LAFD Faces Greater Alarm

A two-story commercial building suffered extensive fire damage in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, October 30, 2020.

LAFD Fire personnel and assets were dispatched to a 2-story commercial building located in the 800 block of south San Julian Street (later address changed to the 900 block of the same address).

First due arriving units reported heavy pressurized smoke showing from the rooftop around 2003 hours PT.

The first due units (initial dispatched resources) were FS9, B1, Council District 14, BC1, BC11, E209, E210, E4, E9, RA209, RA809, SQ21, T10, T9, CH9, CH13.

A Greater Alarm structure fire was escalated at 2023 PT with reports of the building being a one-story with a possible upper mezzanine, concrete tilt-up construction and a size-up of 100′ x 200′. Firefighters were in offensive fire strategy with a heavy interior fire.

Building Photo
Photo Courtesy | BING

Greater Alarm units dispatched were BC18, BC5, CM22, E10, E15, E203, E209, E210, E211, E220, E221, E3, EA1, EM1, EM13, HR3, RA10, CH14.

About 15 minutes later (2036 PT), firefighters were in a defensive fire strategy. The interior operations team made it deep inside the structure and was unable to locate any fire. It appeared to be overhead in a possible mezzanine of the building.

Due to rapidly poor conditions, all members were pulled from the interior and rooftop operations and immediately exit the building. Initially, Command had an unconfirmed report this structure was housing a fabric buisness.

Additional Units dispatched at 2036 PT were: RA3, RA4, RA803, RA9, T11, T20, T21, T21, T3, UR3, UR5, and UR88.

At 2202 PT, the address changed to 917 South San Julian Street, where fire fighters returned to offensive fire strategy and making enough suppression to re-enter the interior of the structure. This was to enable them to reach the remaining hot spots inaccessible by the master streams from the exterior sides.

One firefighter was transported due to a heat related illness and was said to be in fair condition.

Units working and on-scene were BC1, BC11, BC18, BC5, CM22, E10, E15, E203, E209, E210, E211, E220, E221, E3, E4, E5, E9, EA1, EM1, EM13, EM9, HE1, HR3, PI1, RA10, RA14, RA209, RA3, RA4, RA803, RA809, RA9, RS3, SQ21, T10, T11, T20, T21, T3, T9, UR3, UR5, UR88, CH9, CH13, CH14.

In the end of this incident, it would take 109 firefighters to knockdown this stubborn fire around 2213 PT. It would take them 2 hours and 9 minutes to extinguish this blaze.

Fire personnel will remain on-scene throughout the night for overhaul operations and fire watch to ensure no rekindling.

Units still on-scene are: AR1, BC1, BC11, BC18, BC5, CM22, E10, E15, E203, E209, E210, E211, E220, E221, E3, E4, E5, E9, EA1, EM1, EM13, EM9, HE1, HR3, PI1, RA10, RA14, RA209, RA3, RA4, RA803, RA809, RA9, RS3, SQ21, T10, T11, T20, T21, T3, T9, UR3, UR5, UR88, CH9, CH13, CH14.

The LAFD Arson Section is investigating this fire.

ABOUT THIS STRUCTURE

This is a commercial structure that has three different bays and currently being used as a store building built in 1975. It is located in the industrial neighborhood of Moran, a subdivision inside the Los Angeles city limits.

It boasts over 10,000 square feet and is nestled in between several other large commercial structures nearby.

(c) 2020 NW Fire Blog – Updated 10/31/2020 01:15 PT

LAKE FIRE | CA SIT REP | 4

LAKE FIRE

Lake Hughes Community (Los Angeles County), California

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PC: LACoFD PIO

UPDATE 4 – Sunday, August 16, 2020

INCIDENT SUMMARY

The LAKE FIRE started on August 12, 2020 around 1538 PT and quickly erupted into a firestorm without any warning prompting mandatory evacuations as residents began to flee the extreme and high flames.  Some reported the flames burning horizontally which some of us who have been covering wildfire news have never seen/heard about.

It is currently burning 17 miles west of Lancaster on Lake Hughes Road and Prospect Road in southwest Lake Hughes.

Environment is steep, rugged and inaccessible terrain.

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PC: SoCal Air Ops

CURRENT STATUS

There has been 17,862 acres of timber, brush and chaparral destroyed. There is a 12% containment status.  Fire behavior is extreme with running, spotting and group torching.

Overnight operations reported very active fire overnight due to poor Rh and instability. Fire had spread due to gusty winds and spotting.  Temps were in the 70-80’s.

