Twitter Buttons

Monday, March 31, 2008

U.S. Forest Service to reopen Zaca wildfire burn area

Zaca-fire-rocks+trailU.S. Forest Service Press release - SANTA BARBARA, Calif - Zaca Fire Burned area and associated trails will be reopened at noon, April 4.

The Forest Service announces it will reopen the area burned by the Zaca wildfire, which burned 375 square miles for four months last year.

Zaca Fire Area Open; Trail Damage Extensive; Use Caution
Los Padres National Forest officials today announced that the area burned by the Zaca Fire, closed to public entry since the fire began in July 2007, will be reopened at noon, April 4. "The trail system has sustained extensive damage and the public is urged to use extreme caution when traveling in the affected area," said Forest Supervisor Peggy Hernandez.
news release »
more photos »

The burned area, including about 167 miles of trail in the Los Padres National Forest, will be open to the public starting at noon Friday.

Forest Supervisor Peggy Hernandez warns that visitors use caution, because the fire, followed by winter rains and heavy snowfall, caused significant damage to the land. She says they should watch for landslides, rockslides and unstable terrain.

On the bright side, some ridge and canyon trails that were previously impassable because of heavy brush, will be open for the first time in years.

The Zaca fire, the second largest California wildfire in recorded history, briefly threatened ranches and vineyards in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Source: Inciweb - Los Padres National Forest page

LAFD News: Memorial services announced

LAFD Blog: Memorial services announced for Los Angeles Firefighter Brent Lovrien

Firefighter Brent LovrienMemorial services for fallen Los Angeles Firefighter Brent Lovrien will include two public events:

Candlelight Vigil...

Thursday, April 3, 2008
5:00 PM - Assembly
6:00 PM - Vigil Begins
Fire Station 5
8900 Emerson Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90045


All are welcome at this family-themed public gathering, to be held at Fire Station 5, a neighboring station to the one where Brent worked. Parking is plentiful but carpooling is always encouraged.

Memorial Service...

Friday, April 4, 2008
9:30 AM
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
555 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012


All are warmly welcomed to attend this public tribute to our fallen Brother, which will be preceded by a local walking procession to the Cathedral for public officials, uniformed Firefighters, Law Enforcement Officers and EMS personnel.

Following Cathedral ceremonies, a family funeral will be held at the Calvary Chapel in Downey. At the conclusion of the Downey service, our Brother Brent will be privately interred at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier.

More detailed information about the walking procession and services, including accommodations and logistics for out-of-town Firefighters and apparatus will be posted soon.

KINDLY NOTE: Please do not contact the Cathedral, as their staff has no information to provide. Official details will be posted to this blog and remain accessible via LAFD.ORG

Those wishing to offer an on-line note of condolence, are encouraged to post their sentiments here.

Original Announcement Post and all official information regarding Brent Lovrien funeral arrangements at LAFD.ORG

Training: Firefighters complete vehicle extrication class

Sacrificed vehicles used for rescue exercise

ATWATER,-- Throughout the day Sunday, the unnatural and unnerving sounds of crunching metal could be heard on an Atwater field as 30 firefighters learned the best way to free auto accident victims from mangled wrecks -- without the pressure of a real rescue.

A 1980s Ford Thunderbird, Acura Integra, and Ford and Chrysler minivans gave their all so the firefighters would be better equipped to pull someone trapped inside a twisted hulk and get them to a trauma center within an hour of the wreck.

Much of the 16-hour training involved using the Hurst Jaws of Life auto extrication tool, which peels back or slices through seemingly impenetrable sheet metal like a tuna fish can or airbags that are capable of lifting 21 tons almost a foot in the air to free someone trapped underneath a car or truck.

Capt. Gabriel Santos, Merced County Fire Department training officer, said eight hours of classroom training and eight hours in a field on Broadway next to Julio's Auto Wrecking, which donated the cars, exposed firefighters to gear they may have never used before.

Juan Salazar, a firefighter from Delhi, said he learned a great deal from the Saturday and Sunday sessions. "It's (training) really good and shows the capabilities of the equipment we have."

"It's been a great day," Santos said. "There's a lot we don't have control over but knowing our equipment and its capabilities is critical. "We pile them up (wrecked cars) and give them back at the end of the day."

Students from the Merced College Fire Academy, Atwater, Merced and Los Banos city fire departments, Merced and Mariposa counties fire departments participated. Cal Fire engineers Chris Benard, Brian Nation and Mark Pimentel helped Santos teach the class along with paid call firefighter Donald Thrasher.

Jaime Bond, of Mariposa, a seasonal firefighter from Cal Fire and a Mariposa County volunteer, has never been at an auto accident where extrication was needed but thought it was nice to get hands-on training with unfamiliar equipment, see how it all works together and find out how other people do certain things.

Nation demonstrated several different metal cutters and hydraulic rams used to spread sheet metal. He said firefighters learned how to maneuver metal away from patients trapped in vehicles. Doors, dashes and steering wheels typically are the major obstacles to freeing trapped victims.

Source: Merced Sun-Star - Article

Firefighters, vehicle, extrication class

Saturday, March 29, 2008

News: Willits - Fire Chief Jeff Smith retires

Changing of the guard: Fire Chief Jeff Smith retires

The Willits News














Little Lake Fire Chief Jeff Smith
(Little Lake Fire Department/Courtesy) (The Willits News)

Little Lake Fire Chief Jeff Smith retires on March 31, following a distinguished 22 years of leadership within the community. The city of Willits issued a proclamation Wednesday recognizing Smith for his heroism in the face of danger and his devoted service to the community. "As fire chief and fire marshal, Chief Smith is probably the closest thing to a celebrity Willits has. He is a kind and generous person, everyone knows him, even out of uniform, so he cannot go anywhere without people wanting to stop him and talk or ask him a question about something," says a Little Lake Fire Association spokesman. "We have all seen Chief Smith on the fire scene; a factory leveled by flames, tanker trucks on fire, burning buildings falling on firefighters, the blood, gore and screams of the most horrific accidents. "Chief Smith possesses the rarest of leadership traits, the more intense the situation, the calmer Jeff becomes. Chief Smith is also known for his compassion; comforting families who has lost everything they owned in a fire. "Chief Smith understood each of us, probably better than we understood ourselves. He knew when to pat you on the back, or give you a swift kick in the behind. Chief Smith was not afraid to voice his displeasure at the occasional screw-up if it was appropriate, and the offender seldom made that mistake again. "As firefighters, we will all try to remember the things that Jeff taught us, all the little things, putting up ladders, hose-company drills, fighting fire aggressively. But, more importantly, Chief Smith imparted some elements of his leadership skills in all of our lives, from chiefs, captains, engineers and firefighters, whether at home with the kids, in the workplace, or on the fire scene," says a LLF spokesman. Smith was born and raised in Willits, graduating from Willits High School. He and his wife Jann have been married for thirty years. Jann stayed at home to raise their two sons when they were young and now works as an office assistant with CalFire. Their oldest son Shawn spent seven years in the military, including two tours of duty in Iraq and now works for Gulfstream in Savannah, Georgia. Chad is a firefighter with CalFire and volunteers with the Brooktrails Fire Department. "Those inside the fire service know Smith contributed so much more to the community. Unless you have been in the volunteer fire service environment, you have no idea how much time and commitment is given by the firefighters and their families. With his dedication and leadership, Smith set the highest standard for expectations that became the guide for the entire department," says a LLF spokesman.

Monday, March 31 will be Smith's last day as fire chief, with the new Fire Chief Shane Burke stepping forward to fill some very big shoes the next day.

