Friday Night Topanga Incident Update

Friday, September 30, 2005 |

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.

CURRENT SIZE: 20,655 23,970 Acres.

CURRENT CONDITION: 20% 40% Containment

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): Lake Manor, Bell Canyon.

“WARNING TO EVACUATE” (VOLUNTARY): Vicinity of Runkle Canyon (south of Royal and east of Sequoia in the West Parker Ranch area of Simi Valley.

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).

ROAD CLOSURES: Agoura Road between Liberty Canyon and Lost Hills Rd.(down to one lane in each direction for staging purposes); Malibu Hills Road Between Agoura Rd. and Calabasas Hills Road (for staging purposes); Box Canyon at Lake Manor Drive; Rocky Peak Road, East Bound Onramp and West Bound Offramp from the 118 Freeway. All roads are open. Please use caution due to fire traffic in the area.

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

Friday Afternoon Topanga Incident Update

|

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 1200 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.

CURRENT SIZE: 20,655 Acres.

CURRENT CONDITION: 20% Containment

STRUCTURES BURNED: 1 Single Family Dwelling, 1 Detached Garage, 3 Out Buildings, 1 Storage Building (at Rocketdyne).

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.

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): Lake Manor, Bell Canyon.

“WARNING TO EVACUATE” (VOLUNTARY): Vicinity of Runkle Canyon (south of Royal and east of Sequoia in the West Parker Ranch area of Simi Valley.

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.

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).

ROAD CLOSURES: Agoura Road between Liberty Canyon and Lost Hills Rd.(down to one lane in each direction for staging purposes); Malibu Hills Road Between Agoura Rd. and Calabasas Hills Road (for staging purposes); Box Canyon at Lake Manor Drive; Rocky Peak Road, East Bound Onramp and West Bound Offramp from the 118 Freeway.

EVACUATION OF LARGE ANIMALS (HORSES, CATTLE, ETC): Pierce College; Hansen Dam Equestrian Center; West Valley Animal Care and Control Center; Burbank Equestrian Center (Horses Only).

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

Thursday Night Topanga Incident Update

Thursday, September 29, 2005 |

UPDATE: To view an after-action report for the Topanpga Incident wildfire, please click here.



This information was approved for public release on 9/29/2005 at 1800 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.

ACRES BURNED AT THE TIME OF THIS REPORT: 17,000 ACRES.

STRUCTURES BURNED: 1 Single Family Dwelling, 1 Detached Garage, 3 Out Buildings, 1 Storage Building (at Rocketdyne).

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.

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: Lost Hills Recreation Center, 27040 Malibu Hills Road, Calabasas, CA 91301 Conejo Creek Park South, 1379 East Janss Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362.

AIR OPERATIONS: 6 Fixed Wing Aircraft, 5 4 Heavy Lift Helo, 5 Type II Helo; 2 Type III Helo.

CURRENT CONDITION: 5% Containment

TOTAL FIREFIGHTING PERSONNEL (ALL AGENCIES): 3000 2790 PERSONNEL

UNSUAL CONDITIONS: BBI- temp = 90 80, Humidity 20%, High Winds 20-30 mph, Steep Hill Sides, Rocky Conditions, Narrow Roads, Rough Terrain 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): Box Canyon, Woolsey Canyon, Bell Canyon, Lake Manor,North of Canyon Oaks Blvd, Malibu Canyon / City of Calabasas (North of Thousand Oaks Blvd.), Mount Calabasas, Mountain View Estates (Western Tip Only),Oak Park.

“WARNING TO EVACUATE” (VOLUNTARY): City of Hidden Hills, Mountain View Estates (All except Western tip which is ordered),West of Kanan Rd to Lindero Canyon Rd. Old Agoura.

CANCELLED EVACUATION ORDERS (Allowed to Return with ID): Reyes Adobe, Lindero Canyon, Kanan Road, Oak Park, City of Hidden Hills, Box Canyon, Bell Canyon, Woolsey Canyon.

