For information on the 'Sesnon' Wildfire of October 2008, please visit:
Do you know if apartment complex Summerset Village was evacuated there? Was there any damage?
thank you thank you thank you for risking your lives to take care of us!
Thank you very much for this information, and for ALL of your help.-b
You guys are awesome- thanks to Adam Housley's blog, we are able to be informed of the latest and I just discovered this as well-- thank you!
I have noticed in this fire, that helicopters are used to dump 300 gallons of water at a time. While they fly overhead 1/3 of the wateris lost like mist instantly. The other 2/3, gets into the fire but alot of it evaporates instantly because of the heat before it even gets to the center of the fuel being burned.I thought about it, and mud does not burn. If a liquid mud shake was dumped instead of water, not only would you be able to utilize all the gallons, since there is no evaporation, but it would additionally slime over the ground and like lava would absorb more of the fire at its roots. I believe it would take only minutes to make an instant "mudshake" that would be far better than water and get the job done quicker, easier and more efficiently.My name is David D. If you think this idea has potential, please pass it on to superiors who can investigate it and make it happen. It would be nice to advance enough to kill the fires more efficiently ultimately saving lives.
To all the firefighters and associated personnel, heartfelt thanks for your service.Laura Brodian Freas
Anonymous 6:48, We appreciate your visiting the LAFD News & Information blog. Sadly, we don't have a list of the often-changing names associated with apartment buildings across our nearly 500 square-mile jurisdiction.We hope you will soon be back home, and we're doing our level best to make sure that happens as soon as possible. Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service, Brian HumphreyFirefighter/SpecialistPublic Service OfficerLos Angeles Fire Department
David D, Thanks for the note. We're pleased to say that we lose precious little of our water and foam from the belly tanks of LAFD helicopters on the way to the fire.The key issues for us to address in your proposal are weight, speed and efficiency of loading, as well as coverage and thermal efficiency of the deployed product. While we sadly can't devote our LAFD equipment to experimental tests, we encourage you to contact a university or trade school in your area to develop the ideal product.Once that is done, there are some large state and federal wildfire agencies that operate laboratories for evaluating such projects. If your suggestion passes such tests and is considered beneficial, and equipment becomes commercially available, we'll certainly consider using it. Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,Brian HumphreyFirefighter/SpecialistPublic Service OfficerLos Angeles Fire Department
Thank you so much for your hard work today and tonite. We are very grateful for all the firefighters on the front lines making our lives safer. We thank God for you and will be praying for your safety.Alexandra and Isaac Smothers
They call it the Porter Ranch fire. Has it crossed the 118 to Chatsworth yet. They are evacing Bell and Box Canyon.
Do you have an updated list of evacuation orders for Porter Ranch at the border near Aliso Canyon? The fire is burning in Aliso Canyon close to Sesnon Blvd and Beaufait Ave. Residents are still in homes on Laughton Way, Eddleston Drive, etc. Do they need to get out?
does anyone know if the homes in the gated homes along Tampa/Sesnon, we left our home on Shadow Ridge Way as the backyard was almost in flames. Our backyard faces Tampa and my husband left while they were working on our backyard. We are staying at our parent's house in Glendale and hope it makes it through the night.
Dear Mr. Humphry, Thanks for staying up late and helping us. Although I know my Brother, Dad and Sister are safe, what I don't know is the condition of their house. I know you have teams surveying this, but I don't see any information about their house. They are near Sesnon in a gated community in Porter Ranch. Their street is Turtle Ridge. Any news on that area? Is the fire still close to that area?If you can let me know, I would appreciate it. Thanks for everything you're doing!Brad
Brian,I love your responses to the questions on here. So intelligently crafted and encouraging people to come up with better solutions. I feel greatly relieved knowing that while I sleep tonight in a potential path of the fire, there are smart people like you looking out for everyone's safety.Thank You,Crystal
Has the LAFD considered the use of a brush mower known as a "Bush Hog", to mow down brush in the fire path to remove available fuel? Chains are used instead of a mower blade to prevent breakage of the mower drive unit. The unit is powered by the drive tractor's PTO making it a very powerfull and fast mower. The blade chains both mow and mulch grass, brush, and even small trees, making it an ideal tool to use to clear brush between homes and the approaching fire.