"[We] commend and honor Jeff Smith for his years of extraordinary, selfless contributions to his profession and our community, and to express the city's heartfelt appreciation for his dedication and commitment to the citizens of Willits," as stated in the proclamation adopted unanimously by the Willits City Council on March 26.

Whole story at: www.willitsnews.com

Friday, March 28, 2008

News: Multiple Fire starts in the Mother Lode

Small Vegetation Fires Reported Across Mother Lode

Friday, March 28, 2008 - 03:50 PM

Jamestown, Ca -- There have been a number of small vegetation fires this afternoon, according to Cal Fire .

The first fire broke out at 1154 Pennsylvania Gulch Rd. at 12:06pm and was extinguished a short time after. It was approximately one acre in size.

During the one o'clock hour, there were five spot fires reported along Jamestown Rd. All of the fires have now been extinguished.

Cal Fire says the official causes of all the fires remain under investigation.

Source: mymotherlode.com

News: Flags at half staff in California

California Gov. Schwarzenegger Issues Statement On Death Of Los Angeles Fire Department Firefighter Brent A. Lovrien

Published 03-28-2008

Sacramento, CA - California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger released the following statement regarding the death of Los Angeles Fire Department Firefighter Brent A. Lovrien:

"Firefighter Brent Lovrien was a selfless, extraordinary hero who always answered the call of duty to save lives and protect communities. His courageous sacrifice will be honored and remembered forever by the people of California. Maria and I hold Brent's family and fellow firefighters in our thoughts and prayers as they mourn the loss of this fallen hero."

Lovrien, 35, died March 26 as a result of injuries suffered when an explosion occurred while he was investigating reports of smoke at a structure in Los Angeles. He was a 10-year veteran of the Los Angeles Fire Department.

In honor of Firefighter Lovrien, Capitol flags will be flown at half-staff.

[LAFD ALERT] Press Conference Update

[LAFD ALERT] Press Conference Update
Today's Press Conference at site of Wednesday's explosion has been moved
from 3:00 PM to **4:00 PM** due to circumstances beyond our control. We will
commence at 4:00 PM sharp. -Humphrey ###

For further information - or to join LAFD_ALERT: http://lafd.org/alert

CAL FIRE News: Sexual discrimination lawsuit filed

Sexual discrimination lawsuit filed by former SLO County Cal Fire employee settled

A sexual discrimination lawsuit filed by a Cal Fire employee formerly working in San Luis Obispo County has been settled.

Brandlyn LeAnn Cox sued the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention for sexual discrimination, retaliation, conspiracy to retaliate and emotional distress. She was seeking an unlimited amount of compensation in the lawsuit that was filed on May 31 in San Luis Obispo Superior Court.

The case was settled Jan. 28 and officially dismissed Feb. 13, according to court records.

Cox, who had worked for Cal Fire, then called the California Department of Forestry and Fire protection, as a secretary in San Luis Obispo County is no longer employed there, according to Cal Fire officials.

She had alleged in the lawsuit that she was retaliated against and passed over for promotions after complaining about a supervisor who allegedly made derogatory remarks about her based on her gender.

Details of the settlement were unavailable Thursday. Cox’s attorney Alison Brenneman declined to comment on the settlement, saying she did not remember if the agreement was confidential.

A phone call to Cox on Thursday afternoon was not immediately returned.

Source: SanLuisOpispo.com—Leslie Parrilla

Thursday, March 27, 2008

News: LAFD - Power Saw Sparked Deadly Explosion?

Power Saw May Have Sparked Deadly Explosion
Power Saw May Have Sparked Deadly Explosion


LAFD officials investigating Wednesday's fatal explosion in Westchester are looking into several possible causes, including whether a power saw being used by their personnel may have ignited the blast that killed one firefighter and critically injured another.

LAFD officials investigating Wednesday's fatal explosion in Westchester are looking into several possible causes, including whether a power saw being used by their personnel may have ignited the blast that killed one firefighter and critically injured another.

Source:ktla.trb.com
Door's blew off during breeching with Rescue Saw?
Firefighters were operating gas powered metal cutting circular saw at time of explosion

task-force-95-helmet+lafd-lodd-explosion
Power Saw May Have Sparked Deadly Explosion
LAFD officials investigating Wednesday's fatal explosion in Westchester are looking into several possible causes, including whether a power saw being used by their personnel may have ignited the blast that killed one firefighter and critically injured another.

Additionally, officials are exploring whether a gas or electrical malfunction of some kind caused the blast.

"We can't rule anything out yet and we have to rule out the other possible causes before we can say definitively say where the problem lies," said Los Angeles City Fire Capt. Armando Hogan.

An eyewitness to the blast said today that he watched as firefighters responding to a report of smoke from a possible fire struggled to open the door to an electrical utility vault next to the Water and Power Community Credit Union in the 8800 block of Sepulveda Boulevard.

Charles Mordi, who owns an employment testing lab business above the credit union, said he called 911 on Wednesday after hearing an explosion up the street. He also saw smoke coming from the utility room.

Within minutes of his call, he said, a firefighter arrived and tried to open the door to the utility room, which was locked. Moments later an engine arrived with the two firefighters. They also tried without success to open the door. One went to the truck and returned with a yellow circular saw.

"As soon he turned it on and put it by the door, that was when the explosion occurred," said Mordi, who said it was immediately clear that the firefighter's injuries were significant. "It threw him almost six feet from where he was standing."

Firefighter Brent A. Lovrien, 35, a 10-year veteran of the department,
Brent+A.+Lovrien-lafd-lodd.jpgwas injured in the blast and died after he was taken to Centinela Freeman Regional Medical Center.Anthony+J.+Guzman-injured-lafd-explosion.jpg City Fire Engineer Anthony J. Guzman, 48, an 18-year veteran, was seriously injured; he was taken to UCLA Medical Center in Westwood with multiple fractures and facial trauma, fire officials said in a statement. He was in serious but stable condition late Wednesday following surgery.

Hogan said investigators had not centered on any one theory for the explosion and are still considering about half a dozen possible causes, from electrical problems to natural or methane gas.

Employees of a Quiznos sandwich shop reported that they smelled gas shortly before the incident began Wednesday afternoon, according to DWP officials. Today, fire investigators appeared to be focusing their attention on an electrical panel housed in a utility room that was between Quiznos and the credit union.

Nick Patsaouras, president of the Department of Water and Power commission, said Fire Department officials informed his agency that any spark given off by the saw -- sed by firefighters trying to get into a vault containing electrical meters for nearby businesses -- could have ignited the blast if methane or another gas were already in the air.

"We were told that the saw could have been the problem," Patsaouras said.

Today, a yellow saw similar to the one Mordi described was still in front of the credit union as investigators -- including federal law enforcement officials and representatives from private gas and oil companies -- examined the scene. Yellow caution tape still surrounded much of the block.

About 400 customers were without power by midday today, DWP officials said.

Lovrien and Guzman were among firefighters called to an electrical vault near Sepulveda and La Tijera boulevards at 1:57 p.m. Wednesday after a report of smoke from a possible fire, fire officials said. After they arrived, there was a larger explosion that sent several manhole covers flying, said Ron Myers, spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Initial reports attributed the firefighters' injuries to the projectiles, but authorities now believe the blast inside the building may have been to blame.

A civilian was also injured by the explosion, but was treated and released at the scene, fire officials said.

A rescue helicopter was called in to transport the firefighters to a nearby hospital, Myers said.

A source close to the investigation told The Times on Wednesday that the blast was so powerful it sent one of the firefighters through a wall and into a parking lot.