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PC: LACoFD PIO

Fire Weather expects to top out in the 90-100’s with very hot and dry conditions with light winds in the morning and gusty out of the southwest in the afternoon. Possible thunderstorms to occur with anticipated plume dominated fire behavior.

There are still 4,570 structures threatened, including communities and energy infrastructure.

PERSONNEL

The Incident is in Unified Command with Angeles National Forest (Lead Agency) and the Los Angeles County Fire Department.  Fire management is currently being operated by the CA Team 5, a Type 1 IMT.

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PC: SCV Sheriff

Incident Cooperators include the LA CO SO – Palmdale  – Santa Clarita – Lancaster – Crescenta Valley – Altadena – Malibu, CHP, County of LA Public Works, County of LA Animal Care and Control, County of LA Parks and Rec, Red Cross and Southern CA Edison, CAL FIRE, SCV SO, Chino Valley FD, So CAL Air Ops, LA Co Fire Ops, LA Co Firefighters Local 1014, Ventura County FD, IMET Matt Mehle (Incident Meteorologist).

There are 1,311 personnel and equipment that includes 21 crews, 13 helicopters, 165 engines, 24 bulldozers and 23 water tenders.

EVACUATION ORDERS

Evacuations are still in effect for:

  • Lake Hughes Road West of Pine Canyon
  • North of Dry Gulch Road
  • East of Ridge Route Road
  • West of Hughes Road and Fire Station 78
  • North of Pine Canyon and Lake Hughes Road
  • South of SR 138

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PC: LA Co Fire Ops

EVACUATION SHELTERS

Evacuation Centers currently open are the following:

  • Highland HS.  39055 25th Street, West Palmdale CA 93551

NOTE:  Evaucees with small animals can relocate to evacuation points where individual needs will be assessed by the Red Cross.  You must remain inside your vehicle per the Los Angeles County Public Health Mandate.

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PC: Angeles NF

ANIMAL CARE

Animal Care locations are the following:

  • Antelope Valley Fairgrounds (LARGE ANIMALS ONLY). 1326 West Avenue , Palmdale, CA 93550

CLOSURES

  • Castaic Lake (both upper/lower) – Firefighters are using the lake and surrounding areas for their fire camp. Closed until further notice

DAMAGE ASSESSMENTS

  • 3 structures damaged
  • 21 outbuildings destroyed
  • 12 structures destroyed

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PC: Chino Valley FD

THROUGH THE EYES OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Erickson Aero Tanker 101 is en route from Denver (Colorado) will be the first to conduct a crew change at Norton San Bernardino Tanker Base then on to the fire incident. – So Cal Air Ops (8/16/2020)

An angry looking wildfire was seen from the airport. – Twitter User (8/16/2020 1035PT)

As fire continues to grow, thinking of the families who’ve just lost their homes in the middle of a pandemic. It’s unthinkable. Deeply grateful to everyone working tirelessly to prevent further losses. Remember, to heed evacuation warnings from local Officials. – Kamala Harris, Democratic VP candidate (8/13/2020)

As night falls, the flames continue to rage on and the smoke turns the sky black. – ABC News (8/12/2020)

Winds picked up hardcore. Burning horizontally. Mass evacuations of firefighters pulling back. This is the most erratic I have ever seen in my LA career covering wildfires. – Fox LA/video (8/12/2020)

Not enough attention being given to this major wildfire. It’s only 4 hours old and 11,000 acres are gone. Could be a real ecological disaster for the Forest. It’s a hot, climate change helped, leave-nothing behind type inferno. – Climate Activist/video (8/12/2020)

I have never seen anything like this. The [fire] is moving fast towards Lake Hughes. It created a fire tornado on a hill and sucking everything inside. – ABC News/video (8/12/2020)

Unreal fire behavior. – Fire News Reporter/video (8/12/2020)

(c) 2020 NW Fire Blog – Updated 8/16/2020 1240 PT

 

LAKE FIRE | CA SIT REP | =3

LAKE FIRE

Lake Hughes Community (Los Angeles County), California

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Camp 9 camera

UPDATE 3 – Saturday, August 15, 2020

INCIDENT SUMMARY

The fire started Wednesday around 1540 hours PT.  A local FD responded to a report of a wildfire in the area of Lake Hughes and Prospect Roads, southwest Lake Hughes, an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County, California.

Fire behavior was reported as extreme with running, spotting and out-of-control. Images sprayed all over Social Media and on news outlets, showed one video of a hillside ablaze and looking like a roman candle.

