helicopters, 7 water tenders, 11 dozers, and 783 personnel.

It wasn’t until Nov. 7, 2016, at 6 a.m. that the fire was officially declared “out,” according to Seneca Smith, spokeswoman for the US Forest Service.

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