Deputy Fire Chief Mario Rueda said the firefighters, who were based at nearby Fire Station 95, were investigating a report of smoke and entering the building when the final explosion occurred.

"They were making entry into a metal clad door" on an electrical equipment room, he said.

Stucco and other materials flew out, hitting a nearby fire engine, Rueda said.

Optometrist Kent Ashcraft, who was working in a nearby office, said he heard two blasts. The second was "like a sonic boom. The walls shook," he said. Cheryl Jackson, an optician who works with Ashcraft, said she heard three explosions.

"I had never heard anything that loud," she said of the final blast.

"It's a sad day in Los Angeles," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Wednesday. "We lost a firefighter."


A business owner gives an account of Wednesday's explosion in Westchester that killed firefighter Brent Lovrien.
By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, , David Zahniser and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
March 28, 2008
Source:
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Fire Department officials investigating Wednesday's fatal explosion in Westchester are looking into several potential causes, including the presence of gas and the possibility that a firefighter's power saw ignited the blast that killed one firefighter and critically injured another, authorities said Thursday.

"Was it an electrical issue, was it a methane issue, was it something that sparked? All that takes looking at evidence to determine," said Los Angeles Fire Capt. Armando Hogan. "We can't rule anything out yet, and we have to rule out the other possible causes before we can say definitively where the problem lies."

While fire investigators remained on the scene late Thursday, city firefighters and friends mourned the death of firefighter Brent A. Lovrien, 35, and sent get-well cards to Engineer Anthony J. Guzman, 48, who was seriously injured in the blast.

Security guards from the Hilton Los Angeles Airport Hotel across the street from Fire Station 95 dropped off two flower arrangements addressed to Guzman and the firefighters as a U.S. flag outside flew at half staff.

Graham Taylor, the hotel's director of safety and security, said the group knew the two firefighters, who often responded to calls at the hotel.

"We're like a big extended family," Taylor said.

Investigators have talked by phone with the state fire marshal and governor's offices, and the governor sent a representative to Los Angeles. A forensic investigator is also coming from Maryland.

As investigators searched for the cause of the blast Thursday, witnesses recounted hearing three distinct explosions, the last one being the fatal one, shortly before 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Charles Mordi said he watched as firefighters responded to a report of smoke coming from manhole covers. He then watched firefighters struggling to open the door to an electrical vault next to the Water and Power Community Credit Union in the 8800 block of Sepulveda Boulevard.

Mordi, who owns an employment testing business above the credit union, said he called 911 after hearing an explosion up the street. He also saw smoke coming from the utility room.

Within minutes of his call, he said, a firefighter arrived and tried to open the door to the utility room, which was locked. Moments later, an engine arrived with the two firefighters. They also tried without success to open the door. One went to the truck and returned with a yellow circular saw.

"As soon as he turned it on and put it by the door, that was when the explosion occurred," Mordi said. "It threw him almost six feet from where he was standing."

Lovrien, a 10-year veteran of the department, was injured in the blast and died after he was taken to Centinela Freeman Regional Medical Center. Guzman, an 18-year veteran, was taken to UCLA Medical Center in Westwood with multiple fractures and facial trauma, fire officials said. He remained in serious but stable condition Thursday after surgery.

Employees of a Quiznos sandwich shop reported that they smelled gas shortly before the incident, according to officials with the L.A. County Department of Water and Power. On Thursday, fire investigators appeared to be focusing their attention on an electrical panel housed in a utility room between the Quiznos and the credit union.

Nick Patsaouras, president of the DWP commission, said Fire Department officials told his agency that any spark given off by the saw -- used by firefighters trying to enter the vault containing electrical meters for nearby businesses -- could have ignited the blast if methane or another gas was already in the air.

"We were told that the saw could have been the problem," Patsaouras said.

On Thursday, a yellow saw similar to the one Mordi described was still in front of the credit union as investigators -- including federal law enforcement officials and representatives from private gas and oil companies -- examined the scene. Yellow caution tape still surrounded much of the block.

About 400 customers were still without power Thursday night, DWP officials said.

A civilian was also injured by the explosion but was treated and released at the scene, fire officials said.

Optometrist Kent Ashcraft, who was working in a nearby office, said he heard two blasts. The second was "like a sonic boom. The walls shook," he said. Cheryl Jackson, an optician who works with Ashcraft, said she heard three explosions. "I had never heard anything that loud," she said of the final blast.

OES: California Emergency Services Director

Henry Renteria, California Emergency Services Director

During his 20-year career at the Oakland Office of Emergency Services, Henry R. Renteria saw more than a lifetime of natural disasters - from the 1989 Loma Prieta to the fast-spreading 1991 Oakland firestorm.

Appointed in 2004 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as director of the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services - the state's top emergency management post - Renteria oversees emergency services for 38 million residents living in what's arguably the most geographically complex state in the country. He is a past president of the California Emergency Services Association, and helped launch the state's first public-private partnership initiative to support emergency planning and response.

With the different potential disasters in California - earthquakes, fires and floods - how does your agency manage effectively? The California Office of Emergency Services, with other state agencies, is now more proactive and has a forward-leaning when responding to events. In the past, the way the emergency management structure has always been followed is that all disasters are local; they all start at the local level. The state was here to provide systems if the local government couldn't handle something.

That has changed over this administration. Gov. Schwarzenegger is very proactive. He's an action-oriented guy, and he made it clear to me that when something happens, regardless of the event's size and where it happens, we need to be on top of it immediately.

When you say your agency is being "proactive," is there a technological component to that improvement? Yes - everything from communications to warning systems. We have a 24-hour state warning center that's now connected to every local government and county in the state. When something happens, we can instantly send a warning message or communication request back and forth with that local government.

For example, this past weather emergency, we knew, because of our communications with the National Weather Service, that we were in the position to receive three winter storms in a row. We were able to identify the severity of those storms based on actual weather service intelligence and information they gave us.

We were in direct communication with all the first responders, special districts and with the public to get everyone ready for those storms. In the past, we depended on the media to send this [message] out or local governments to use their own resources. Now we're all talking to each other.

Did improved communications capabilities hold true during the 2007 San Diego wildfires? Comparing the [Oakland] firestorm in 1991 to this 2007 similar firestorm: The reverse 911 was used in San Diego - was a real plus in warning large populations about the firestorm's severity and the need to evacuate.

In 1991, local government was taken somewhat by surprise because that fire rekindled the next morning. Due to the weather conditions, it quickly went out of control. You were also dealing with an urban fire department that wasn't trained in fighting wildland fire. That's another issue, but the point I'm making, again, is there was no alerting and warning system in place in Oakland when that fire occurred. Whereas in San Diego, it was organized by local government and reverse 911 was used for evacuation.

Source: govtech.com

Guadalupe's fire chief set to retire

After more than seven years heading up the Guadalupe Fire Department and nearly half a century in fire protection, Chief Carmon Johnson has decided it is time to move on.

Johnson submitted a letter to city administration last Friday stating his intent to retire effective Aug. 29.

“I have been doing this for almost 48 years and I am tired,” Johnson said Friday. “With the new captains, I wanted to transition out and go home and rest. That's the bottom line.”

The city has just created a third full-time fire captain position, and officials are now discussing how to cut costs in the department in order to cover the new position. Additionally, a vacant captain position was recently filled, so the department has two new captains.

“I came to Guadalupe because I love the community and I love the Fire Department,” Johnson said. “And I thought it would be interesting to do a few years to make a contribution. I didn't plan on staying as long as I did.”

Johnson noted he has already retired from two previous careers - he spent 23 years working with CalFire and 15 years with PG&E as fire marshal and fire chief at the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.