As usual, the fire personnel are doing an incredible job. However, I once again find it impossible to follow the progress of the fire - the LA County FD map hasn't been updated in 9 hours! Your map only shows evac areas. The TV news (until they shut down tonight) showed great shots ("near Chatsworth"!) but never showed a map where the fire was burning or the direction it is burning. It's hard to go to sleep without any idea whether there's a strong possibility we may be forced to evac in the middle of the night. PLEASE, PLEASE help us with real, (to the extent you can provide it) information that can keep us informed. For the past four years I've pleaded for this, and clearly the technology exists - keep us up to speed on what matters - WHERE the fire fronts are. Thank you and all that you do!
Mr. & Mrs, Smothers, We're honored to be here and proud to serve. Thanks for the kind note. Please know that we will do everything in our power to remain worthy of your respect and praise.Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,Brian HumphreyFirefighter/SpecialistPublic Service OfficerLos Angeles Fire Department
Anonymous 10:47,While the media uses several names for the fire, the blaze that erupted this morning near Oat Mountain north of the Porter Ranch neighborhood is known formally as the 'Sesnon Wildland Fire'. This fire crossed the Ronald Reagan Freeway (State Route 118), and formally into Chatsworth early Monday afternoon.Thank you for using the LAFD News and Information blog as a trusted source of news.Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,Brian HumphreyFirefighter/SpecialistPublic Service OfficerLos Angeles Fire Department
I am continuing to watch this-- this is awful! Everyone who is working so hard, firefighters, et al, and then those who have to evacuate and worry about their homes, are all in my prayers--It just never seems to end there- I live in AZ and when I feel the winds here, I start to get a bad feeling in my stomach because I wonder if the Santa Ana winds are going to start creating fires!I hope you are all safe-- I really do.
Anonymous 10:49, Thanks for the note. The only areas we are aware of being formally evacuated are those already indicated on our map. As mentioned in an earlier blog post, the process of evacuation is largely a direct process handled by law enforcement officials using loudspeakers and/or going door-to-door.Should there be a need or desire to evacuate the Aliso Canyon area (there are in fact a few flare ups there as we speak), our friends from LAPD will come a yellin' and possibly knockin' - and I can assure you that a massive number of Los Angeles Firefighters already in your neighborhood won't be far behind them.Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,Brian HumphreyFirefighter/SpecialistPublic Service OfficerLos Angeles Fire Department
Alice, Thanks for the note on what must certainly be a tense and tiring night for you, your neighbors and your loved ones. While I have yet to hear of any homes on Shadown Ridge Way being lost to flames, the heat was indeed intense in your neighborhood. The LAPD and LASD are aggressively protecting your neighborhood until our Damage Assessment Teams arrive at daybreak. The DAT's have a great deal of work ahead of them. If and when I get back to the computer tomorrow (I have been sitting at this desk for nearly 21 hours straight without a break - and goodness knows when I will wake), I hope to post or in some way share generic details from the DAT's endeavors. Please get some good sleep - and be sure to say those magic words to your loved ones. That there were no additional lives lost in this firestorm is something that each and every one of us can remain thankful for. Can I ask a favor? When you get home, please let us know how things are by posting another comment in this thread. I look forward to reading your message. Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,Brian HumphreyFirefighter/SpecialistPublic Service OfficerLos Angeles Fire Department
Brad, You are welcome. As I mentioned in the reply to Alice above, this has been a long day for all of us. As also mentioned in my note to Alice (please pardon the typos), I have yet to hear of any loss on Turtle Ridge. Please know our DAT's will be *all* over your Brother, Dad and Sister's neighborhood early in the day, and I look forward to your sharing good news as soon as you know for certain how they fared. Sorry I can't offer more. Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,Brian HumphreyFirefighter/SpecialistPublic Service OfficerLos Angeles Fire Department
