Click here for the LAFD entry level Firefighter Job Bulletin

Fire Battle Spares Serious Damage to Pacoima Firms

Monday, October 31, 2005 |

On Monday, October 31, 2005 at 6:16 PM PST, fourteen Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, three LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one LAFD Hazardous Materials Squad, one EMS Battalion Captain and four Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, as well as various LAFD investigative and support resources, all under the direction of Assistant Chief Roderick Garcia responded to a Greater Alarm Structure Fire at 13456 Van Nuys Boulevard in Pacoima.

The first Company arrived quickly to discover fire through the roof of a 75' x 100' one story commercial structure. Firefighters using handlines mounted a bold and decisive attack against the flames, which had extended from the rear of adjoining businesses into their common attic in the stucco-clad wood-frame building.

The fire was skilfully confined to the rear storage area and attic of Edwin's Carpets, a flooring sales and service firm and Billars el Gallo, a billiard hall. Firefighters brought the flames under control in just twenty-two minutes.

There were no injuries.

Loss from the fire is still being tabulated. The cause of the blaze remains under active investigation.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Injured LAFD Captain Released From Burn Center

|

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department are pleased to report that Captain Eric Greene, severely injured by an electric shock during a recent fire investigation, has been released from the Grossman Burn Center.

Captain Greene departed the Burn Center on Saturday, October 29, and is now resting at home. He continues to be surrounded by family, friends and fellow Firefighters. His grateful family has expressed a wish for privacy, and do not have a public statement to offer at this time.

Detailed information regarding the incident, as well as a link to post personal comments are on a separate entry at this LAFD News & Information Blog.

The shortcut URL below will take you directly there:

http://snipurl.com/iyap

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Pictures of Injured LAFD Captain Released to Media

Thursday, October 27, 2005 |

Los Angeles Fire Department Captain Eric Greene was severely injured by an electric shock during a fire investigation in Hollywood on Friday, October 21, 2005.

We are pleased to report that Captain Greene was released from the Grossman Burn Center on Saturday, October 29. He is now resting at home.

Captain Greene continues to be surrounded by family, friends and fellow Firefighters. His grateful family has expressed a wish for privacy, and do not have a public statement to offer at this time.


Two undated photographs of Captain Greene taken prior to the incident have been released for use by the media. These photos, information regarding the incident and Captain Greene's recovery, as well as a link to post personal comments can now be found on a separate entry at this LAFD News & Information Blog.

The shortcut URL below will take you directly there:

http://snipurl.com/iyap

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

After Action Report of Topanga Fire Now Available

Wednesday, October 26, 2005 |

It's been less than four weeks since the "Topanga" wildfire consumed 24,175 acres of wildland near Los Angeles. Though property loss estimates have been placed at $2,049,000 the far more staggering figure is that no lives were lost and well more than three-quarters of a billion dollars in improved property in the path of the flames was spared damage.

The Joint Command Staff for this conflagration has issued a formal after-action report. Contained in this forty page PDF document are frank assessments of what went right and where improvements can be made in the heat of battle. The Los Angeles Fire Department is pleased to share this report with you at:

http://www.lafd.org/library/2005topanga_narrative.pdf

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Near Wall Heater Takes Life of Van Nuys Man

|

On Tuesday, October 25, 2005, at 8:04 PM PDT, five Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team, one LAFD Rescue Ambulance, and four Arson Investigation Teams, under the direction of Battalion Commander Richard Markota, responded to a Report of Smoke with Civilian Fatality at 7516 North Forbes Avenue in the Van Nuys area.

First units on the scene reported a one story, bungalow style dwelling with smoke showing. Forcing entry through a rear door of the occupancy, Firefighters entered the structure with handlines to aggressively attack the fire and were immediately confronted with “pack rat” like conditions.

Weaving their way along the pathways that led throughout the structure with handlines and simultaneously conducting an initial search and rescue operation, Firefighters eventually located the fire adjacent to a wall heater.

The fire was extinguished in approximately twelve minutes.

During the secondary search of the structure, an adult male was found in the kitchen area covered in a considerable amount of debris with only his face exposed. The victim was quickly removed from the structure in a pulseless and non-breathing state.

Firefighters and Paramedics immediately began administering advanced life support to the victim at the scene and during transport to Northridge Hospital.