In addition, he taught classes for six years at the Allan Hancock College Fire Academy.

The city intends to move quickly with recruitment for a new chief, said City Administrator Carolyn Galloway-Cooper.

“He will be difficult to replace,” she said. “He set the bar pretty high as far as knowledge.”

Mayor Lupe Alvarez echoed that sentiment, and added, “He advanced the Fire Department in many different areas.”

With a vacancy at the top, Alvarez said, it may be a good time for the city to look at how the department is structured. In light of current financial concerns, he said, noting that some positions may be good candidates for consolidation.

Source: santamariatimes.com

LOS ANGELES CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT RELEASE

LOS ANGELES CITY FIRE DEPARTMENT RELEASE

Update: A candlelight vigil will be held at 5 p.m. April 3 outside Fire Station 5 in Los Angeles, 8900 S. Emerson Ave. Funeral services will be at 9:30 a.m. at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Los Angeles, 555 W. Temple St. Please check www.LAFD.org for additional.

It is with great sadness that the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department share word of one City of Los Angeles Firefighter dying today in the line of duty.

On Wednesday, March 26, 2008 at 1:57 PM Los Angeles Firefighters were summoned to investigate smoke in the 8800 block of South Sepulveda Boulevard in the Westchester area of Los Angeles - not far from Los Angeles International Airport.

At approximately 2:20 PM, an explosion occurred at a nearby building, causing injury to two male Firefighters and one civilian.

Firefighter Brent A. Lovrien, age 35, a 10 year veteran of the LAFD assigned to the 'A' Platoon at Fire Station 95 since October 2005, died shortly after arrival at the Centinela Freeman Regional Medical Center, Marina Campus.

Engineer Anthony J. Guzman, age 48, an 18 year veteran of the LAFD assigned to the 'A' Platoon at Fire Station 95 since February 2002, suffered multiple fractures and facial trauma. He was transported to the UCLA Medical Center in Westwood, where he remains in serious but stable condition.

Preliminary reports indicate the civilian was treated at the scene and released.

As dictated by Fire Department policy, a formal and detailed multi-agency investigation is underway to determine the exact nature of the explosion, as well as the precise cause and manner of the Firefighters death.

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department thank you for your kind words and sentiment at this time of overwhelming sorrow and immense loss.


The latest information about this incident, as well as details regarding memorial services will be offered via this blog, and can be accessed anytime via LAFD.ORG

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

LAFD: LODD and critical injuries - Explosions

Los Angeles Fire Department-explosion-LODDLos Angeles Firefighters responding to exploding manhole covers and secondary explosions on Sepulaveda Blvd near LAX have been critically injured.

Fire officials announced at an afternoon news conference that one firefighter had died. Officials said the second victim was in critical, but stable, condition.

Two LAFD firefighters were injured and a firefighter has died from injuries received, One is in stable condition at this time after they had been investigating man hole covers being
blown off on Sepulveda Bl in Westchester.

As they were investigating,they got caught in a secondary explosion.
One Firefighter was airlifted by LAFD air ambulance to UCLA, The FireFighter who has died was taken to Freeman Marina Hospital where he passed.

A bystander was treated and released, according to fire officials.

Authorities said the blast appeared to be "electrical in nature." Deputy Chief Mario Rueda of the city fire department said the explosion was in an electrical vault.
At least one rescue helicopter was dispatched to the scene. The explosion happened at the southwest corner of Sepulveda Boulevard and La Tijera Boulevard.

Update: Firefighter Brent A. Lovrien died from injuries sustained in an explosion and Engineer Anthony J. Guzman sustained serious injuries and has undergone surgery. For additional information go to www.lafd.org/blog

Initial Call: 13:57 - Explosion in Underground vault
Location: 8800 South Speulveda blvd. - Water and Power credit union building
Comms: Ch 7, 12
Staging: Manchester Ave. and La Tijera Blvd
Task Force 95, based at the LA Airport was the company involved in
this afternoon's incident...

LAFD BLOG: Los Angeles Firefighter Killed in the Line of Duty

Click to donate to the Widows, Orphans and Disabled Firemens Fund...It is with great sadness that the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department share word of one City of Los Angeles Firefighter dying today in the line of duty.

On Wednesday, March 26, 2008 at 1:57 PM Los Angeles Firefighters were summoned to investigate smoke in the 8800 block of South Sepulveda Boulevard in the Westchester area of Los Angeles - not far from Los Angeles International Airport.

While Firefighters were performing their sworn duties, an explosion occurred, causing injury to two male Firefighters and one civilian.

One of the injured Firefighters later died at the Centinela Freeman Regional Medical Center, Marina Campus.

The other Firefighter and civilian are being treated at area hospitals.

As dictated by Fire Department policy, a formal and detailed multi-agency investigation is underway to determine the exact nature of the explosion, as well as the precise cause and manner of the Firefighters death.

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department thank you for your kind words and sentiment at this time of overwhelming sorrow and immense loss.

The latest information about this incident, as well as details regarding memorial services will be offered via this blog, and can be accessed anytime via LAFD.ORG


Firefighter Brent A. Lovrien
Photo courtesy LAFD.

LOS ANGELES — One Los Angeles firefighter was killed and another injured Wednesday afternoon in an explosion that rocked a Westchester business district as rescuers were investigating reports of earlier blasts and smoke pouring from buildings.

The dead firefighter, who was identified as Brent A. Lovrein, 35, was blown back and possibly hit by building material when an electrical vault blew apart, ripping a gaping hole in an office building at Sepulveda and La Tijera boulevards.

The second firefighter, Engineer Anthony J. Guzman, was being treated at UCLA Medical Center for a fractured arm and broken ankle. A civilian received minor injuries as well, officials said.

The explosion occurred about 2:30 p.m. northeast of Los Angeles International Airport. It followed two earlier blasts that blew manhole covers skyward, according to Deputy Fire Chief Mario Rueda.

Firefighters from Station 95, near LAX, were opening a metal-clad door on an electrical equipment vault to check for smoke when the blast occurred, Rueda said.

Metal, stucco and insulation blew out of the two-story building, which housed the Water and Power Community Credit Union, and large chunks of stucco hit a fire engine nearby.

The blast hit "like a sonic boom," said optometrist Kent Ashcraft, who was working nearby. "The walls shook."

"I had never heard anything that loud," said Cheryl Jackson, an optician in Ashcraft's office.

At a somber news conference where the firefighter's death was announced, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said, "It's a very sad and tragic day."

Seventy-two firefighters have died in the line of duty during the Los Angeles Fire Department's 126-year history. The last death occurred in 2004.

Fire Chief Douglas Barry said the tragedy was a reminder of the "heroism on display every day [that] goes unnoticed."

"These types of incidents hit us very, very deeply," he said. Counseling was being offered to co-workers of the dead firefighter.

"I just lost a brother," said Steve Tufts, president of United Firefighters of Los Angeles, which represents more than 3,500 rank-and-file department members.

Lovrein lived in La Habra and joined the force in 1997. He was a hazardous materials specialist. Nicknamed "Lovey," he was known as someone who always helped his fellow firefighters and liked to have a good time.

"He was always smiling; he had a great sense of humor," said Battalion Chief Pat Butler, who had been Lovrein's captain at another station.

Butler said Lovrein was divorced with no children and was survived by his father, mother and brother.

He recalled how Lovrein and other firefighters helped a colleague repair the roof at his Ventura County home several years ago.

"He was always willing to lend a helping hand," Butler said. "The roofing job may not have been that smooth, but we had a lot of fun doing it."