Crystal, Words can not describe the smile your note brought. Thank you for being so thoughtful - you're gonna make me blush. I really enjoy helping people as a Los Angeles Firefighter, and I hope some of that shows in this blog. Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,Brian HumphreyFirefighter/SpecialistPublic Service OfficerLos Angeles Fire Department
Anonymous 12:46, The LAFD is indeed familiar with the Brush Hog, but have yet to find a place or protocol for it to fit permanently into our wildland fuel (brush) control program - which is usually the providence of our constituents long before the flames approach. If something such as the Brush Hog proves to be desirable, beneficial, justifiable and sustainable - it just might be added to our arsenal in the years to come. Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,Brian HumphreyFirefighter/SpecialistPublic Service OfficerLos Angeles Fire Department
My husband and I just moved here from Ohio with our three children, and while I find this entire experience frightening, I am so moved by your respectful attention to everyone who has posted to this blog, that I had to thank you. Your thoughtful approach to every question posed gives me incredible relief that there are amazing people working to protect us. Your personal reassurance is deeply appreciated.
Dave, Thanks for the kind words. I too would love to have an accurate real-time map of the fire's progress... and I work in the LAFD Control Center as a member of the Command Staff. The technology may exist, but it is not owned by the City or more expressly, given to us to use. Many people are surprised to learn just how lowly staffed and under-tech our operation is, but how much fun we have just trying to make things work. :) While we can't demand such things at our workplace, you are welcome to let your local elected leaders know what is important to you - and we strongly encourage you to do so.Please stay safe, be well - and stay in touch!Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,Brian HumphreyFirefighter/SpecialistPublic Service OfficerLos Angeles Fire Department
Mr. Humphrey, I certainly hope you are able to get some sleep yourself, soon! I admire your strength and gracious demeanor with the public. My brother's home is on Pauma Valley Dr. off Singing Hills/Tampa Ave. at Rinaldi. You and your forces at work all deserve a medal for your bravery. May you know the magnitude of gratitude we all have towards the magnificent Los Angeles Fire Department. May God be with you as He is with my brother and family right now.
Thanks, Brian. The fact that you're sitting there all day and night responding to each and every comment is testament enough! I can't tell you how much I appreciate your efforts to reach out to the public - in a city this big, it really brings us comfort to be able to connect on a personal level. I think I'll need to keep beating up the news organizations on this map topic. It was unfortunate, though that whoever was doing the LACounty Google map (http://www.fire.lacounty.gov/), which was nicely tracking the fire until about 4PM, just threw in the towel. Lots of websites are linked to that map. So, as much as I'd like to know if there is a fire line burning SW toward Bell Cyn/Agoura, I gotta go to sleep. Make sure you catch a nap, and best of luck through the night!
Anonymous 1:47, Welcome to California (and please stay!)This series of wildfires will indeed pass, and nothing would make us happier than having you and the kids visit us at your Neighborhood Fire Station. Better yet, please plan on joining us for the Grand Opening of new Fire Station 84 in Woodland Hills on November 1, 2008 at 10:00 AM.Get that date on your calendar now and don't forget your camera!In the meanwhile, please hang in there and know that we will always be there when you need us. Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,Brian HumphreyFirefighter/SpecialistPublic Service OfficerLos Angeles Fire Department
I live off of Calle Vista Circle and Brymer near Reseda and Brasilia. I woke up to smell of smoke. What is the update and why do I see more ash outside then I did earlier? Should I be concerned? Why aren't there live updates on what is going on? Also, thanks so much for your hard work!
