UPDATE: To view an after-action report for the Topanpga Incident wildfire, please click here.
This information was approved for public release on 9/30/2005 at 1900 Hours and was considered correct at that time. The information presented is not meant to replace any formal information or updates presented to the public by the Incident Commanders through the Joint Information Center.
TIME OF ALARM: 1:47 PM, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2005
LAFD INCIDENT# 0542
INCIDENT NAME: Topanga
LOCATION: Initial Dispatch-W/Bound 118 Fwy x Topanga Canyon Bl.
BRUSH TYPE: Medium to Heavy Brush.
CONDITIONS ON ARRIVAL:Initial report – was 3 acres of light to moderate brush with 20-30 mph winds, gusts up to 50 mph.
STRUCTURES BURNED: 1 Single Family Dwelling Destroyed, 1 Single Family Dwelling Damaged, 1 Detached Garage Burned, 3 Out Buildings Burned, 1 Storage Building (at Rocketdyne) Burned.
REPORTED INJURIES: On Wednesday, one Los Angeles City Fire Captain was struck by a 40 lb. boulder. He was knocked unconscious for 5 minutes. Following an evaluation at Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, including a CAT scan, he has been released and is now resting at home. On Thursday, one Los Angeles City Fire Engineer sustained an ankle injury. He was transported to a local emergency room, evaluated and placed off duty. He is now recuperating at home. There have been additional reports Friday of non-life threatening injuries to as many as four Fire Service personnel from allied agencies. Specific information regarding said injuries and the identification of personnel must come directly from Incident Command Staff.
COMMAND: "Unified Command" for the Topanga Incident consists of Los Angeles City Fire ("LAFD"), Los Angeles County Fire, Ventura County Fire, California Department of Forestry, and the National Park Service.
COMMAND POST LOCATION: Conejo Creek Park South, 1379 East Janss Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362.
AIR OPERATIONS: 6 Fixed Wing Aircraft, 4 Heavy Lift Helo, 5 Type II Helo; 2 Type III Helo.
TOTAL FIREFIGHTING PERSONNEL (ALL AGENCIES): 3000 Personnel
UNSUAL CONDITIONS: BBI- temp = 80, Humidity 20%, High Winds 20 mph, Inaccessible Steep Terrain, High Winds, Low Humidity, Erratic Fire Behavior, Structures Threatened in Urban/Wildland Interface Zone. Fire Continues to Threaten Numerous Communities.
“ORDER TO EVACUATE” (YOU LEAVE YOU STAY OUT):
“WARNING TO EVACUATE” (VOLUNTARY):
CANCELLED EVACUATION ORDERS (Allowed to Return with ID): Reyes Adobe, Lindero Canyon, Agoura Hills, Kanan Road, Oak Park, City of Hidden Hills, Box Canyon, Bell Canyon, Woolsey Canyon, Santa Susana Knolls, Mount Calabasas, Lake Manor.
EVACUATION SHELTERS: Santa Susana Recreation Center, 5005 East Los Angeles Ave, Simi Valley (Population: 16; Max Capacity: 450); Canoga Park HS, 6850 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Canoga Park (Population: 40; Max Capacity 100); Birmingham HS, 17000 Haynes St, Van Nuys (Population: 0; Max Capacity 500); Thousand Oaks Rec Center, 2525 Moorpark Rd, Thousand Oaks (Population 350; Maximum Capacity: 500); Borchard Community Center, 190 North Reino Rd, Newbury Park (Population: 0; Maximum: 300).
SCHOOL CLOSURES: School closures to continue in the Las Virgenes Unified School District.
EVACUATION OF LARGE ANIMALS (HORSES, CATTLE, ETC): Pierce College (full); Hansen Dam Equestrian Center; West Valley Animal Care and Control Center; Burbank Equestrian Center (Horses Only); Ventura County Fairgrounds.
EVACUATION OF SMALLER ANIMALS: For Any Ventura County Resident, Camarillo Airport Animal Care and Control; Residents of Thousand Oaks that can provide proof of residency, Los Angeles County Animal Shelter in Agoura Hills; Animal Control Staff is available at the Thousand Oaks Community Center for transportation of animals to Camarillo or Simi Valley shelter (animals may be held for up to two weeks).
CAUSE OF FIRE: Under Investigation at this time.
LOS ANGELES FIRE DEPARTMENT COMMITTMENT AND SUMMARY:
LAFD RESOURCES ASSIGNED:
- 75 Fire Companies
- 14 Command Teams
- 6 Rescue Ambulances
- 1 Incident Management Team supervising 2 Branches
LAFD resources are skirting the border between The City of Los Angeles, LA County, and Ventura County in the Western edge of the San Fernando Valley.
Los Angeles Fire Department resources primary responsibility has been to provide for structure protection along the east flank of the fire. Firefighters operated in the Box Canyon, Bell Canyon, Woolsey Canyon, Hidden Hills, Lake Manor, and West Hills areas.
On Thursday, September 29, 2005 LAFD Firefighters were confronted with a shift in the prevailing winds between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Firefighters were challenged by wind driven flame fronts and flying embers. Firefighters took a defensive stance to protect structures and were successful at defending those structures.
On Friday, September 30, 2005 LAFD Firefighters will continue to provide structure protection groups along the east flank of the fire. Firefighters will be providing handlines to support camp crews in the establishment of scratch line around the fire
We remind residents in the immediate path of local wildfires to be guided by and follow the lawful orders of uniformed public safety officials.
Such information - which is often specific to a location or address, may be provided door-to-door or via loudspeaker by law enforcement or fire department vehicles. Residents in high danger areas should remain particularly vigilant for such direct, personal and focused contact.
Those who may become endangered but are not in the immediate path of advancing flames, are encouraged to stay tuned to local news radio.
In the greater Los Angeles area, official information provided by or on behalf of public safety agencies is often carried on the following news radio stations:
AM 980 - KFWB
AM 1070 - KNX
We encourage Los Angeles residents to find and "save" these stations on their battery-powered portable and vehicle radios.
Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department