EVACUATION SHELTERS: Santa Susana Recreation Center, 5005 Los Angeles Ave, Simi Valley (Population: 16 15; Max Capacity: 450); Canoga Park HS, 6850 Topanga Cyn, Canoga Pk. (Population: 40 35; Max Capacity 100); Birmingham HS, 1700 Hayest St., Van Nuys (Population: 0; Max Capacity 500); Thousand Oaks Rec Center, 2525 Moorpark Rd., Thousand Oaks (Population 350 280; Maximum Capacity: 500); Borchard Community Center, 190 Reino Rd, Newbury Park (Population: 0 15; Maximum: 300).

ROAD CLOSURES: North Bound Kanan at the 101 Freeway, Agoura Road between Liberty Canyon and Lost Hills Rd.(down to one lane in each direction for staging purposes); Malibu Hills Road Between Agoura Rd. and Calabasas Hills Road (for staging purposes); Box Canyon at Lake Manor Drive. Topanga Canyon East and West Bound Ramps on 118 Freeway; Rocky Peak Road, East and West Bound Ramps on 118 Freeway.

EVACUATION OF LARGE ANIMALS (HORSES, CATTLE, ETC): Pierce College (Facility Full); Hansen Dam Equestrian Center; West Valley Animal Care and Control Center; Burbank Equestrian Center (Horses Only).

EVACUATION OF SMALLER ANIMALS: Canoga Park High School; Birmingham High School. 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; 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 (CITY) FIRE DEPARTMENT COMMITTMENT:

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.




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

Thursday Afternoon Topanga Incident Update

|

UPDATE: To view an after-action report for the Topanpga Incident wildfire, please click here.



This information was approved for public release on 9/29/2005 at 1530 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.

ACRES BURNED AT THE TIME OF THIS REPORT: 17,000 ACRES.

STRUCTURES BURNED: 1 Single Family Dwelling, 1 Detached Garage, 3 Out Buildings, 1 Storage Building (at Rocketdyne).

REPORTED INJURIES: On Wednesday, one Los Angeles City Fire Captain was struck with a 40 lb. boulder and knocked unconscious for 5 minutesd. He was evaluated at Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, including a cat scan. He has been released and is now resting at home.

COMMAND POST: "Unified Command" for the Topanga Incident consists of Los Angeles City Fire, Los Angeles County Fire, Ventura County Fire, California Department of Forestry, and the National Park Service

LOCATION: Lost Hills Recreation Center, 27040 Malibu Hills Road, Calabasas, CA 91301

AIR OPERATIONS: Fixed Wing Aircraft, 5 Heavy Lift Helo, 5 Type II Medium Lift Helo

CURRENT CONDITION: 5% Containment

TOTAL FIREFIGHTING PERSONNEL (ALL AGENCIES): 3000 PERSONNEL

UNSUAL CONDITIONS: BBI- temp = 90, Humidity 20%, High Winds 20-30 mph, Steep Hill Sides, Rocky Conditions, Narrow Roads, Rough Terrain.

“ORDER TO EVACUATE” (YOU LEAVE YOU STAY OUT): Box Canyon, Woolsey Canyon, Bell Canyon, Lake Manor, North of Canyon Oaks Blvd, Malibu Canyon / City of Calabasas (North of Thousand Oaks Blvd.), Mount Calabasas, Mountain View Estates (Western Tip Only), Oak Park.

“WARNING TO EVACUATE” (VOLUNTARY): City of Hidden Hills, Mountain View Estates (All except Western tip which is ordered), West of Kanan Rd to Lindero Canyon Rd.

EVACUATION SHELTERS: Santa Susana Recreation Center, 5005 Los Angeles Ave, Simi Valley (Population: 16; Max Capacity: 450); Canoga Park HS, 6850 Topanga Cyn, Canoga Pk. (Population: 40; Max Capacity 100); Birmingham HS, 1700 Hayest 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 Reino Rd, Newbury Park (Population: 0; Maximum: 300).

