Brush Fire Ignites Beneath A Los Angeles Landmark

Tuesday, March 13, 2007 |

On Monday, March 12, 2007 at 2:15 PM, 33 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 2 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 1 Arson Unit, 4 Helicopters, 1 EMS Battalion Captain, 4 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Division Chief Officer Command Team, under the direction of Battalion Chief Mark Saxelby responded to a Brush Fire at Griffith Park in ATWATER VILLAGE southwest of the Observatory in Griffith Park.

Firefighters arrived quickly to discover a geographically treacherous area of Griffith Park with 3/4 of an acre of medium to heavy brush burning uphill in the direction of the famed Griffith Park Observatory.

Due to the inaccessibility of ground crews, the Fire Department's aerial reconnaissance and command support airship flew into action and was soon joined by a trio of larger water-dropping LAFD helicopters, that commenced a synchronous aerial attack on the flames. Due to the extreme weather conditions and low relative humidity, the Los Angeles Fire Department utilized pre-deployed resources to address the increased brush fire potential.

The first seventy arriving Firefighters skillfully anchored the flames, working in concert with their airborne colleagues to limit fire spread. A structure protection group was also established and stood at the ready should the flames reach the beloved landmark in Griffith Park.
In spite of the presence of numerous spot fires, and largely due to the determined aircraft , the men and women of Los Angeles Fire Department were able to limit the flames to 10 acres and fully extinguish the blaze in just 2 hours 45 minutes. No structures were damaged. No evacuation was ordered at the Observatory as it was closed for business.

A Park Ranger was transported to a nearby hospital with minor heat-related injuries.

Submitted by Melissa Kelley
Los Angeles Fire Department


LA City Nerd said...

I know Melissa is new, but if this fire was below the Observatory, there's really no way it could have been in Atwater Village. Even if the Fire started on the far east side of the observatoy, it would have had to burn many more than ten acres to get from Atwater to the Observatory. My guess is that they responded to a call in either Griffith Park or Los Feliz, but not Atwater Village.

NOTE: There are parts of Griffith Park that do cross east of the LA River and are part of Atwater Village, but i don't think this fire was in that area based on the photos.

Kiki B. Sillis said...

This isn't exactly on-topic, but I found your blog tonight via Boing Boing, and I wanted to tell you you're doing a great job. I hope one day every public agency in the country has something like this!

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

LA City Nerd,

Thanks for the note. As a curator and evangelist of all things Los Angeles, we always welcome your comments and suggestions.

While Melissa has been pinch-hitting in our office during March 2007 to curtail a staffing shortage, it was actually a software glitch that placed the All Caps mention of 'Atwater Village' into our reports and blog. Thanks for making us aware of the error.

I'm surprised we did not first hear from the eagle-eyed Atwater Village Newbie.

As you know, the 4,210 acres of chapparal-covered terrain and landscaped parkland in Griffith Park is served by several Neighborhood Fire Stations.

With cryptic initial reports of the fire, Melissa selected one of the responding stations in our database to commence writing the report - and the neighborhood from which that unit responded was automatically placed in the report.

As you've mentioned previously on your blog, community names can be a boondoggle to track in Los Angeles, and nowhere is this more challenging than in our office, especially in regards to breaking news.

Though we'll be working together in earnest to prevent this from happening in the future, please know that we always welcome corrections and clarifications of what we offer at the LAFD News & Information blog.

As you've inferred in some of your postings, we'll soon be introducing the newest member to our team, who is presently working with Ron and Melissa to learn the many challenges of providing on- and off-line news and information to those we serve.

Again LA City Nerd, thanks for the note. Please keep an eye on our blog in the weeks to come for an article about the 2006 City Nerd Awards.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...


Thanks for the note and your kind words of encouragement.

Your note about the BoingBoing article helps explain the sudden spike in visitors (30,000 yesterday) to our LAFD Flick Photo gallery.

Thanks for stopping by. We hope that you and others who learned about us through BoingBoing will be regular visitors.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Thanks for giving us a heads-up on the Atwater Village reference. As Brian stated, this is a software issue. Not only does our office handle all website and BLOG programming, we also have developed all of our Database driven software. Each Fire Station is referenced with one neighborhood. When that station is chosen in the database, the corresponding neighborhood is automatically inserted. We will look to see if we can use a more flexible neighborhood nomenclature.

Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

Post a Comment

Comments to this blog are approved or disapproved without editing.

We seek to offer a broad cross-section of *public* thoughts that are specific to the topic at hand and genuinely polite in tone - regardless of opinion.

Kindly post your comments below.