March 24th, 2011
With more high winds forecast this week, firefighters remain in Big Pine monitoring the burn area left by the Center Fire that destroyed 19 homes on Friday.
CalFire investigators are also on scene, assessing damages, the path of destruction and the blazeâs point of origin near the Bernasconi Education Center as they determine a cause.
âThe fire was called at 100 percent contained at 18:00 (6 p.m.) Sunday, but we still have resources on scene mopping up and looking for hot spots,â said CalFire Battalion Chief Mike Smith.
Sheâs been called dynamic, determined, gracious, fierce, compassionate, resourceful, even rebellious.
Sheâs been labeled a firebrand, a trailblazer, a pioneer, an activist, a do-gooder and a go-getter.
At heart, sheâs a devoted wife, mother and grandmother, and by trade a retired laboratory technologist and politician.
In reality, Bishop resident Betty Denton is a woman who defies description; someone whoâs spent a life pursuing myriad dreams and goals, helping others to achieve theirs, and affecting lasting change for the good of the community.
Memorial services will be held at 3 p.m. April 9 at the First Presbyterian Church in Bishop for 20-year Bishop resident Danielle Naquin. The Rev. Peter Thomsen will officiate. Burial will be private.
Born May 12, 1944 in Electra, Texas to Geraldine and James Robeson, Danielle Naquin died March 19, 2011 at her home in Bishop. She was 66. Her stepfather was George Serjent.
God loved Danielle. He silenced her enemies and shut the mouths of devouring lions. She is with her lord.
No funeral services have been announced for 30-plus-year Bishop resident Dennis Jones.
Dennis died March 14, 2011 after a long, three-year battle with a rare spinal bone cancer. He was 61.
Dennis is the son of Marvin and Nora Jones.
He went to high school in Bishop and married and had two sons, Jade and Dania Jones.
Dennis also served his country in the U.S. Army, serving a tour in Vietnam as a combat engineer, receiving medals and citations.
Ila Bessie Connell (Haslam)
Memorial services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 2 at the First Baptist Church in Big Pine for Ila Bessie Connell (Haslam).
Born Aug. 13, 1922 in Palos Verdes to Warren B Haslam and Edna D. Robinson Haslam, Ila, a beloved grandmother, aunt, cousin and friend, died March 20, 2011.
Ila was the last survivor of seven children.
Elinor Mae Miller
A private family gathering was held on March 13 in memory of 40-year Keeler resident Elinor Mae Miller. A celebration of life will be announced at a later date.
Born March 21, 1933 in Iowa, Elinor died March 10, 2011 at the Southern Inyo Hospital Skilled Nursing Facility. She was 77.
Elinor will be missed greatly.
Patricia A. ‘Pat’ Hall
Per her wishes, services for Patricia A. “Pat” Hall will be held at a later date for the immediate family to spread her ashes off the Southern California coast to join those of her husband Jim.
Born April 5, 1929 in Detroit, Mich., Patricia died peacefully on March 19, 2011. She was 81.
John Shirly Allred
Graveside services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 26 at the East Line Street Cemetery in Bishop for 45-year Bishop resident John Shirly Allred. Winnedumah Masonic Lodge No. 827 will officiate. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. at Seventh Day Adventist Church in Bishop with Pastor Randy Skoretz officiating. Visitation will be from noon-5 p.m. Friday, March 25 at Brune Mortuary in Bishop.
Just days after the Center Fire in Big Pine destroyed 19 homes, the community and local service agencies are stepping up to provide aid to those displaced. Preliminary estimates put the damage caused by the blaze at more than $4.5 million.
There are also reports of the amazing community tenor of the tiny town.
âItâs worth emphasizing the supportive community spirit,â said Mary Chasin, Red Cross supervisor of Health Services for the Los Angeles region. âItâs never easy after a disaster but this community is very resilient.â
While many residents were able to return to their homes in Big Pine Saturday morning, the homecoming was bittersweet as some found they had no homes to return to, their residences and worldly possessions destroyed during the night by the 800-acre Center Fire.
A total of 19 homes were destroyed in the fire, which broke out at about 3:30 p.m. Friday near the Bernasconi Center west of town. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Preliminary estimates put the cost of damages from the fire at $4.5 million.