ROAD CLOSURES: North Bound Kanan at the 101 Freeway, Agoura Road between Liberty Canyon and Lost Hills Rd.(down to one lane in each direction for staging purposes); Malibu Hills Road Between Agoura Rd. and Calabasas Hills Road (for staging purposes); Box Canyon at Lake Manor Drive.

EVACUATION OF LARGE ANIMALS (HORSES, CATTLE, ETC): Pierce College; Hansen Dam Equestrian Center.

EVACUATION OF SMALLER ANIMALS: Canoga Park High School; Birmingham High School.

CAUSE OF FIRE: Under Investigation at this time.

LOS ANGELES (CITY) FIRE DEPARTMENT (LAFD)COMMITTMENT:

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.




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

Four Firefighters Injured Battling Van Nuys Blaze

Wednesday, September 28, 2005 |

On Wednesday, September 28, 2005, at 7:51 a.m. PDT, twenty-two companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, six Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, three EMS Battalion Supervisors, seven LAFD Rescue Ambulances, the Tractor Company, one Arson Unit, and other LAFD resources, under the direction of Assistant Chief Curtis James, responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 15816 & 15818 West Arminta Street in the Van Nuys Airport area.

First units on the scene reported a large one-story, 50’ x 200’, commercial structure with fire showing through the roof.

Firefighters using handlines and heavy stream appliances aggressively attacked the fire and confined it to “AMV Woodworking Inc.” and “All Bright Window Covering” and extinguished the fire in two hours and ten minutes.

During Firefighting operations four Firefighters were injured: one Fire Captain suffered lower back, knee, and leg injuries when he was struck by falling roofing materials, another Firefighter suffered a head injury when a member fell from a ladder, both were transported to Northridge Hospital in good condition, two other firefighters suffering from minor smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion were treated on the scene and released.

No other injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is listed as under investigation.

Submitted by Jim Wells, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Assists with Brush Fire in Browns Canyon

|

On Wednesday, September 28, 2005, at 3:54 a.m. PDT, thirty-three companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, four Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Battalion EMS Supervisor, one LAFD Rescue Ambulance, five Helicopters, the Tractor company and other LAFD resources, under the direction Assistant Chief Roderick Garcia, responded to a Brush Fire in the Browns Canyon area of the County of Los Angeles.

First LAFD resources on the scene reported approximately thirty acres of moderate to heavy brush burning on a hillside in rugged and almost inaccessible terrain with winds gusting up to forty mile per hour.

The Los Angeles Fire Department under a Unified Command with Ventura County Fire Department and Los Angeles County Fire Department, directed firefighters in an aggressive ground and air attack on the fast moving brush fire.

In approximately two and one half hours the fire was contained to approximately one hundred and twenty-five acres of heavy brush and grass. No injuries were reported and no homes were threatened or damaged. Additional requests for information concerning this incident should be directed to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Submitted by Jim Wells, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Standby for JetBlue Flight 292 at LAX

Thursday, September 22, 2005 |

Photo courtesy of LAFirePhotos.com

Photo courtesy of LAFirePhotos.com

On Wednesday, September 21, 2005, at 4:28 p.m. PDT, twenty-four companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, five Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, four Battalion EMS Supervisors, twenty LAFD Rescue Ambulances, LAFD Heavy Rescue 56, two LAFD Urban Search and Rescue Teams, two LAFD Helicopters, one Los Angeles County Battalion Chief, one LA County Fire Company, two LA County Fire Boats, two Coast Guard Fire Boats, five private Ambulances, and other city and state agencies, under the direction of Deputy Chief Mario D. Rueda, were pre-deployed to Los Angeles International Airport in response to an inbound JetBlue aircraft with a nose gear problem.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was informed that a JetBlue Airbus, with one hundred and forty-five passengers and crew-members departing Bob Hope Airport in Burbank en route to JFK Airport in New York, had discovered a problem with its landing gear.

