A fast-moving wildfire north of Los Angeles that has burned more than 85,700 acres could be another blow to California’s faltering economy.
“It’s more bad news on top of bad news,” said Jack Keyser, chief economist for the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. The latest natural disaster, along with rising unemployment, plunging real estate values and a hemorrhaging state budget, is “very reminiscent of the early Nineties, when we said, ‘What’s next?’”
Two firefighters have been killed by the Station Fire, which is the largest of at least eight blazes and has more than doubled in size since Sunday. More than 10,000 homes have been evacuated.
Four major shopping centers are located south of the Station Fire: Glendale Galleria and The Americana at Brand in Glendale, Westfield Santa Anita in Arcadia and Paseo Colorado in Pasadena. All remained open on Monday.
A spokeswoman for Westfield Santa Anita, an enclosed mall, said there were close to double-digit traffic increases over the previous weekend, most likely because of people seeking air-conditioned refuge from the triple-digit temperatures and smoky air.
“With the combination of smoke and heat, people are probably looking for escapes, though it’s unclear how many of those are looky-loos and how many are shopping,” Keyser said. He noted that business could be “gone” for retailers that depend on shoppers who have evacuated their homes.
Because of the intensity of smoke and soot, public health officials warned the public to avoid outdoor activities. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power also asked residents to conserve electricity because a key transmission line was in jeopardy.
The Los Angeles County Fire Department estimated property damage at almost $8 million and rising.
Firefighters on Monday were struggling to save a key communications site atop Mount Wilson that includes a cluster of more than two dozen transmission towers for the metropolitan area’s television and FM radio stations and cell phones. The site also includes the Mount Wilson Observatory, which houses multimillion-dollar astronomy centers for the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Southern California, and the University of California, Berkeley, as well as a $20 million facility for Georgia State University.
Damage to the towers could disrupt cell phone service. TV and radio users who get signals via the airwaves rather than cable or satellite might lose their connection.
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
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For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)