The eighty-year old male was subsequently pronounced dead at the hospital.

No other injuries were reported. Fire damage is estimated at $5,000, structure only. The cause of the fire is listed as “combustibles too close to a heat source”.

Submitted by Jim Wells, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Captain Recuperating at Burn Center

Tuesday, October 25, 2005 |

Los Angeles Fire Department Captain Eric Greene was severely injured by an electric shock during a fire investigation in Hollywood on Friday, October 21, 2005.

We are pleased to report that Captain Greene was released from the Grossman Burn Center on Saturday, October 29. He is now resting at home.

Captain Greene continues to be surrounded by family, friends and fellow Firefighters. His grateful family has expressed a wish for privacy, and do not have a public statement to offer at this time.


Information regarding the incident and Captain Greene's recovery, as well as a link to post personal comments can be found on a separate entry at this LAFD News & Information Blog.

The shortcut URL below will take you directly there:

http://snipurl.com/iyap

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Fire Captain Severely Injured in Hollywood

|

LAFD Captain Eric J. Greene

LAFD Captain Eric J. Greene. Click on the photo for a higher resolution image


On Friday, October 21, 2005 at 11:55 PM (PDT), nine Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, one EMS Battalion Captain and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team under the direction of Assistant Chief John Ware responded to a Fire Investigation with Firefighter Injury at 6855 West Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood.

During the investigation of light smoke on the 4th floor of a five story office building, Captain Eric J. Greene, a 28 year veteran of the Los Angeles Fire Department sustained a severe electric shock while traversing an LAFD aerial ladder being operated near high-voltage power lines.

Captain Greene, age 52, was pulseless and non-breathing when removed from the ladder by fellow Firefighters.

Firefighters promptly defibrillated their injured colleague, providing immediate basic and advanced life support measures during emergency transport to nearby Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center.

Early Saturday, October 22, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined Fire Chief William Bamattre in visiting with Captain Greene's family and fellow Firefighters at the hospital.

That evening, Captain Greene was transferred to the Grossman Burn Center at Sherman Oaks Hospital.

A Monday, October 24 morning announcement that Captain Greene was no longer on a respirator, and the later statement by Burn Center Founder and Medical Director Dr. Richard Grossman, that he was "awake, alert and talking", brought great relief to the many family members and off-duty Firefighters who kept vigil at the world renowned burn care facility.

According to Dr. Grossman,“Captain Greene underwent debridement surgery [which is the removal of dead tissue] and a homograft procedure [which is the use of cadaver skin to act as a biological dressing] to both right and left hands” on Tuesday morning.

A Tuesday, October 25, afternoon statement from the Grossman Burn Center indicating that the "surgery went well and (the) patient is resting comfortably" and further elaborating that Captain Greene "continues to be listed in stable condition" and "is expected to make a complete recovery" was warmly received by the injured Captain's colleagues.

A press conference took place on the morning of Thursday, October 27, at the Grossman Burn Center, with yet another surgical procedure for Captain Greene the following morning.

LAFD Captain Eric J. Greene
LAFD Captain Eric J. Greene. Click on the photo for a higher resolution image


Captain Greene was released from the Grossman Burn Center on Saturday, October 29. He is now resting at home.

Captain Greene continues to be surrounded by family, friends and fellow Firefighters. His grateful family has expressed a wish for privacy, and do not have a public statement to offer at this time.


The source of smoke that spurred the initial fire investigation was determined to be an electrical panel on the roof of the building. The precise cause of the small fire has not yet been determined.

As a result of this incident and in accordance with Los Angeles Fire Department protocol, Fire Chief William Bamattre has assembled a multi-disciplinary "Significant Incident Investigation Team" (SIIT).

Comprised of LAFD members with specialized training, investigative and analytical skills, the SIIT has not announced a date for the formal release of its findings.

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department are deeply thankful for the outpouring of public and Fire Service support for Captain Greene and his family. They also remain profoundly indebted to all of the nurses, physicians and hospital staff who have rendered superb care to Captain Greene and solace to his family and fellow Firefighters.

In response to numerous inquiries, Eric's family has politely suggested that in lieu of flowers, concerned persons consider a donation to FireFighters Quest For Burn Survivors.