Flames were burning horizontal, which we have never seen before. However, fire tornadoes were familiar and knowingly dangerous to those that stand in the firestorm’s path.

CURRENT STATUS

Since our last update on Thursday, we reported the fire had burned 11,000 acres of chaparral, brush and timber, it has now increased on Saturday up to 14,714 acres.

Fire crews have successfully reached a 12% containment status with their objectives to continue towards full suppression and eventually putting it out. Expected containment is due to be reached on September 2, 2020.

The cause of this fire is unknown and under investigation.

There have been no reports of injuries to civilians or firefighters.

At this time, 4,570 structures are under threat.  Several structures have been damaged and lost.

PERSONNEL

The Incident is in Unified Command with Angeles National Forest (Lead Agency) and the Los Angeles County Fire Department.  Fire management is currently being operated by the CA Team 5, a Type 1 IMT.

There are 192 engines, 27 hand crews, 17 dozers, 23 water tenders, 10 helicopters and a total of 1,563 personnel.

Incident Cooperators include the LA CO Sheriffs Department, CHP, County of LA Public Works, County of LA Animal Care and Control, County of LA Parks and Rec, Red Cross and Southern CA Edison, CAL FIRE.

EVACUATION ORDERS

Evacuations are still in effect for:

  • Lake Hughes Road West of Pine Canyon
  • North of Dry Gulch Road
  • West of Hughes Road and Fire Station 78
  • North of Pine Canyon and Lake Hughes Road
  • South of SR 138

EVACUATION SHELTERS

Evacuation Centers currently open are the following:

  • Highland HS.  39055 25th Street, West Palmdale CA 93551
  • Castaic Sports Complex.  31230 Castaic Road, Castaic, CA 91384

NOTE:  Evaucees with small animals can relocate to evacuation points where individual needs will be assessed by the Red Cross.  You must remain inside your vehicle per the Los Angeles County Public Health Mandate.

ANIMAL CARE

Animal Care locations are the following:

  • Lancaster Animal Care Center.  5210 West Avenue I, Lancaster, CA 93536
  • Palmdale Animal Care Center. 38550 Sierra Hwy, Palmdale, CA 93550
  • Castaic Animal Care Center.  31044 Charlie Canyon Road, Castaic, CA 91384
  • Antelope Valley Fairgrounds (LARGE ANIMALS ONLY). 1326 West Avenue , Palmdale, CA 93550

DAMAGE ASSESSMENTS

As of today, 6 structures and 15 outbuildings have been destroyed. 3 structures were damaged.  The cost-to-date of firefighting suppression and containment expenses have risen to $5.6 Million.

THROUGH THE EYES OF SOCIAL MEDIA

(c) 2020 NW Fire Blog – Updated 8/15/2020 1310 PT

 

LAKE FIRE | CA SIT REP | 2

LAKE FIRE

Lake Hughes Community (Los Angeles County), California

Lake fire smoke plumes from road

UPDATE 2 – Thursday, August 13, 2020

INCIDENT SUMMARY

The fire started Wednesday around 1540 hours PT.  A local FD responded to a report of a wildfire in the area of Lake Hughes and Prospect Roads, southwest Lake Hughes, an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County, California.

They immediately reported extreme fire behavior with a rapid of progression. More personnel and equipment were ordered and immediately were on-scene.

Within one hour and 40 minutes into the incident, the fire had already scorched 6,000 acres with no containment in sight!

Eyewitness accounts reported by media, local residents and firefighters showed many countless images of fire burning horizontally and running uphill, projecting a fiery grass hillside looking more like a roman candle and a firestorm surrounding them all.

Massive evacuations were in effect for those in the Lake Hughes area where the fire reportedly was ignited from an unknown cause.

CURRENT STATUS

The fire has destroyed 11,000 acres of chaparral, brush and timber.  Fire personnel have gained a successful 5% containment status but know there is going to be a serious fight with this monstrous of a fire storm.  Fire was said to be near Red Lakes but unconfirmed by CAL FIRE as of yet.

RESOURCES

There are approximately 1,159 personnel from 3 agencies that include , 362 engines, 14 crews, 3 helicopters, 8 dozers and 9 water tenders.

Fire Management is currently under Unified which include the LA CO FD and the Angeles National Forest.

Incident Cooperators Include:  LA CO Sheriff, CA Hwy Patrol (CHP), County of LA Public Works Animal Care and Control, Public Works, Parks and Rec, Red Cross and the Southern CAL Edison, Angeles National Forest, Inciweb.