The pilot was directed to divert to Long Beach Airport for an emergency landing. On a low altitude fly-by at Long Beach Airport, it was quickly ascertained by the tower that the nose gear of the aircraft was not properly in place for a routine landing.

Due to the position of the nose gear at a 90-degree angle and the problem that may ensue upon landing, the aircraft was directed to land at LAX on Runway 25Left, the southern most runway.

At approximately 6:17 p.m. PDT, with LAFD resources strategically place along the runway and staged at a nearby fire station, JetBlue Flight 292 landed safely on runway 25Left amid sparks, smoke, and flames from the burning tires.

All of the passengers and crewmembers were safely evacuated from the aircraft via air stairs and no injuries were reported.

The cause of the malfunctioning nose gear is under investigation by LAX authorities, the NTSB, the FAA, and other investigative agencies.

Submitted by Jim Wells, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Bench Grinder Sparks Pack Rat Blaze in Arleta

Monday, September 19, 2005 |

On Sunday, September 18, 2005 at 7:47 PM PDT, nine Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, two Chief Officer Command Teams as well as various LAFD support and investigative resources, all under the direction of Battalion Commander Michael Rhodes responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 13604 Bracken Street in Arleta.

The first Company arrived quickly to discover heavy fire showing from the garage attached to a one-story single family home. According to witnesses, the home’s sole resident had been in the garage using a bench grinder when sparks ignited nearby ordinary combustibles.

The adult male was able to escape unharmed, but the flames soon spread in the heavy storage of the garage and extended rapidly through the attic and flammable wood shake roof to threaten a pair of single-family homes adjacent to 1,400 square-foot wood-frame structure.

Firefighters mounted a fierce interior assault on the swift-moving flames, but were hampered to gain access in much of the fifty-five year-old structure due to pack-rat conditions throughout the dwelling.

During fire attack, one Los Angeles Firefighter sustained first-degree burns to his ear. In fair condition, he was transported to Sherman Oaks Community Hospital.

Despite the stubborn flames that consumed the attic and much of the excessive storage throughout the home, Firefighters spared the northwest portion of the structure from serious damage, and extinguished the flames in just forty minutes.

No other injuries were reported.

Loss from the fire, which took nearly four and one-half hours to overhaul due to pack-rat conditions, is estimated at $350,000 ($250,000 structure & $100,000 contents). The displaced resident stated a desire to seek his own accommodations.

The cause of this blaze is listed as accidental, and attributed to carelessness with the electric bench grinder.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Groundbreaking for New Fire Station in Granada Hills

Sunday, September 18, 2005 |

Artist Concept for new LAFD Station 87

On the heels of the formal dedication and grand opening of a new Fire Station in Sun Valley this past weekend, the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department warmly welcome you to again this week join civic and community leaders, including Councilmember Greig Smith and Fire Chief William Bamattre at the groundbreaking ceremony for new City of Los Angeles Fire Station 87 in Granada Hills.

Monday, September 19, 2005
8:45 AM to 9:45 AM
Groundbreaking Site for New Fire Station 87
10124 Balboa Boulevard
Granada Hills, CA 91344

We are pleased to offer an interactive map and driving directions to the groundbreaking site. All members of the community are warmly welcomed to join us for this symbolic though important public event.

Serving the north central San Fernando Valley communities of Granada Hills, Northridge, North Hills and Mission Hills from a location just south of its former location on Balboa Boulevard, new Fire Station 87 will replace a cramped and highly inefficient sixty year old facility that was deemed to be deficient in meeting seismic safety, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, Building Code, ADA and separate gender accommodation issues.

Current LAFD Station built in 1945

Built at the curbline on a tiny parcel of land in the days following World War II to serve a seemingly remote and sparsely populated five-square-mile district that was primarily agricultural, current Fire Station 87 was designed to house no more than four male firefighters and at the very most a pair of what would now be considered antique limited-role fire apparatus.