For the latest information, please bookmark and visit this LAFD News & Information Web Log (www.lafd.org/blog.htm) on a regular basis, or use our special tools to add LAFD News directly to your My AOL or My Yahoo start page. An LAFD XML Feed is also available.


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

LAFD Paramedics Show Character on Skid Row

Thursday, October 20, 2005 |

As the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department celebrate the final days of Character Counts Week, we wanted to bring your attention to both a story and compelling video from our friends at the Los Angeles Times and KTLA.

In part one of a five-part series, Times reporter Steve Lopez accompanies LAFD's Rescue 9 in its mission to serve those in the Central City area, including the often poorly understood neighborhood known as Skid Row.

Lopez writes...

The call comes in at 11:18 in the morning. Possible overdose on skid row, just half a block from one of the busiest firehouses in the United States.

Firefighter-paramedic Dave Chavez, 42, grabs a blank incident report and marches toward his Rescue 9 ambulance with partner Juan Penuelas. At 11:20, they pull out of the station, and Chavez is taking in the devastation on San Julian Street in downtown Los Angeles.

As well as the on-line video, we encourage you to read the story which exemplifies why on Skid Row as throughout Los Angeles, at the LAFD: Character Counts!

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Tanker Fire Takes Life on Golden State Freeway

Monday, October 17, 2005 |

Photo courtesy of Josh Harville Firelinephoto.com
On Monday, October 17, 2005, at 1:53 A.M. PDT, nineteen companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Deputy Chief, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, six Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Battalion EMS Supervisor, nine LAFD Rescue Ambulances, two Foam Tenders, three Water Tenders (Glendale, LA Fire, & Park Rangers), additional LAFD support personnel, fire resources from Glendale Fire Department, and other state, county and local agencies under the direction of Assistant Chief Alfred Hernandez, responded to a petroleum tanker fire on the North Bound 5 Freeway at the 134 Freeway near Griffith Park.

First units on the scene reported a petroleum fuel Tank Truck with a Two Axle Tank Trailer well involved with fire exposing trees and vegetation.

Firefighters using handlines with water and foam aggressively attacked the petroleum fire and the fire in the vegetation to mitigate an expanding incident.

Due to the location of the tanker fire on the freeway, Firefighters quickly set up a water shuttle operation to ensure a continued supply of water and foam to extinguish the fire and abate the hazard.

The fire was extinguished in thirty-six minutes.

To prevent the petroleum product from entering the storm drains and subsequently entering the Los Angeles River, Firefighters used sand to block the drains and used specialized equipment to take samples and monitor the explosive levels of the run-off.

One fatality from the tanker vehicle was reported.

A Burbank Airport Foam Tender responding into the incident overturned on the freeway. No injuries were reported.

The cause of the incident is under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.

Submitted by Jim Wells, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Ground and Air Crews Battle Griffith Park Blaze

Sunday, October 16, 2005 |

On Sunday, October 16, 2005, at 11:08 a.m. PDT, fifteen companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, three Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Arson Unit, one EMS Battalion Supervisor, one Brush Patrol, two LAFD Rescue Ambulances, three LAFD Helicopters, two Los Angeles County Camp Crews, and the Park Rangers, under the direction of Assistant Chief Alfred Hernandez operating under a Unified Command with the Park Rangers, responded to a Greater Alarm Brush Fire near the intersection of Hollywood Drive and Western Canyon Road in the Griffith Park area.

First units on the scene reported approximately one acre of grass and medium to heavy brush burning on a hillside in rugged terrain and with winds out of the south at 10-15 mile per hour.

Firefighters using handlines aggressively attacked the hot flanks of the fire while water-dropping helicopters simultaneously attacked the head of the fire in a concerted effort to stop and control the rapid progression of the fire.

In approximately one hour and five minutes the fire was knocked down and contained to five acres brush.

No structures were threatened and no injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is listed as under investigation.

Submitted by Jim Wells, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

The "King of Police Call" is 10-7

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 |

Gene Hughes

If you're an avid supporter of local Law Enforcement, Fire and EMS agencies, chances are he is a household name.

Wired News reporter Kevin Poulsen admiringly calls him a "King" while Xeni Jardin of BoingBoing refers to him as a "deity".