Anonymous 3:21,The ash you are seeing will vary from time to time, and is *in and of itself* a poor indicator of pending danger to a specific location. That's the good news.Some of the earlier replies may also help explain why we are not able to (and in fact no Fire Department I am aware of) provide live 'real-time' status of precisely where a windswept wildfire is burning.The very best news is that there are Firefighters in your neighborhood this morning, and more importantly Police Officers who stand ready to inform you should there be a need to evacuate.Please rest assured that we are working together to do everything humanly possible to protect your neighborhood, and that your vigilance is both important and appreciated.Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,Brian HumphreyFirefighter/SpecialistPublic Service OfficerLos Angeles Fire Department
Thank you so much for all your hard work. My family and I are grateful for all your efforts to keep everyone out of harm. Our prayers are with you as you continue to battle the fires and I'm sorry to hear that one of the firefighters received an eye injury. Whoever you are, please know that your courage is much admired and appreciated. Do get better soon.Stay safe (as safe as you can be at the forefront), all 800 of you!Natasha Ang and family
What's the latest on the chances of the fire moving toward the 101? We're in Agoura Hills.
First off thank you to all the firefighters for all the hard work you have done for the community. Your exceptional efforts are greatly appreciated. I am curious if Tampa Ave. Reseda Blvd and Wilbur Ave. north of Rinaldi are closed
First Thank you so much to all the firefighters for all you have done for our community. There are no words that can express my family and my gratitude. I am curious if Tampa Ave.,Wilbur and Reseda Blvd. North of Rinaldi are still closed. If so when do you see a possibilty of them being reopened. Ken Sampson
Thank you so much to all of you that are working so very hard to put these fires out! You guys are true heroes. Stay strong and know that all of our thought and prayers are with you guys. I know a captain (G. Porter) that is working on this and he is amazing, along like all of the other firefighters working on this. If there is anything that you guys need, don't hesitate to ask. Thank you for risking your lives for all of us. There are no words to say how thankful we all are! Be careful!!
Thank you for your reply Brian. You are working very hard and very long hours ... thank you!Do you have any information on when residents from Turtle Ridge and that Porter Ranch gated community can return to their homes?If you have any information on that, please let me know. Thanks!Brad
I just moved here from the east coast with my wife and daughter. We have lived in Oak Park for about 3 months now and are new to these kinds of fire dangers. My wife does not drive and walks to drop off and pick up our daughter from school. should I be concerned with evacuating soon? maybe start booking a hotel for a couple of days?
Summerset village is okay, and we are able to get home. God Bless the firefighters and Police!
Hello, thank you for providing this blog as a source of information! We evacuated from the Lake Manor neighborhood, and I am having trouble finding information online regarding the condition of our little home...Can you please tell us what is happening around Lake Manor?Thank you very much for your time!!!!!!
Thank you fire fighters. We TRULY appreciate everything you are doing now and all that you do on a daily basis to keep us safe.
I HOPE THE FIRE REACHES ALL THE WAY TO BALBOA AND SESNON SO DONT WATER IT DOWN!
To anon in Oak Park - this is our first real fire since moving here just over 2 years ago. Last night, we spoke at length with our neighbors who were here when the fire pretty much reached their backyard 3 years ago. They assured us that the fire department would surely tell us when it is time to evacuate. If it gets in to Bell Canyon, we will probably be asked to leave. You might also want to check oakparkupdate.com and sign up to receive their emails -- they sent an update last night which advised everyone to start getting organized to evacuate just in case. This website (LAFD) has been the most helpful we have found so I think you guys are doing pretty well.
Anonymous 10:58, That one of the most disheartening comments I have read today. Please be safe, and know that we'll *always* do our level best to protect everyone in our community - including those who may wish to convey insensitive thoughts.Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,Brian HumphreyFirefighter/SpecialistPublic Service OfficerLos Angeles Fire Department
Mr Humphrey, (Brian)Like so many others astounded by your personal and often heartfelt responses. Thank you for your time and attention. Thanks as well to all of your co-workers and their heroism.Watching closely as my folks are 3 homes just east of Valley Circle at Roscoe - the updates are appreciated.Are there any other resources for info, as you have indicated the limitations of your department??Please send our gratitude.Staci
This is a wonderful site and thank you LAFD for your heroic efforts.Question: Is the train track - AMTRAK line - open and allowing trains to pass through? Is it expected to be open tomorrow, Wed Oct 15. Is there a way to get updates about the status of the train track elsewhere?Thank you!