New Fire Station 87 will be an efficient and appealing long-term asset for all members of the community. Situated on two acres of land, it will consist of a 15,000 square foot Station House, a 6,000 square foot Apparatus Storage Facility and a 2,500 square foot Classroom/Multipurpose Room. This new facility was expressly designed to support the multi-role emergency response needs of a diverse and omnipotent workforce.

We encourage you to learn more about new Fire Station 87 and the many Fire Department facilities being modernized by Proposition F by viewing a highly detailed on-line Monthly Progress Report.

We look forward to seeing you in Granada Hills for this groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, September 19!

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Explosion and Fire at Panorama City Business

Friday, September 16, 2005 |

On Friday, September 16, 2005 at 5:22 PM PDT, fifteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one EMS Battalion Captain, four Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams and various LAFD support and investigative resources, all under the direction of Assistant Chief Roderick Garcia responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 13843 Saticoy Street in Panorama City.

9-1-1 callers reported hearing a loud explosion before noticing roof damage and then smoke and flames emanating from the central portion of a six-unit 50’x100’ one-story industrial building.

Firefighters arrived quickly to force entry through a visibly deformed rolling steel security door on the north side of the cinder-block building to extend handlines and do battle with well-entrenched flames.

Their advance was hastened by the synchronized vertical ventilation efforts of their colleagues on the plywood-over-heavy-timber roof, large portions of which had clearly been displaced by the explosion.

These brisk and well-coordinated activities held primary fire damage to the vicinity of a spray booth within “Vision Cabinets” a manufacturer of wood furnishings. Thanks to Firefighters diligent efforts, there was minimal fire extension to the immediately adjacent “Globe Works”. The flames were extinguished in just 32 minutes, and there were no injuries.

Loss from the fire is estimated at $150,000 ($100,000 structure & $50,000 contents). The cause of this early evening blaze remains under active investigation.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Wall Collapse During Blaze Injures Firefighters

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Click for Pre-Fire View of Wall that Collapsed

Pre-Fire view of wall that collapsed on Los Angeles Firefighters.


On Friday, September 16, 2005, at 4:29 a.m. PDT, seventeen companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Deputy Chief, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, four Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, two Battalion EMS Supervisors, six LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one Hazmat Squad, three Arson Units, and other Fire Department resources and city agencies, under the direction of Assistant Chief Jeffery Mottram, responded to a Major Emergency Structure Fire at 1655 West Adams Boulevard in the West Adams area.

First units on the scene reported a large, two-story, vacant Victorian style single-family dwelling, well involved with fire.

Using handlines, Firefighters aggressively attacked the fire while simultaneously conducting an initial search and rescue operation.

During firefighting operations, a large full-thickness section of the structure's west wall, including dimensional lumber, wire, stucco, lath and plaster, collapsed from near the top of the building onto two Firefighters. An Emergency Traffic Alert was immediately initiated for the downed Firefighters and an intense rescue operation was started.

Briefly trapped by several hundred pounds of debris from the collapsed wall, the Firefighters were quickly rescued by the LAFD Rapid Intervention Company and other nearby Firefighters, and then taken to a place of safety for evaluation.

One Firefighter suffered a broken right leg, left arm and left wrist, while the second Firefighter suffered first degree burns to his chin, left ear, and substantial bumps and bruises; both were transported to California Hospital in stable condition.

With the integrity of the structure compromised, an Emergency Traffic Alert was issued to withdraw all Firefighters from within and around the involved structure.

Firefighters immediately withdrew from the structure and took up a defensive position on the exterior of structure and used heavy stream appliances to knock down the fire. The fire was extinguished in fifty-one minutes.

No other injuries were reported.

Fire damage is still being tabulated. The cause of the fire remains listed as under investigation.