I for one am honored to call him a personal friend.

To the men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department and countless fans of public safety agencies across North America, he has been a familiar and trusted source of public safety radio listening information for more than forty years.

Please join us in reading Gene Hughes' amazing story, as we extend our warmest wishes for his well-earned retirement as publisher of the popular "Police Call" radio guides.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Groundbreaking for new Mar Vista Fire Station

Tuesday, October 11, 2005 |

Artists Concept of new LAFD Station 62

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department warmly welcome you to join civic and community leaders, including Fire Chief William Bamattre at the groundbreaking ceremony for new City of Los Angeles Fire Station 62 in Mar Vista.

Thursday, October 13, 2005
Monday, October 17, 2005
10:00 AM
Groundbreaking Site for New Fire Station 62
11970 Venice Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90066

We are pleased to offer an interactive map and personalized driving directions to the groundbreaking site.

Serving the west Los Angeles community of Mar Vista, new Fire Station 62 will replace a cramped and inefficient fifty-five year old facility that is deficient in meeting seismic safety, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, Building Code, ADA and separate gender accommodation issues.

Current LAFD Station 62 built in 1950

Built in the days preceding the Korean War to serve a then lightly populated and primarily residential six-square-mile district of ocean view homes, current Fire Station 62 was designed to house a small cadre of male firefighters and one limited-role fire apparatus.

The demands of emergency services and operational advances at the LAFD in the past half-century, now make that 4,190 square-foot station and only slightly larger parcel of land inadequate for providing timely and effective response to the community's needs.

New Fire Station 62 will be an efficient and appealing long-term asset for all those who live, work and visit Mar Vista, Venice and West Los Angeles.

The new energy-efficient 16,130 square foot facility has been designed to support multi-role emergency response needs while bringing convenience and efficiency to a diverse and omnipotent workforce.

Designed with input from the community, new Fire Station 62 will offer tasteful aesthetic features, including several exterior windows that will be illuminated with fiber-optics and offer cyclical color and rhythm for passers by.

We encourage you to learn more about new Fire Station 62 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 Mar Vista for this groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday morning, October 13! Monday morning, October 17!

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Welcomes New Fire Commission Members

Saturday, October 08, 2005 |

The men and women of the Los Angeles Fire Department warmly welcome the recently impaneled members of the Los Angeles Fire Commission.

Pursuant to our City Charter, Los Angeles residents Andrew Friedman, Jill Furillo, Genethia Hudley-Hayes, Dalila Sotelo and Casimiro Tolentino were selected by the Mayor and affirmed by the City Council to provide direction to the LAFD through Fire Chief William Bamattre.

Earlier this week, Sotelo and Furillo were chosen by their peers to serve respectively as the Commission President and Vice-President.

You can discover more about this five member civilian board - and thereby the Los Angeles Fire Department - by reading their reports, reviewing their meeting minutes or actively participating in the agenda of their twice-monthly public meetings.

To contact the Fire Commission or learn more about their endeavors, please visit their official website at:

www.lafd.org/comm.htm

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Nine Displaced by Westwood Apartment Fire

Friday, October 07, 2005 |

On Friday, October 7, 2005 at 2:18 A.M. (PDT) twenty companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, three Rescue Ambulances, one Squad, Rehab Utility Trailer, four Battalion Chief Officer Command teams, and one Division Chief Officer Command team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Dennis Waters responded to a reported structure fire at 1441 Midvale Avenue in Westwood.

Arriving companies were confronted with a two-story four-plex with attached garages in the rear. The garages were extensively involved with fire and the fire had extended into the second floor and attic of the four-plex.

Firefighters began attacking the fire in the four-plex as other Firefighters provided exposure protection for a four–story apartment on the North side and a one-story building on the West side.

The fire was controlled in only fifty-five minutes. The structure received extensive water damage to the first floor despite salvage efforts.

The loss is estimated at $750,000 structure and $250,000 contents. There were no injuries reported. Nine civilian occupants were displaced. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Two Firefighters Injured Battling Marina Del Rey Blaze

Thursday, October 06, 2005 |

On Thursday, October 6, 2005 at 10:50 P.M. (PDT) fifteen companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, three Rescue Ambulances, one Hazardous Materials Squad, four Battalion Chief Officer Command teams, one Division Officer Command team, assisted by two fire companies and one Battalion Chief Officer from Los Angeles County Fire Department and one fire company and one Chief Officer from Culver City Fire Department, all under the command of Assistant Chief Donald Austin, responded to a reported structure fire at the intersection of Marina Pointe Drive and Lincoln Boulevard.