The cause of the explosion is under investigation but appeared to be an electrical malfunction, fire officials said. FBI agents and Los Angeles Police Department bomb squad officers were helping firefighters scour the blast scene Wednesday evening.

Smoke had been seen coming from underground utility vaults in the area, said David Nahai, general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

No power outages were reported in the area, so the blast may not have been caused by an electrical problem, Nahai said. "It's a mystery."

One source familiar with the investigation told The Times that the electrical systems in the area were being moved because of construction along Sepulveda Boulevard. The firefighter, who was pronounced dead at Centinela Freeman Regional Medical Center, may have been blown through a wall, the source said. A Fire Department spokesman said he could not confirm exactly how the firefighter was injured.

Power was cut off to the area after the explosion. Nearly 400 customers remained without electricity Wednesday evening, and businesses were shut down for two blocks along Sepulveda Boulevard.

Source: LA Times

News: Scrap metal thieves target Fire hydrants

Scrap metal thieves putting High Desert hydrants out of service

HESPERIA, Calif. (AP) - Fire hydrants have become a favorite target of scrap metal thieves in the High Desert.

The stolen parts, typically brass caps and sometimes brass threading, only yield about $5 from recyclers.

But an employee of the Apple Valley Rancho Water Co. says it costs $125 plus labor to replace them.

Authorities estimate there have been more than 100 such thefts in the past six months.

Jed Holley, manager of A-1 Recycling, says the problem is a safety danger as well as a crime.

There have been no instances of crews arriving at a fire and finding an inoperable hydrant.

Information from: Victorville Daily Press

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Arson suspect / witness sought in Dunsmir fires

Siskiyou County Arson team investigates Friday’s Dunsmuir fires

DUNSMUIR - The Siskiyou County Arson Team is investigating two Dunsmuir fires that occured on Friday night. Two arrests have already been made, and authorities are seeking a ’person of interest,’ Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Susan Gravenkamp said yesterday.

According to the SCSO, a structure fire was reported at about 5:30 p.m. Friday at 6210 Hill Avenue. Gravenkamp said neighbors called 911 reporting the fire. They then attempted to put the fire out with garden hoses.The Dunsmuir City Fire Department, Mount Shasta City Fire Department, Mount Shasta Fire Protection District, Castella Fire Department and CAL FIRE responded to the scene.

Image courtesy of SCSO - The man depicted in the composite sketch at left, issued by the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, may have information regarding Friday night’s fires in Dunsmuir. Anyone who may be able to identify this man should call 841-2900.
Two arrests related to that fire have been made,’ she reported.

Mark Brian Stone, age 56 of Dunsmuir, was arrested at 5 p.m. Saturday and booked into Siskiyou County Jail, charged with arson. Stone was later released without charges, pending the ongoing criminal investigation.


The second arrest was Jesse Wade Foster, age 30 of Dunsmuir. Foster was charged with obstructing/resisting a peace officer with violence, arson and violation of parole.

’Foster remains in custody being held without bail on parole violation charges,’ Gravenkamp said.

The second fire happened at about 11:30 p.m. Friday. Gravenkamp said it was a garage located on Sacramento Avenue near Willow Street.



The Dunsmuir City Fire Department, Mount Shasta City Fire Department, Mount Shasta Fire Protection District, Castella Fire Department and CAL FIRE responded to the scene.

Gravenkamp said SCSO detectives are looking for a witness to the Sacramento Avenue fire.

’This person of interest,’ she said, ’is described as a white male adult believed to be in his early 30s, about 5’8’ tall and weighing 150 to 160 pounds.’



He was wearing a black colored ball cap - possibly a Steelers cap - with a black jacket and blue jeans, she said.

Anyone who has any information about these two fires or who may be able identify the man in the sketch is asked to contact the SCSO 24-hour dispatch center at 530-841-2900.











Source: Siskiyoudaily.com

CA-RRU-Tamarisk Fire - Wildland Vegetation Fire

CA-RRU-Tamarisk IC- Riverside County -Wildland Vegetation Fire

CAL FIRE/Riverside County Firefighters are at the scene of a vegetation fire in the Thousand Palms area.

Time Reported: 03:05 AM
Location: Thousand Palms area, near Ramon Road between I-10 and the railroad tracks, Varner road.
Resources:
11 engines, 4 water tenders, 4 Crews - CAL FIRE/Riverside, Indio, Riverside County Fire Depts.
Initial Sizeup: 2 1/2 acres
ICP:
Varner Road, north of I 10 adjacent from the fire.

Road closures: Heavy smoke hindering westbound traffic on I10 near Ramon Road. Due to the heavy smoke, CHP has closed the westbound #3 and 4 lanes near Ramon Road. Closure of these lanes could be in excess of 8 hours.
Notes: No injuries reported.

Media note: CAL FIRE PIO Captain Fernando Herrera can be reached at (760) 250-9881.
Sources: RRU Incident page,

News: 2007 firestorm - Poway firefighters ordered to withdraw

Last week the San Diego Union-Tribune ran an article about the Poway Fire Department abandoning the neighborhood during the fire. A few days later a firefighter who has since retired and is free to speak without retaliation publicly revealed that they had been ordered by their superiors to bail out. An officer with the union local confirmed his statement and said that he, too, heard orders on the FD radio to stay out of High Valley.

  • City Manger plays chief and orders firefighters to stand down During Witch Creek fire.
  • Firefighters rest while High Valley burns.
  • Public Calls for City Manger to resign.
  • Firefighters free speech muzzled by memo
  • Citizens buying own firefighting gear

Firemen speak out on Poway commands -

SignonSanDiego

Poway's firefighters sat outside the rural neighborhood of High Valley as it burned in last year's Witch Creek fire because they were ordered to stay out by the city manager.

The community lost 28 of 215 homes, and residents accused the Poway Fire Department of abandoning them.

“I need to take responsibility to make sure our firefighters' name is kept intact,” he said.

City Manager Rod Gould acknowledged Tuesday that he made the call to stay out of High Valley after consulting his division chiefs and assessing the needs of Poway, a city of 50,500.

“We had come to a decision the day before that if we didn't have enough resources to protect the rest of the city, and if High Valley goes up, we would not protect High Valley,” Gould said. “That's a choice I would make again and again and again.”

He said he wanted to cut the fire off at Espola Road, which runs north to south in that part of the city.

Gould said firefighters had worked 50 to 60 hours and needed to be replaced by mutual aid fire crews, slow in arriving because Southern California was burning, he said.

In San Diego County, there were five major wildfires burning the week of Oct. 22. More than 1,700 homes were lost and 368,000 acres burned.

“To have sent our depleted resources into High Valley ... could have risked losing thousands of homes (elsewhere in Poway) and firefighters' lives,” Gould said.

Swanson said firefighters were tired but were ready to go.

“Rod Gould needs to trust his fire chiefs and the fire chiefs need to trust his captains (in the field),” he said.

Soon after firefighters spoke up, the Fire Department issued a memo Wednesday, telling its staff to leave comments on High Valley to Safety Services Director Mark Sanchez and the city manager.

High Valley is roughly bounded by Golden Sunset Lane to the south, Lake Poway to the north, Espola Road to the west and Running Deer Terrace to the east. It has one paved road linking it to the rest of Poway.

The two-lane High Valley Road, crisscrossed by overhead utility lines, is so narrow that city's fire marshal once said big firetrucks cannot turn around quickly if a fire changes direction suddenly.

The Witch Creek fire entered Poway from the northeast on Oct. 22. The city ordered High Valley to be evacuated, began calling all 44 firefighters to duty in Poway and elsewhere, and requested 100 mutual aid firetrucks and tankers, division chief Jon Canavan said.