Submitted by Jim Wells/Brian Humphrey, Spokesmen
Los Angeles Fire Department

Grand Opening of Fire Station 77 in Sun Valley

Thursday, September 15, 2005 |

Artist Concept LAFD Station 77
This Saturday, September 17 is the Grand Opening of Fire Station 77 in Sun Valley!

You and your family are cordially invited to join Mayor Villaraigosa and Councilmember Greuel as well as civic and community leaders, including Fire Chief William Bamattre at the public grand opening and formal dedication of the Los Angeles Fire Department's newest Neighborhood Fire Station.

Immediately following the opening cermonies will be a complimentary barbecue lunch for all in attendance.

Please join us this weekend...

Saturday, September 17, 2005
10:00 AM
New Fire Station 77
9224 Sunland Boulevard
Sun Valley, CA 91352


We are pleased to offer an interactive map and driving directions to this new facility, which is now in service and protecting the Sun Valley, Sunland, Shadow Hills and La Tuna Canyon neighborhoods of the Northeast San Fernando Valley.

All members of the community are warmly welcomed to join us for this public event, which was postponed from an earlier date.

We encourage you to learn more about new Fire Station 77 and the many Fire Department facilities being modernized by Proposition F by viewing a highly detailed on-line Monthly Progress Report.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, September 17 in Sun Valley!

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Backhoe Ruptures Abandoned Pipeline in Sun Valley

Wednesday, September 14, 2005 |

On Wednesday, September 14, 2005 at 10:57 AM, five companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one LAFD Rescue Ambulance, one LAFD Hazardous Materials Task Force, one EMS Battalion Captain and one Battalion Command Team, all under the command of Captain II Bruce Galien responded to a Hazardous Materials Investigation at 11760 Truesdale Street in the Sun Valley area.

First units on scene reported a Methane gas leak from an underground pipe which had been severed by a backhoe during excavation. According to the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, a private contractor upgrading a sewer system at the DWP's "Truesdale Training Center" severed the pipe, which caused a high pressure release of Methane gas.

Under significant pressure, rocks, water and other debris was thrown from the excavation pit striking the backhoe and several cars breaking several windows. Fortunately, the backhoe operator and other workers were not injured and vacated the immediate area.

Firefighters evaluating the severed pipe determined it to be an ten-inch older, capped and unused Methane transmission pipe. The residual pressure in the pipe was allowed to bleed off and the Methane gas escaped into the atmosphere. There were no formal evacuations and no injuries. Property damage estimated at $4,000.

The Los Angeles Fire Department reminds local property owners and contractors to contact DigAlert at (800) 227-2600 for free assistance in locating subterranean utilities and pipelines prior to excavation.

Submitted by Ron Myers/Brian Humphrey, Spokesmen
Los Angeles Fire Department

Power Outage Causes Event at Wilmington Refinery

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 |

ConocoPhillips Refinery Venting during LA Power Outage
Refinery Venting - LA Power Outage
Originally uploaded by Life on the Edge.



On Monday, September 12, 2005, at approximately 12:25 p.m. PDT, many areas in the City of Los Angles experienced a major power outage or limited power interruption.

The Los Angles Fire Department went into an operational mode that would facilitate the Department’s responses to such a wide scale emergency. Fire companies stage in a safe area outside the fire stations on radio watch for quick responses. Fire resources then patrolled their first-in districts for emergencies that would require immediate mitigation.

Also, LAFD helicopters were launched for aerial reconnaissance and additional dispatchers were deployed to the 9-1-1 back-up site to insure uninterrupted 9-1-1 call reception. As a result of the power outage, the Los Angeles Fire Department experienced a sharp increase in the number of 9-1-1 calls received by the Operations Control Dispatch Section.

Most of the calls were from citizens reporting that they were trapped in elevators.