Mr. Humphrey, Please rest assured that no one I have ever spoken to, and certainly not in the last few days, shares the point of view of anonymous at 10:58! I know that your blog indicates that you post all comments regardless of opinion, that are polite in tone..I would hope that you delete that posting, because it is hateful, not polite, and does NOT represent the feelings of ANY local residents near the Sesnon or Marek fires! Those of us who have lived in the San Fernando Valley for over 45 years have seen LAFD, LA County FD, CDF, and numerous other fire fighting agencies from around the State, and even around the County, fight fires in our neighborhoods, many of them volunteering their time. Those residents like myself, who have personally stood in our backyards and on our roofs with garden hoses, standing side by side with the most amazing and dedicated firefighters anywhere in the world, folks whose only concern is preventing damage to our property, with only minor regard to their own personal safety, know the reality - firefighters should be praised, and thanked, and the crazies among us should keep their ingorant and hurtful comments to themselves.Thank you and your fellow firefighters for all you do!Neil D.
Dear Mr. Humphrey, thanks on behalf of everyone, for keeping people updated as much as possible. Do you have any current information about whether structures have been damaged near Mayan Dr., specifically Wahoo Trail(close to the 118)Thank you in advance!
Mr. Humphrey,I'm sure 10:58 is just some dumb kid who think it will be fun if he doesn't have to go to school because of a fire. I hope you won't let one idiot bring you down when you've been providing us such a great service.But on to more important things, like others commenting above I live in Oak Park and its been quite difficult to get any information about the likelihood of the fire reaching us. I know that you firefighters are just as much in the dark as the rest of us when it comes to the wind and other conditions that stoke the fire, but in current conditions, should we have the car packed just in case? And how fast could the fire potentially move?On a final note, I just wanted to let everyone in Oak Park/Agoura/etc. know that you can sign your cell phone up for Reverse 911 here: http://portal.countyofventura.org/portal/page?_pageid=817,1258038&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTALWe don't have a landline at my house so I was worried we wouldn't be notified in case of evacuation. I wish I had found that site before this morning!Best,Lisa
Dear Mr. Humphrey,I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, and my parents still live there. I have been trying to keep up to date with the progress of the current fires, and have been extremely impressed by your blog and all your information and responses. I echo the thanks and praise from many of the other posters - but I just had to write after seeing the Anonymous post at 10:34 am. I cannot believe that someone would be so rude and inconsiderate as to post that.Please know that there are so many of us out here who are very grateful for all that you and the other firefighters and law enforcement are doing, and please don't let one jerk diminish your sense of our appreciation.Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.K, SF Bay Area
Thank you LAFD for all your help!I'm surprised there aren't more schools closed out in the valley, like CSUN. The air quality is absolutely terrible, and our children are most at risk. It seems like some valley schools aren't doing enough to ensure our children's safety. It stinks outside! Remember to keep handy a bandanna or scarf to cover the mouth and nose if you are going to be out today. Check out www.breathela.org to learn more about how you can keep your lungs safe.
Is there a map that stays updated with fire perimeters and wind directions?