First companies reported a 150 x 200 single story commercial with one-quarter fully involved in fire. Firefighters began an aggressive interior attack as fellow firefighters proceeded to the roof to begin ventilation operations.

As the lightweight roof construction began to exhibit signs of failure, firefighters vacated the building and began defensive operations with heavy stream appliances.

The roof structure subsequently suffered catastrophic failure.

One Firefighter suffered burns to his left arm, was treated on scene and transported to Sherman Oaks Burn Center. An additonal Firefighter was treated for heat related problems and was transported to Daniel Freeman Hospital. Both firefighters injuries were initially reported as minor.

Damage is still being tabulated. The cause is under investigation.

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Three Vehicle Collision in Hollywood Injures Six

Monday, October 03, 2005 |

On Monday, October 3, 2005 at 8:55 P.M (PDT) six Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, seven Rescue Ambulances, one Heavy Rescue, one EMS Battalion Captain, and one Battalion Chief Officer Command Team responded to a reported traffic accident at the intersection of Western Avenue and Sunset Boulevard in the Hollywood area.

First units to arrive were confronted with three vehicles involved in a high-speed traffic accident. One vehicle had rolled over and was positioned upside-down requiring the extrication of two patients.

A total of six patients were transported. Two patients were critical, two patients were moderate, and 2 patients were minor. All six patients were transported to local emergency rooms by LAFD ambulances.

There were no injuries to Fire Department personnel.

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Sunday Evening Topanga Incident Update

Sunday, October 02, 2005 |

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



This information was approved for public release on 10/2/2005 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.

CURRENT SIZE: 24,175 ACRES.

CURRENT CONDITION: 85% Containment

EXPECTED CONTAINMENT TIME: Monday, October 3, 2005 at 1800 Hours

TOTAL FIRE SUPPRESSION COST TO DATE: $8,381,167

CAUSE OF FIRE: Under Investigation.

STRUCTURES BURNED: 3 Single Family Dwellings destroyed; 1 Residence damaged; 3 Commercial Buildings destroyed; 2 Commercial Buildings damaged; Also damaged or destroyed by fire: 7 Out Buildings; 4 RV’s; 1 Travel Trailer; 34 Passenger Vehicles; 1 Motorcycle.

REPORTED INJURIES: Thirteen Firefighters Total.

- 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.

- On Friday, there were reports of non-life threatening injuries to four Fire Service personnel from allied agencies.

- On Saturday, one additional non-life threatening injury was reported to a Firefighter from an allied agency.

- On Sunday, non-life threatening injuries were reported to an additional six Firefighters from allied agencies.

Specific information regarding non-LAFD injuries 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 Helicopters.

CURRENT FIREFIGHTING PERSONNEL (ALL AGENCIES): 1664 Personnel

UNSUAL CONDITIONS: Inaccessible Steep Terrain.

EVACUATIONS: All Evacuations Have Been Lifted.

EVACUATION SHELTERS: All Evacuation Shelters Have Been Closed.

ROAD CLOSURES: All Roads Are Open With Unrestricted Access.

LAFD SUMMARY:

- On Wednesday, September 28, 2005 LAFD resources skirted the border between The City of Los Angeles, LA County, and Ventura County in the Western edge of the San Fernando Valley. The primary responsibility for Los Angeles Fire Department resources was 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

- On Saturday, October 01, 2005 LAFD resources were reduced to 4 LAFD Strike Teams and support staff. Some personnel were reassigned to the Castaway Fire in Burbank at the request of the Incident Commander.

- Late Sunday, October 02, 2005 LAFD resources were reduced to 1 LAFD Strike Team and support staff.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Map of Topanga Incident

|

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



Click for enlarged view of Topanga Incident
Image courtesy of geomac.gov

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Firefighters Quickly Tackle Tarzana Brush Fire

Saturday, October 01, 2005 |

On October 1, 2005, at 4:42 PM (PDT) thirteen companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, two LAFD helicopters, one Arson Unit, one EMS Battalion Captain, four Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Division Chief Officer Command team, all under the direction of Battalion Commander John Comerford, responded to a reported brush fire at the intersection of Vanalden Avenue and Gleneagles Drive in the Tarzana area.