About 4 a.m. the next day, the fire reached High Valley, but firefighters were told to stay away. At 9:30 a.m., when weather conditions had improved, the call was made to dispatch 16 mutual aid fire crews and an airplane to go High Valley. Most of the Poway fire crews were relieved, Canavan said.

In Ed Muscat's Eastvale Road neighborhood, he did not see the first firetruck – and it was from Cal Fire – until 11:30 a.m.

“It was too late,” said Muscat, who drove through barricades at 8:30 a.m. and spent 13 hours fighting fires with his sons to save his four-acre home.

He said city leaders made the wrong decisions.

Deputy Mayor Bob Emery disagrees.

“There is no home worth a firefighter's life,” he said.

After a story appeared in The San Diego Union-Tribune last week, detailing the homeowners' anger, two firefighters agreed to break their silence and speak out.

Mike Swanson, a 30-year Poway Fire Department veteran who retired in December, said firefighters did not want to give up High Valley during the critical 5½ hours when the fire first hit on Oct. 23.

City administrators ordered them to stay out, Swanson said in an interview last week.

He and others in five firetrucks and tankers sat on Espola Road outside High Valley wondering why they couldn't fight small or residual fires in safe areas, which he did before the order came and he had to go back down the hill.

“I sat at the bottom of the hill for hours and hours. We had guys begging to go up there but the chief said no,” Swanson said. “We said, 'What do you mean? Why?' ”

Geoff Kamantigue, a firefighter and a director of the Poway Firefighters Association, said he, too, heard orders on his radio to stay out of High Valley.

To reassure residents, Gould said he will hold a meeting in High Valley in the next two months to discuss new fire-prevention measures, which include the use of fire-resistant building materials, tighter vegetation management and the recent purchase of mobile emergency pumps to boost water supply during firefighting.

Frustrated residents, however, are not easily pacified.

Joel Duncan, Tracey and Steve Sullivan are among those who want the city manager to resign. Duncan is polling his neighbors to find out if they feel Gould should go.

Others, such as Ed Muscat and Karen Podvin, say they want to be trained as volunteer firefighters. And some, like Sandra Keithly, have amassed their own fire gear to do it themselves, an idea Gould advised against because of the danger.

Sources:
Original Article: SignonSanDiego
Related article: Firegeezer - Poway, Calif., FF’s Were Ordered To Not Fight Fires

Monday, March 24, 2008


Chino Valley Fireman Goes Missing


43 year old Chino Valley firefighter Roger Palacios vanished Friday after telling family members he was going for a routine bike ride. Palacios' white truck was also missing.

Source: Source: http://www.baltimoresun.com/ktla-video-fireman,0,3013247.html


The Ontario Police Department announced Sunday that a missing resident fireman has been found dead of an apparent suicide.

Rogelio "Roger" Palacios, 43, was last seen leaving his home in Ontario Friday. Relatives believed he was going to go bike riding either in Chino Hills State Park or in Claremont Hills Park but he never returned.

Police later received a call about a gunshot heard in the area around Kit Carson Park. A jogger discovered Palacios' body Sunday morning.

Palasios was a 17-year veteran of the Chino Valley Fire Department

Relatives say Palacios had recently been depressed about his job.

Rest in peace Roger...

TCU - Prussian IC - 60 acres - Mokelumne Hill

Cal Fire San Andreas working multiple vegetation fires Mokelumne Hill area, Calaveras County

CA-TCU- Prussian IC
Escaped debris burn - Fires started just before Noon, On Monday, March 24, 2008 CAL FIRE and several local fire protection districts responded to three escaped debris burns in Calaveras County totaling 63 acres. Resources totaling 1 helicopter, 2 dozers, 10 engines, 9 hand crews and 3 water tenders were used on scenes of the 3 different incidents. CAL FIRE may charge landowners for the cost of suppressing debris burns that escape control.

Update 08:00 3-25-2008: 60 acres - 2 engines(4473, ) , Vallecitos camp Crews assigned to incident this morning for mop-up and patrol.

Initial call: 11:03 am - Most resources on scene by 13:30
2 separate starts in area.
Location: 3820 Prussian Hill Rd Mokelumne Hill, - Access Railroad Flat road, Mountain Ranch road,
Map
Resources: CDF Units from Columbia, San Andreas, Esperanza, Vallecito, Sonora, West Point, Baseline and Pine Grove all responded. Also helping out were local units from Central Fire, Altaville/Melones, Murphys, San Andreas and Mokelumne Hill.

IC initially called for 4 crews, Dozer, Pickup w/hose
4473, BC 4411
WT-159, WT-168
Vallecitos Crews-1,2,4,5 Pine Grove crews 2 and 4 responding out of unit to Highway 26 and Ponderosa way.
Copter 404
Misc. Fire updates:
Copter 404 refueled Columbia eta back to fire 12 min
E-231, E-238 released
WT-159, WT-168 on scene
Comms: Prussian IC - Tac 8 local tone,
Some resource traffic on CMD 1 tone 1

Note: Per monitored radio traffic only - Not official nor comprehensive

Anaheim: Chemical Fire - Twelve firefighters injured Sunday

Twelve firefighters were injured Sunday afternoon in a fire that involved caustic chemicals at a textile dyeing company, authorities said.
The fire was reported just after 4 pm local time Sunday near chemical storage tanks

Jeff Lutz of the Anaheim Fire Department says the fire was reported just before 5 p.m. Sunday at Alstyle Dyeing and Finishing and was out by just after 6 p.m.

Lutz says the firefighters were hurt while putting out the blaze, The injuries, including respiratory irritation and chemical burns, were all mild to moderate, said Jeff Lutz of the Anaheim Fire Department.

The fire was reported just after 4 p.m. local time Sunday near chemical storage tanks outside Alstyle Dyeing and Finishing, Lutz said. The blaze, which burned through combustible material near the tanks, was out in under two hours.

Two tanks of hydrogen peroxide and one of phosphoric acid burst open in the fire. While not flammable, both chemicals added to the heat of the blaze, Lutz said.

As a precaution, 35 nearby businesses in the industrial area were evacuated Sunday night as hazmat teams cleaned up the spill.

All the injured firefighters were expected to be back on the job this week.

The cause is under investigation.

LAFD - Large Structure fire - Five story condos

Los Angeles Firefighters are on the scene in Canoga Park where a large building under construction is on fire.
Fire was burning on upper floors on arrival at the condominium complex that was still under construction.

The fire was contained on the upper floors of the building and in wooden scaffolding outside the structure.

Initial call: 8:51 AM (1 hour ago)


*Structure Fire* 6200 Canoga Ave; TG 530-B7; FS 72, Five story condos under construction; NFD; Ch:8,18 @8:43 AM -Brian Humphrey###
Update: 6200 Canoga Ave* KNOCKDOWN; More than 200 Los Angeles Firefighters extinguished the flames in just 1 hr 22 min; No injury


Local News media: abc7.com.

Live video:
http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/livemedia?section=news/local&id=6038486

Saturday, March 22, 2008

News: Witch Creek Fire - Guy wires possible cause

Still No Cause Known for Witch Creek Fire

Five months after the San Diego Witch Creek Fire, there is still no official cause, according to CalFire case supervisor and Battalion Chief Jim Garrett.
Garrett said power lines played a part, but southern California utilities engineer Ed Clark, who is also a former SDG&E expert witness believes he has the answer. Clark says unless corrections are made, San Diego will see more fires.

Clark was asked to investigate the fires for an insurance company, and says, “What we discovered was something that has to be fixed right away, otherwise, there's going to be more fires starting.” He believes the Witch Creek, and possibly other fires, started with a design flaw.