Golfchick, Every now and then there are sites that will attempt to portray fire lines in recent or near real time.As inferred if not mentioned earlier, the swift nature of a wind-whipped fire - and the lack of technology and staff, there is presently no ability for us (or anyone we know of) to offer "real time" [emphasis added] displays. Certainly there is nothing that one could use to protect a home and family - or reliably predict the wicked nature of wildfire's path. We know that many people feel there should be something like hurricane radar map - and goodness (money and staff) willing, we'd love to bring it to you. With television shows like '24' plying on our subconscious if not our conscious mindset [add high tech sound effect], there is real world disconnect between what folks think we have - and the dingy low-tech, lowly staffed cave we actually work in.While I warmly welcome you to request such high technology from our local elected leaders, please know that *reliable* acquisition, analysis, conveyance and display of wildfire data from over a large wildfire like the Sesnon Fire would require potentially hundreds of personnel deployed over dozens of square miles, devoted to no other purpose.While elected leaders could instruct us to do so, there is no room in our budget to unilaterally implement such an effort. In the meantime, we pledge to do our best with the team, tools and training we are given.Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,Brian HumphreyFirefighter/SpecialistPublic Service OfficerLos Angeles Fire Department
Dear Mr. Humphrey,I moved here from New England in 1978and until then had never seen what wildfires can do. My in-laws live in simi and I want to thank you and all the firefighters for the selflessness and committment to such a dangerous job. You are all heros. There is no doubt that you people always do whatever you can to protect people and their homes. Stay safe and thank you for the information you post.
I was just on the Los Angeles County Fire Departments website: http://www.fire.lacounty.gov/ and they are saying that Tapo Canyon in Simi Valley is now being evacuated? Can you please confirm this, I have not heard about the evacuations for Tapo anywhere esle. Thanks for all your help!
Thanks for your response and all the great work you do. I just might request that with a couple of suggestions as to how to accomplish it with an automated system and few personnel. As for Simi, the rural Tapo areas were evacuated last night and I just saw on the news there was a flare up in that area. Other areas on the East side of Simi are being voluntarily evacuated by people with lung conditions, etc. Saw that on the Ventura County FD site: http://fire.countyofventura.org/
b, As you know, Tapo Canyon is not to be confused with Topanga Canyon.Tapo Canyon is both a geographic description *and* the name of a major street in and near the Ventura County community of Simi Valley. Parts of the canyon and namesake road are in that city, as well as in the unincorporated County of Ventura.Please know that the entire region in question remains outside of our jurisdiction, but is in the capable hands of the Ventura County Fire Department (VCoFD), as well as the Simi Valley Police Department and Ventura County Sheriff's Department. It would be our suggestion to visit the VCoFD website and/or contact the aforementioned agencies to determine the occupancy or evacuation status of the section of Tapo Canyon that is of concern to you. I hope this information helps.Please stay safe and let us know how you do.Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,Brian HumphreyFirefighter/SpecialistPublic Service OfficerLos Angeles Fire Department
Another Oak Park resident here who is looking for information.None of the news outlets are really discussing the southern/western front of this fire, and I'm sitting on pins and needles. Is the fire moving South? Has Bell Canyon been placed under mandatory evacuations? What are the current thoughts on the fire reaching the Oak Park or Agoura Hills area?The lack of useful information for us is very stressful!Thanks!
What a great website! Yes, I in addition to other posters here am confused as to where the fire is in relation to Box Canyon and Lake Manor. These areas have been under evacuation for more than a day, but there seems to be no information online anywhere as to how close the fire is to homes.Thanks!
All, Thanks for your patience. I am a one man office, and am at times as frustrated as you in acquiring and sharing dynamic information that is specific to your personal needs. Kindly know that my phones have been really heavy today, as have the mainstream media interviews. I am reading all of your messages, and will do my level best to answer those that I can in the hours ahead.Please be safe, and know that the greatest gift you can give firefighters is to be caring for one another in this difficult time. We're going to get through this, and we'll always be there when you need us!Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,Brian HumphreyFirefighter/SpecialistPublic Service OfficerLos Angeles Fire Department
Was the Oat Mountain NIKE site touched by the fire?A travesty should a historical area like that get burnt down forever!
We wanted to say thank you to all you brave firefighters. Is there anything we can do to show our gratitude? Food, water, etc? Where and when?
