Youths Start Major Emergency Brush Fire in Cahuenga Pass

Friday, March 30, 2007 |

On Friday, March 30, 2007 at 12:55 PM, 71 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 7 LAFD Rescue Ambulances, 3 Arson Units, 2 Rehab Units, 5 LAFD Helicopters, 2 LACo Helicopters, 4 EMS Battalion Captains, 9 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 2 Division Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Deputy Chief , LACo Fire, Burbank Fire, 1 CERT Coordinator, and a variety of support staff including Dozers, Brush Patrols, and Command Post Vehicles, all under the direction of Deputy Chief Mario Rueda responded to a Major Emergency Brush Fire at 3640 N. Barham Bl. in the Cahuenga Pass.

In route to this fire, Firefighters noticed a relatively small "loom-up" and, recognizing the potential hazards in this area, immediately requested additional Fire Companies and Air Support. Firefighters arrived on scene to find approximately one-quarter of medium/heavy brush burning towards the Oakwood Garden Apartments. Firefighters took up a defensive position by providing immediate structure protection for the Apartment complex, thereby preventing damage to the threatened structure.

Even though winds were fairly light, humidity in the high teens, and temperatures in low 80's, the fire quickly engulfed the surrounding brush. 300 Firefighters on the ground, aided by 7 water dropping helicopters worked in concert for 5 hours to contain this fire and prevent the the spread into adjacent structure.

The fire rapidly consumed vegetation which had not been burned for many years and created heavy, thick smoke which covered the Hollywood freeway and local streets creating extremely hazardous conditions for Firefighters. In all, over 400 Firefighters participated in the fire-fight and the overhaul of this fire, working tirelessly throughout the night to ensure that no flare-ups would occur.

One Chief Officer was injured when a hose line burst and overturned the cart he was riding in. The injured member was transported to St. Joe's Medical Center, treated for a large laceration to his ear, neck and back pain, and was later released. The Chief Officer, due to retire in a few days, required stitches and was placed off duty, culminating 41 years of dedication and service to the LAFD family and the Los Angeles community.

Witnesses reported two youths running from the area just after the fire started. As Firefighters were fighting the fire, two boys, ages 16 years-old and 17 years-old, turned themselves into the Burbank Police Department and admitted starting the fire. The youths were transported to the LAPD Hollywood Station, questioned by Los Angeles Fire Department Arson Investigators, and booked for a felony violation of Penal Code 452C (reckless setting of a fire).

Both boys were visiting relatives and were released to the custody of their parents. The complete circumstances of the fire remain under active investigation. The dollar loss is still being tabulated, however, no structural damage was sustained.

SLIDESHOW
VIDEO

Submitted by Ron Myers, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department

2 comments:

redcup56 said...

Hello Ron,

Nice post Ron. It sounds like the members had their hands full.

Two questions regarding the acreage involved in the fire. In the second paragraph, you stated "...approximately one-quarter of medium/heavy ...". Would it be correct to assume that you meant "one-quarter acre"? Second question, is there an estimate of the total acreage burned?

Thank you, and stay safe!

Mark,
Portland, OR

Ashley Rogers said...

Jay Leno just bragged about the LAFD on their performance in fighting this potentially disastrous brush fire.

Last Friday, I noticed at Kevin Eubanks (Music Director) was wearing his LAFD cap.

Keep up the great work LAFD!!

Ashley Rogers
LAFD Buff
Arkansas

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