The only significant incident was a Hazardous Materials Incident at the “ConocoPhillips Refinery”, in the Wilmington area. As a result the power outage, petroleum products that were being transported to a storage area under pressure shut down causing a pressure build up in the transportation lines. To relieve the pressure, the products were redirected to a flare stack and ignited thus relieving the pressure in the effected pipes.

Some of the hydrocarbons mixed with a catalyst (heavier than air) escaped under pressure thru the wrong stack into the atmosphere causing three workers to suffer mild respiratory discomfort.

One of the workers was treated and released at the scene and the other two were treated and transported to a local hospital in good condition.

Patrolling down wind from the incident and checking air quality, three hundred students at Harbor College were evacuated/sheltered in place as safety precaution. No other injuries were reported. Electrical power was restored in the effected areas of Los Angeles City in approximately two and one-half hours.

Submitted by Jim Wells, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Mid-City Apartment Fire Displaces Six Residents

Monday, September 12, 2005 |

On Monday, September 12, 2005 at 1:55 AM PDT, thirteen companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, three Rescue Ambulances, one EMS Battalion Captain, four Battalion Chief Officer command teams, one Division Chief Command team and various support and investigative resources under the command of Battalion Commander John Drake responded to a Structure Fire at 835 South Oxford Avenue in the Hancock Park/Mid-City area.

First units on the scene found a four-story un-reinforced masonry apartment building with smoke showing. As occupants of the building were self-evacuating, Firefighters found one unit on the second floor involved in fire.

As Firefighters attacked the seat of the fire using handlines, additional Firefighters performed search and rescue operations, and salvage work to protect belongings located in units below the fire from water damage.

The fire was confined to one unit and was extinguished in just twenty-eight minutes.

Working Fire Sprinklers assisted Firefighters by inhibiting the progress of the fire prior to their arrival. The American Red Cross is offering placement assistance to six occupants who were displaced.

The fire is listed as electrical in origin. There were no injuries reported. Fire damage is estimated at $60,000 ($50,000 structure and $10,000 contents).

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Capture Alligator in Wilmington

Friday, September 09, 2005 |

On Thursday, September 8, 2005, at 7:42 PM PDT, one company of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Urban Search and Rescue team, and one Battalion Chief Officer Command team under the direction of Battalion Commander Daren Palacios responded to the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and the Harbor Freeway on a reported alligator sighting in a flood control channel near Machado Lake in the Wilmington area.

Upon arrival, Firefighters found a small alligator approximately 2 or 3 feet long in the flood channel. Firefighters were familiar with this alligator and had been summoned several times over the past few days to assist the Department of Recreation and Parks (blog) and private alligator handlers with two separate alligator sightings in this area.

The Department of Recreation and Parks had set up nets in the area in an effort to catch this alligator. Firefighters, using extraordinary ingenuity developed a plan to move the nets into position at opposite ends of the channel in an effort to box the alligator in. As the alligator struggled to get past the nets and back to it’s safe location, it became tired and less combative.

In an effort to catch the alligator in a relaxed state, a firefighter was placed on the end of an aerial ladder and extended approximately sixty feet over the alligator’s position. The firefighter skillfully lowered a hand held net into the water and was able to capture the alligator and bring it ashore.

No injuries were reported.

The alligator was initially placed in the care of Animal Services. The animal's final destination was to be determined by that agency.

Submitted by Ron Myers and Jim Wells, Spokesmen
Los Angeles Fire Department

Worker Dies in El Sereno Trench Collapse

Tuesday, September 06, 2005 |

On Tuesday, September 06, 2005, at 9:39 A.M. PDT, eleven companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, two Urban Search and Rescue Teams, one Battalion EMS Supervisor, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances and other city and state agencies, under the direction of Battalion Commander Jose Sanchez-Cronenbold, responded to a reported trench rescue at 2603 North Commodore Street in the El Sereno area.

First units on the scene reported a single family dwelling on a hillside with workers reporting a person trapped in a trench in the backyard below a retaining wall that was being erected.