“Arcing goes on right in this particular area,” explains Clark, pointing to the metal bracket which anchors a power pole guy wire to the ground. “So as the pole swings in high winds, you're making contact and breaking contact.” He shows how dry brush and grass grows up along the guy wire, and creates a fuse to other dry brush. “The dry grass grows up inside here, and you get low humidity, dry winds, it ignites.”

Clark claims the guy wire design on several power poles along a line in eastern San Diego County cause a continuous path for electricity, and therefore, the potential for arcing. He says breaking the path by moving a metal bolt just a foot would prevent arcing, and cost less than $50,000 total.

“There's definitely a problem with the 69KV Line that needs to be addressed,” says property owner Glenn Drown. But he isn’t convinced Clark is on the right track. “I just know what I saw. The area that I saw burn, a couple of hours after [the Witch Creek Fire] actually started.”

San Diego Gas & Electric spokesperson Stephanie Donovan says SDG&E disagrees with Clark’s perspective. Donovan says “We don't believe the scenario he outlined would cause the problem that he has suggested...and it's highly unlikely there would be enough current generated through the common bolt and the guy wire loop to cause arcing."

California Public Utilities Commission spokesman Tom Hall also said the agency is investigating guy wires, and the cause of the fires of fall 2007, however declined to further elaborate.

But while the parties are investigating, Clark believes the weather conditions could be leading up to “the perfect storm.”

Jim Garrett says CalFire has ruled out arcing guy wires as the cause of the Witch Creek Fire, but Clark insists if there’s even any doubt, something should be done.

“Someone else is going to get hurt. Someone else is going to lose a loved one. Someone's going to lose a home.

Source: Fox6.com

Long Beach, NY - Fire department - provocative calendar flap

LONG BEACH, NY– The volunteer arm of the Long Beach fire department has been taking heat over a fundraising calendar it published of barely-clothed models, some provocatively garbed in firefighter gear and posing with department equipment as props.

City officials said the glossy, 14-page calendar showed poor judgment, and fire department officials were ordered to stop selling the calendars. It was unclear how many had been printed or sold.

“The production reflects a lapse of judgment that failed to consider the sensitivities of the community and certain good common sense,” said Long Beach City Manager Charles Theofan.

Theofan said that no one in the city administration knew about the calendar until he was questioned about it by a Newsday reporter.

The calendar was produced by the volunteer branch of the fire department—which is separate from the paid force. However, he said the chief of the combined department, Marco Passaro, told him he had approved the fundraiser.

Passaro declined to comment for this story. Theofan said he was satisfied there would not be a recurrence.

He said that there are no plans to discipline anyone for the calendar.

Calendar3_max200w

Web grab from MY Space page, showing images from a calendar, produced as a fundraiser for the Long Beach Fire Department. (Newsday)

Calendar1_crop380w

December page of a 2008 calendar, featuring semi-nude female models using the Long Beach Fire Dept. equipment for erotic poses. The volunteer members of the Long Beach fire department, with the approval of the fire chief, produced this calendar as a fundraiser

City officials said Passaro told him the models posing for each month of the calendar were not compensated and that the trucks were manned at all times in case of an emergency.

The City of Long Beach supplies the volunteers with everything they need, including trucks, equipment and gear. All independently raised funds are used at the Chief’s discretion and go toward items such as dinners and T-shirts, city officials said.

Calednar2_max200w
Cover of a 2008 calendar, featuring semi-nude female models using the Long Beach Fire Dept. equipment in erotic poses. The volunteer members of the Long Beach fire department, with the approval of the fire chief, produced this calendar as a fundraiser

In one of the photos, the model for February clad in a fire-engine red lingerie top and bottom and stilettos –leans against a fire truck with the words: West End Tower Ladder across the side.

In five other months, the women are topless except for artfully placed firemen’s suspenders.

One volunteer firefighter from Tower Ladder 74 uploaded the photos to his MySpace page. The photos have since been removed. He could not be reached for comment.

Source: Newsday

News: two vegetation fires in San Luis Opispo county

Firefighters are battling two vegetation fires in San Luis Obispo County.

A fire near Lopez Lake is 10 acres and firefighters are still working on it, according to County/Cal Fire.

Another fire in the Upper Los Berros area was contained at 3:26 p.m. It reached 3 acres at its peak, according to San Luis Obispo County/Cal Fire. The fire was a controlled burn that got out of control.

Source: Sanluisobispo.com

SCU - Summit Fire - Wildland Fire - Summit Rd-Loma Chaquita area

CA-SCU-Summit IC -Wildland Fire in the Summit Rd. / Loma Chaquita area

Final Update: Crews overnight kept the fire within the containment perimeter despite winds gusting to 20 mph. Mop up in heavy fuels continues this morning and will likely last through a good portion of the day.
Source: Loma Prieta fire blog

Update: approx 2030hrs - The fire is contained but still hot. The community can expect smoke in the air overnight and tomorrow. Crews will remain at the fire overnight.


Photo credit: Loma Prieta Volunteer Fire and Rescue
Fire blog via Verizon wireless


Loma Prieta Fire, Cal Fire, Santa Clara County Fire, Scotts Valley Fire, Casa Loma Fire and Uvas Fire are involved in suppression efforts up on the ridge top at the County Line. Currently the fire is at one acre in very rough terrain.

At this time no instructions have been given for evacuations.

Source:Loma Prieta Volunteer Fire and Rescue:

Friday, March 21, 2008

Unconfirmed: large plane down in Butte County

UPDATE: No Aircraft down -
Butte Sheriff canceled, calling it false alarm after contacting pilot. CDF canceling. Apparently a large milair plane was flying low and witnesses saw it clip tree top?...

Downed aircraft -
Butte County - Not officially confirmed

From:
[SCANnorCAL] large plane down in Butte County? - "Possibly C-130 down in Magalia."

Staging is Skyway at Coutolenc. Looking for sheered tree tops etc.
Butte H1 is looking for it.

Comms:Traffic on calcord.
151.400 CDF
156.075 calcord
155.940 SAR response

Follow up news story:

Plane crash draws emergency response to Magalia
Source: paradisepost.com

A reported plane crash in Magalia Friday afternoon turned out to be a false alarm.

While a helicopter searched the area, emergency personnel waited at Coutelenc and Larter roads for an update on the supposed crash, which was reported at about 3:30 p.m. Butte County Sheriff's deputies and California Highway Patrol officers interviewed Gary McElroy, a resident on Larter Road.

"Right now we have a chopper up there looking," said Butte County Sheriff's Sgt. Mike Lydon. "If it turns out to be a false alarm, then it's a false alarm."

McElroy said a green C-130 four-engine plane was flying low over the area headed east toward Concow. C-130 planes are commonly used by the military and Coast Guard, and are similar in size to the Aero Union planes used to dump fire retardant on fires

McElroy said though the plane was flying low, he didn't believe the plane was in trouble because its engines sounded fine. He said the planes can commonly be seen in the area, but usually not that low.

However, McElroy said his neighbor called in the emergency because she claimed the plane clipped a tree and was wobbling. A Cal-Fire/Butte County Fire unit from Stirling City went down the Paradise Bowhunter's Range road to search for the plane. Cal-Fire/Butte County Fire Capt. Greg Bull said there was initially a report of a small aircraft, but was able to confirm that a C-130 was flying in the area at the time of the report.

Greg McFadden from Cal-Fire/Butte County Fire said C-130 planes have been flying in and out of Chico all week. He said the plane suspected of causing the ruckus was inbound to Reno and was waiting for a confirmation.