Fire Fighters working to put out Lake Fire

EVACUATIONS

Mandatory Evacuations – GO NOW!

The following areas are under mandatory evacuations, meaning you need to GO NOW.

  • Lake Hughes Road West of Pine Canyon and North of Dry Gulch Road
  • East of Ridge Route Road
  • West of Lake Hughes Road and Fire Station 78
  • North of Pine Canyon and Lake Hughes Road
  • South of SR 138

Evacuation Shelters

  • Highland HS – 39055 25th Street.  West Palmdale, CA 93551
  • Castaic Sports Center – 31230 Castaic Road, Castaic, CA

Large Animal Shelters

  • Antelope Valley Fairgrounds – Castaic Fairgrounds

CLOSURES

  • San Francisquito Canyon Road from Slater Lane to Spunky Canyon
  • 3 Points Road from Hwy 138 to Pine Canyon
  • Old Ridge Route from Hwy 138 to Pine Canyon
  • Lake Hughes Road from Ridge Route Road to Pine Canyon

DAMAGE ASSESSMENTS

There have been three structures that have been destroyed.   There are currently 5,420 structures that are currently under threat at the time of this second update.

PHOTO CREDITS

Photo Credits are from the USFS via Inciweb. We do not lay claim to these photos.

(c) 2020 NW Fire Blog – Updated 8/13/2020 2100 PT

 

CA WILDFIRE SIT REP | COLTRANE FIRE | AUGUST 8 2020

COLTRANE INCIDENT

Update 1 | Saturday (8/8/2020)

Photo Credit | Greg Doyle, LACoFD Volunteer Photographer (written ok received)

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INCIDENT SUMMARY – CURRENT STATUS

  • Start 8/8/2020 appears around 1430 PT
  • Mulch fire
  • Newhall Pass, California
  • No extension to nearby brush
  • Appears units on-scene are on top of it
  • Limited details

We will provide another update if more information is received. We did reach out to the Los Angeles County Fire Department PIO for call details, status, size, etc.

(c) 2020 NW Fire Blog – Updated 8/8/2020 1440 PT

 

BOOK REVIEW: “Tunnel Visions” by Kurt Kamm, Award-Winning Author

“Just when you thought the Drinking water wars were over, you come to find out – it’s just the Beginning of something even more sinnister.”

Tunnel Visions features a “real-life” event that occurred in 1971, intertwinng the story with a fictional terrorist plot that occurs in Los Angeles County, a hugely populated area in in the State of California. The story reflects on “water rights” and has many twists and turns, encouraging its reader to walk alongside its characters’ journeys, trials and triumphs.

700

“Author Kurt Kamm’s vivid imagination and writing style beckons the reader to partner with the characters in a story like no other.  It commands its reader to “respond” as if you have stepped into their lives, walking alongside them in their journeys, trials and tribulations.  It’s an experience you’ll never forget.”   

If you love the Public Safety profession as much as we do, you will find layers and layers of references and vivid images on how “it is” in the real realm of living and working in the Publlife from Firefighting to the ATF.  Once you pick up this book, you will find it is next to impossible to put it down until you have read it from cover to the very end.  

We give Tunnel Visions a “5 Star” Rating. Our Favorite all-time Read.

Want to see what the fuss is all about?  Here’s how you can pick up your copy of Award-Winning Author Kurt Kamm’s Tunnel Visions.

Kurt Kamm, an Award-Winning Author has four additional published novels in his Firefighter Mystery series

  • One Foot in the Black [About a Wildland Firefighter]
  • Red Flag Warning [Serial Arson Mystery]
  • Code Blood [An Underworld Mystery]
  • Hazardous Material [A Firefighter battling Biker Gangs and Painkillers]

To find out more about the Author or how you order your copy of this soon-to-be Award-Winning novel, go to website at http://www.kurtkamm or visit him on Facebook.

Don’t Forget.  The Holiday Season is coming and this would make a great gift or something to keep on your shelf to read for years to come.

Thank You Kurt Kamm for sharing your passion for firefighting and love of writing – marrying them together for a perfect combination!

By LR Swenson,  Author of Seattle Mourn  [Contributing Author] in Anthology Felons, Flames and Ambulance Rides [July 2013, Oak Tree Press] and The Firefighter and The Princess [July 2013. Honorable Mention, Short Story].

[c] 2014 The NW Fire Blog