After confirming that only one worker was missing or trapped in the collapsed trench that was approximately twenty-five feet long and up to six feet deep, Firefighters immediately began the arduous and delicate task to reach the victim that was buried up to his face in mud and dirt on the steep hillside.

Clearing mud and dirt from around the victims face and neck, an assessment was made and the forty-five year old male worker was declared dead on the scene.

After interviewing several workers on the scene, Firefighters were able to ascertain that the victim had been completely buried for at least fifteen minutes or more before a 911 call was made and that workers had tried to rescue the trapped victim prior to the arrival of the Los Angeles Fire Department and were only able to expose his head.

No other injuries were reported and the cause of the trench collapse is under investigation by Cal/OSHA and other Los Angeles City agencies.

Submitted by Jim Wells, Spokesperson
Los Angeles Fire Department

Verdugo Foothill Blaze Chars 25 Acres

Saturday, September 03, 2005 |

An LAFD Helicopter battles flames in the Verdugo foothills on September 3, 2005.   photo by Jim Doyle
On Saturday, September 03, 2005 at 5:05 PM PDT, twenty-four Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, four LAFD Helicopters, various LAFD Support Units, one seasonal contract Helitanker, four Los Angeles County Fire Department Hand Crews with Crew Supervisor, eleven Companies of Burbank Firefighters, twelve Companies of US Forest Service Firefighters and one US Forest Service Helicopter, all under the command of Los Angeles Fire Department Assistant Chief Michael Fulmis, responded to a Major Emergency Brush Fire near 9562 Via Salerno in Sun Valley.

Los Angeles Firefighters arrived quickly to discover two acres of grass burning steadily away from homes in the mountainous Villa Cabrini subdivision that borders the City of Burbank and Verdugo Mountains.

Firefighters flanked the fire with handlines over increasingly steep terrain as water-dropping helicopters precisely attacked the head of the fire.

Despite a mild but steady wind, the stubborn flames were confined to twenty-five acres of grass and brush and extinguished in just two hours and thirty-six minutes.

No injuries were reported.

Fire resistant roof materials and strict compliance with brush clearance regulations throughout the neighborhood allowed Firefighters to readily defend the hillside community from fire damage.

The cause of the blaze is categorized as suspicious and remains under active investigation.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Noxious Gas Kills 3 on Cruise Ship

Friday, September 02, 2005 |

On Friday, September 02, 2005, nineteen companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, eighteen LAFD Rescue Ambulances, two Hazardous Materials Task Forces, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Assistant Chief Officer, and various LAFD support and investigative resources, under the direction of Deputy Chief Mario Rueda, responded to Berth 93A in San Pedro, to the “Monarch of the Seas” Cruise Ship.

The first Company arrived quickly to reports of as many as 5 patients “down”. Further investigation revealed an unknown gas overcame several members of the ship’s crew, while conducting routine maintenance to the propeller shaft on the starboard side of the ship.

During the maintenance operation, a large portion of pipe was removed which was responsible for releasing a gas, later determined to be Hydrogen Sulfide. Hydrogen Sulfide is a colorless gas with an offensive stench, similar to rotten eggs. It is considered to be extremely hazardous with a density 18% greater than air.

Two patients were initially reported to be in cardiac arrest, and a third was later confirmed, bringing the death total to 3 fatalities. Approximately 20 additional crewmembers, out of the 850 present, were affected. All 20, consisting of 19 men and 1 woman, were treated on scene and transported to local hospitals. Among them 2 ship Physicians and 1 nurse.

There were 2500 passengers on board the ship at the time of the incident, none of which were effected by the noxious fumes. All passengers were systematically assisted in their departure of the ship in a safe and orderly fashion.

Several local and state agencies were called to the scene including the Coast Guard, Coroner, County Health, Port Police, Customs and LAPD to assist with the unfortunate circumstances.

Submitted by Melissa Kelley, Spokewoman
Los Angeles Fire Department