Firefighters arrived to find approximately one-half acre of medium brush traversing up hill towards the Green Briar helispot. The winds in the area were calm and firefighters were able to aggressively attack the fire and limit the spread to one and one-half acres.

Many of the companies involved in this firefight had been involved in the Chatsworth/Topanga fire and had been released just a few hours earlier.

There were no injuries or dollar loss. The cause is currently under investigation.

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Saturday Evening 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 10/1/2005 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.

CURRENT SIZE: 24,175 ACRES.

CURRENT CONDITION: 60% Containment

TOTAL FIRE SUPPRESSION COST TO DATE: $6,721,978

STRUCTURES BURNED: 3 Single Family Dwellings destroyed; 1 Residence damaged; 3 Commercial Buildings destroyed; 2 Commercial Buildings damaged; Also damaged or destroyed by fire: 7 Out Buildings; 4 RV’s; 1 Travel Trailer; 34 Passenger Vehicles; 1 Motorcycle.

REPORTED INJURIES: Seven Firefighters Total.

- 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.

- On Friday, there were reports of non-life threatening injuries to four Fire Service personnel from allied agencies.

- On Saturday, one additional non-life threatening injury was reported to a Firefighter from an allied agency. Specific information regarding non-LAFD injuries 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): 2300 Personnel

UNSUAL CONDITIONS: Inaccessible Steep Terrain.

“ORDER TO EVACUATE” (YOU LEAVE YOU STAY OUT): None.

“WARNING TO EVACUATE” (VOLUNTARY): None.

EVACUATION SHELTERS: None. All Shelters Closed.

ROAD CLOSURES: None. All roads are open. Please use caution however, due to residual fire traffic in the area.

CAUSE OF FIRE: Under Investigation at this time.

LOS ANGELES FIRE DEPARTMENT COMMITTMENT AND SUMMARY:

LAFD Chief Varela stated on 10/01/05 at 0740 Hrs that the Topanga Incident is in the mop-up stage. 4 LA City Strike Teams and support staff will remain, all other LAFD resources were released this morning.

TOTAL LAFD RESOURCES ASSIGNED TO THE TOPANGA INCIDENT:
- 75 Fire Companies
- 14 Command Teams
- 6 Rescue Ambulances
- 1 Incident Management Team supervising 2 Branches

On Wednesday, September 28, 2005 LAFD resources skirted the border between The City of Los Angeles, LA County, and Ventura County in the Western edge of the San Fernando Valley. The primary responsibility for Los Angeles Fire Department resources was 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

On Saturday, October 01, 2005 LAFD resources were reduced to 4 LAFD Strike Teams and support staff. Some personnel were reassigned to the Castaway Fire in Burbank at the request of the Incident Commander.

Submitted by Brian Humphrey, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Saturday Morning 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 10/1/2005 at 0900 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: 23,970 Acres.

CURRENT CONDITION: 40% Containment

TOTAL FIRE SUPPRESSION COST TO DATE: $5,385,663

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: Inaccessible Steep Terrain, High Winds, Low Humidity, Erratic Fire Behavior, Structures Threatened in Urban/Wildland Interface Zone. Fire Threatens Numerous Communities.

“ORDER TO EVACUATE” (YOU LEAVE YOU STAY OUT): None.

“WARNING TO EVACUATE” (VOLUNTARY): None.

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: All Shelters Closed on 10/1/2005 at 0700.

ROAD CLOSURES: All roads are open. Please use caution due to fire traffic in the area.

SCHOOL CLOSURES: None.

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 Chief Varela stated on 10/01/05 at 0740 Hrs that the Topanga Incident is in the mop-up stage. 4 LA City Strike Teams and support staff will remain, all other LAFD resources will be released this morning.


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

On Saturday, October 01, 2005 LAFD resources are expected to be reduced to 4 LAFD Strike Teams and support staff.

Some personnel were reassigned to the Castaway Fire in Burbank at the request of the Incident Commander.




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