Shadow Hills Wildfire Scorches Five Acres

Friday, July 15, 2005 |

On Friday, July 15, 2005 at 12:07 PM PDT, nineteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, three Los Angeles Fire Department Helicopters, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one EMS District Captain, three LAFD Battalion Officer Command Teams and various LAFD support and investigative resources, as well as one Helicopter and four Handcrews from the Los Angeles County Fire Department and seven Engines and one Water Tender from the US Forest Service, all under the direction of LAFD Assistant Chief Anthony Varela responded to a Major Emergency Brush Fire southwest of Sunland Boulevard and the Foothill Freeway in the Shadow Hills/Sunland area.

The first LAFD Companies arrived quickly to discover one-half acre of vegetation burning in rugged terrain and being fanned uphill by light offshore winds towards heavier brush.

Firefighters extended hose lines and carried hand tools in oppressive noontime heat across steep terrain to effectively anchor and flank the flames while precise drops of water and firefighting foam from Fire Department helicopters attacked the head of the fire.

The presence of an established Fire Department wildfire helipad immediately adjacent to the blaze allowed for sorties of less than one minute each, multiplying the effectiveness of assigned air resources.

Despite near-record heat well into the triple digits, Firefighters relentlessly attacked the blaze, preventing it from approaching nearby homes. The flames were confined to five acres of highly volatile dry grass and medium density brush and fully extinguished in just 2 hours and 30 minutes.

During the prolonged and arduous ground assault, one Firefighter succumbed to the ill effects of heat. In fair condition, he was transported to an area hospital for observation.

No other injuries were reported.

Though there was a homeless encampment in the area, the relationship of that encampment to the fire has not yet been determined.

The cause of the fire remains categorized as “under active investigation” by a team of Los Angeles Fire Department Investigators.


Barefoot Ted said...

Very impressive!

Thank you LAFD for great work. Without your fast response, homes would have been lost.

Best, Barefoot Ted

PS. This blog is great!

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Barefoot Ted,

Thanks for visiting our blog and thanks for the kind words regarding both our firefighting and public information efforts.

Both are seen as essential to our mission.

The superb firefighting efforts you witnessed today were directly attributable to timing, training, teamwork and tenacity.

The blog you are reading was only made possible through Chief Bamattre's willingness to let me play in the digital sandbox. :)

Please know that no budgetary funds or staff (zip, zero, zilch) are dedicated the LAFD's internet presence. We can only dream what might someday be possible if there were.

Please stay safe and be well!

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

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