Butte County Sheriff's Lt. Al Smith said the department received about 10 reports of the low flying planes from citizens. About 45 minutes after the initial report, he was able to confirm that there was no crash.

He said the plane landed in Reno, Nev. where they were able to make contact with the pilot.

"There was no plane crash," Smith said. "We talked to the Air Force and the pilot said he was flying low in this area, but didn't touch any trees."

Report: Infighting hurt Tahoe wildfire response

SACRAMENTO — Steps to prevent catastrophic wildfires in the Lake Tahoe basin, one of the country’s most treasured natural wonders, have been hampered for years by bureaucratic infighting among agencies that often work at cross purposes, according to thousands of pages of documents reviewed by The Associated Press.
The failure of the agencies to adequately protect the basin was brought to light last June when the Angora Fire ripped through a thickly forested ravine and destroyed 254 homes near South Lake Tahoe.
Since then, blame has fallen on the overlapping agencies that have environmental and regulatory oversight of the Tahoe basin. A commission established after the fire is recommending ways to heal the rifts and will vote on its report Friday.
Trying to decipher how Lake Tahoe’s environment is managed and which agencies are in charge is a confounding exercise.

To start, its shores are divided between two states, immediately creating an additional layer of bureaucracy.
Beyond the various state agencies, the U.S. Forest Service administers much of the land around the lake. Then there are regional water boards that are charged with maintaining the lake’s clarity, multiple local governments and fire protection districts, and a two-state regional planning board whose regulations affect all the agencies, organizations and private landowners in the Tahoe basin.

This was just a summary of a long comprehensive
article here

News: 2-alarm commercial building - Union city

Fire in Union City under investigation

UNION CITY — The source of a two-alarm commercial building fire that caused an unestimated amount of damage Wednesday night still was being investigated Thursday evening.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries after responding to the blaze, which was reported by an alarm company as well as the police department at 9:21 p.m., and was under control about 10 p.m. No one else was injured.

When firefighters arrived, smoke already was pouring from the building at 30065 Eigenbrodt Way.

Units from the Fremont and Newark fire departments were called in to assist, and, using their aerial ladders, ventilated the building from the roof.

Source: Argus

News: Earthquakes - 3.0 - swarm - Dublin

DUBLIN, CA -- No damage or injuries have been reported but if you live in the San Francisco East Bay your house may have been shaking the last few days. Nearly two dozen earthquakes have hit the Dublin, Ca area since Thursday afternoon. Three more small shakers were recorded early Friday morning. And the biggest so far is documented below. USGS geologists say that with a cluster of quakes like this - the Bay Area could continue to feel the quakes for the next several days or even weeks.
These quakes are not on the dangerous Hayward fault; they are on the so called step-over fault that is between Calaveras and Concord, and all centered near Dublin.
The largest was 3.0 recorded at 6:30 pm on Thursday night.

This comes as a new report warns that the Bay Area is not ready for the big one coming on the Hayward fault.

Magnitude 3.0 - SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CALIFORNIA

2008 March 21 01:37:24 UTC

Map Centered at 37°N, 120°W
Map showing earthquakes

Earthquake Details - Google location map link

Magnitude3.0
Date-Time
  • Friday, March 21, 2008 at 01:37:24 UTC
  • Thursday, March 20, 2008 at 06:37:24 PM at epicenter
Location37.714°N, 121.953°W
Depth10.5 km (6.5 miles)
RegionSAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CALIFORNIA
Distances
  • 4 km (2 miles) W (269°) from Dublin, CA
  • 5 km (3 miles) S (181°) from San Ramon, CA
  • 8 km (5 miles) NW (306°) from Pleasanton, CA
  • 11 km (7 miles) S (170°) from Danville, CA
  • 13 km (8 miles) NE (55°) from Hayward, CA
  • 26 km (16 miles) ESE (110°) from Oakland, CA
Location Uncertaintyhorizontal +/- 0.1 km (0.1 miles); depth +/- 0.3 km (0.2 miles)
ParametersNST=127, Nph=127, Dmin=8 km, Rmss=0.13 sec, Gp= 32°,
M-type=duration magnitude (Md), Version=1
Source
Event IDnc51198739

News: Corona Fire Department - Chief Mike Warren

CORONA - Corona Fire , a member of state and national emergency response groups, lightened his workload Tuesday when he said he would be retiring.

His last workday will be July 3. He will use his accrued annual leave before his retirement takes effect at the end of the year.

"I feel like I'm going out on top," Warren said. "It's been a great, great career. The last 14 years in Corona have been absolutely the best of my 36 years in the fire service. Professionally and personally, it's a good time."

Warren, 54, said he has recommended a replacement to Corona City Manager Beth Groves. She could not be reached for comment.

Warren said his family made a lot of sacrifices during his career and provided great support. Warren lives in Riverside with his wife, Jan. They have two sons, Cameron, 32, and Tom, 27.

When Warren moved from his job as a deputy chief with the California Department of Forestry to Corona, the Fire Department had five stations and 84 employees, none of them women, to serve a city of more than 88,000 people. Firefighters responded to about 4,400 calls to 911 during his first year.

He has guided the department's growth to keep pace with the city's population explosion to 153,000. The Fire Department now has 148 employees, including five women who are firefighters or investigators. The department answered 10,071 calls to 911 last year.

Corona Police Chief Richard Gonzales credited Warren for the development of the paramedic program in the city and the Fire Department's superb response to the midair plane collision that killed five people Jan. 20.

"That one incident encapsulates everything involving the leadership within the Fire Department," Gonzales said. "Mike didn't show up. Mike didn't have to. His guys knew exactly what to do."

Continuing Efforts

Warren will continue his work with the California Fire Chiefs Association. He will work with a program to improve emergency response throughout the United States organized after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Warren will remain Gov. Schwarzenegger's appointee to the state Emergency Council and will work on the state Terrorism Threat Assessment Advisory Group and the state Emergency Response Training Advisory Committee.

Warren has worked with emergency responders in Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and Tennessee. He made four trips to Tennessee last year. His work proved fruitful in the efficient way emergency personnel responded to tornadoes that hit the Southeast, including Jackson, Tenn., last month.

"He basically helped them put their plan in place," said Scott Creason, program manager for the International Association of Fire Chiefs about Warren's work in Tennessee. "They did not have a plan (for mutual aid) a year, a year and a half ago. They went from nothing to being one of the most robust states in the country."

Creason said Warren "is a mover and a shaker in the mutual-aid world. He is more involved than just his fire department. He wants to share his knowledge and expertise with other states."

'Second to None'

Dennis Wolf, fire chief in Germantown, Tenn., and president of his state's fire chiefs association, said in an e-mail that Warren helped the group formulate a preparedness plan for a 7.7 magnitude earthquake on the New Madrid fault.

"Kudos to Mike for helping us develop the plan," Wolf said.

Former Corona City Councilman Darrell Talbert said Warren has put Corona in the forefront of firefighting technology.

"He has built a department that is second to none," Talbert said. "His relations with the governor's office and his work within the state has kept Corona on the map and allowed us to make a valuable contribution to firefighting statewide."

Though he does not live in Corona, Warren has been a vital part of the community, said Bobby Spiegel, president of the Chamber of Commerce. Spiegel said attendance at the chamber's quarterly luncheons has grown because of Warren's organizational skills. Almost 400 attended the most recent lunch.

Source: PE.com

Twitter links

-
****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.
View blog top tags
---------------------
CLICK HERE TO GO BACK TO TOP OF CALIFORNIA FIRE NEWS HOME PAGE