Thursday, April 12, 2007

Los Angeles wildland -Urban interface fire

CA-LFD
Working fire northwest of Beverly Hills, CA in the Beverly Glen area. LA Fire calling it minimum 15 acres with at least one home involved and what their PIO called multiple roof fires. Winds are 25+ mph with temps in the low 70's. K-CAL 9 TV covering it from the ground with no or minimal aircraft due to wind.

Brush Fire Spreads To Homes In Beverly Glen Area

Wind Sweeps Embers To Dry Vegetation

A wind-driven brush fire fueled by dry vegetation damaged homes Thursday afternoon in the Beverly Glen area

The fire started at about 1 p.m. in the 1600 block of North Beverly Drive.
Ron Myers of the Los Angeles Fire Department said the fire burned about 35 acres by 2:50 p.m."It appears that we're starting to get a handle on it," said Jim Powers of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. "Unfortunately, we've also heard that a few structures have been lost."
Myers said strong winds spread embers onto dry vegetation. He said formal evacuations were not ordered."I've never seen winds like this," a resident told NBC4. "It's unbelievable. The roads are covered with palm leaves and pine cones. It's a mess."Three water-dropping helicopters were at the scene.
Fire crews said winds pushed some of the water drops off target.Winds were at 25 to 30 mph with strong gusts. NBC4 forecaster Fritz Coleman said gusts Tuesday afternoon reached 60 mph in some areas."Even though the wind is burning against (the fire), it's still burning uphill because the brush is so dry," said Powers.Powers said the Los Angeles area has received 2.5 inches of rain since the start of 2007. Normal rainfall amounts are between 11 and 12 inches, he said.Powers said crews used a nearby water source, the Lower Franklin Reservoir, which allowed helicopters to make frequent drops.

Brea Brush Fire

A blaze that blackened brush alongside the Carbon Canyon dam in Brea Thursday threatened a mobile home park before firefighters brought the flames under control, a fire captain said.
The fire, reported at 1:37 p.m. in the area of Rose and Valencia drives, grew to two to three acres before hand crews and a water-dropping helicopter stopped its spread, said Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Stephen Miller.
Crews planned to keep an eye out for flying embers that could re-ignite vegetation in the face of conditions Miller described as "a little breezy."The fire burned the side of the Carbon Canyon dam, leaving it "pretty clean," Miller said.
The cause was unknown, but Miller said there are power lines in the area and the fire could have been sparked by a downed line.In Palmdale, a three-acre fire broke out at North Sierra Highway and Pearblossom Highway at about 1:30 p.m.

Power Outages

High winds also knocked out electricity to about 10,000 Department of Water and Power customers in the Woodland Hills area and about 1,600 others in North Hollywood, officials said.The electrical outages, which also affected other areas, developed late Thursday morning and continued in the afternoon, said MaryAnne Pierson of the DWP."There are outages throughout our service area due to wind," Pierson said. Crews were working to restore service, she said.Gil Alexander of Southern California Edison told KFWB radio that about 2,000 of the utility's customers were without electricity as of 1:45 p.m., but the number of people affected was rising as winds increased.
The station also reported that winds knocked down power lines near Laurel Canyon Boulevard and Riverside Drive near Studio City, sparking a small grass fire.Gusting winds were howling across many parts of the Southland.
The National Weather Service issued wind advisories in the San Fernando, San Gabriel and Santa Clarita valleys, and issued high wind warnings in the Antelope Valley and Los Angeles County mountains.According to the Weather Service, wind gusts of up to 35 mph can be expected in the San Fernando Valley, while the Santa Clarita Valley could experience gusts of up to 55 mph.Antelope Valley and the Los Angeles County Mountains could be even windier, with gusts up to 65 mph.Earlier Thursday,
the Weather Service reported peak winds of 58 mph in Saugus and 49 mph in Palmdale.

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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