We wanted to say "Thank you" to all you brave fire fighters. Is there any way we can show our gratitude? Perhaps bringing food, drinks, etc. at a specific time and place?
Many thank yous for keeping all of us updated. I've been checking your blog all day and night for updates. I have no tv, and online livestream news stopped broadcasting several times. Your blog has really saved us. I have no concerns for now, everything around our area seems calm. I want to thank you so many times for your efforts and patience. The most experiences firefighters in the world!
Hi, does anyone know if the fire is suppossed to move towards Oak Park? Please answer... Thank you. ** Also thank you to all the firefighters and everyone who is helping get this fire out!
Brian -Though I live far away from the fires and have been keeping track of their progress via news and varios web pages, I'm quite blown away by your faithfulness and dedication to keeping in touch with people via this blog - it helps keep the human touch amidst overwhelming media sources which might not provide all the answers before moving on to the next news story.Wow. Your role is quite special and important, helping provide one-on-one answers to those seeking help and not knowing where to find it.Thanks for your tireless hours on your computer. I see you're working as hard as the firefighters on the front lines as you extinguish the fires of fear and doubt in the minds of your readers.You're a hero!TomFullerton, CA
Gotta say, Mr. Humphrey, you are kind of a rock star! Thank you for what you are doing! Can I send you a pizza or something?
KCAL 9 (kcal.9) seems to have the most news updates for TV, and KNX 1070 AM radio has lots of coverage. For weather updates try http://www.weather.gov/ and there's some personal accounts at the Twitter site http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23LAFIRE
Does anyone have info on why Castlebay Lane, and I believe several other streets, south of Sesnon between Tampa and Reseda were mandatory evacuated early this afternoon. There were no obvious signs of fire, smoke, danger. Also, this area is not mentioned in any "mandatory" evac list. It is not in a canyon per se. So we are staying the night away but hard to know when we can return.Thanks for any info.B.
For the many who are seeking Oak Park (a community in Ventura County) information, our friends at the Ventura County Fire Department will be your best source of local threat and situational information in Ventura County.I hope this helps.Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,Brian HumphreyFirefighter/SpecialistPublic Service OfficerLos Angeles Fire Department
AUI, With the exception of KCAL-TV, links for all the sources you mention can be found on our blog post. I guess I should have been more suggestive in having people click the underlined text on our blog. Thanks for writing. Be safe!Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,Brian HumphreyFirefighter/SpecialistPublic Service OfficerLos Angeles Fire Department
B.We're confident that the decision to evacuate some neighborhoods and in some cases just specific homes, was not made lightly by the Incident Commander. We apologize for what at the very least is a massive inconvenience. We're glad you're safe, and *to the best of our knowledge*, after a bit of airing out, your home and those of your neighbors will be back to normal in no time. If you have a chance once you get settled back at home, please let us know how things are - as well as any suggestions you might offer for how the LAFD might better handle such matters in the future.Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,Brian HumphreyFirefighter/SpecialistPublic Service OfficerLos Angeles Fire Department
Randi, Thanks for the offer of a pizza! While it may be a bit of a spoiler (who wants to count carbs and fiber when you have oozing cheese?), I hope that you and others who have endured a stressful day will have a little fun - if not gastronomic satisfaction, by joining me for a:Virtual PizzaPlease stay safe and be well!RYIS&S, Brian HumphreyFirefighter/SpecialistPublic Service OfficerLos Angeles Fire Department
The LAFD is making heroic efforts to fight the LA Wildfires and protect life, as residents worry and evacuate hurriedly in the fires path, sometimes losing their homes and possessions when brush or weather conditions create an uncontrollable situation. No question about it, Southern California wildfires are extremely difficult to control under dry conditions with Santa Anna winds blowing at 60 mph, both fire fighters and residence are often exposed to the harrowing conditions of a fire storm… with almost no time to act. As I stayed up late into the night attempting to assess my own need to potentially evacuate, I realized that this really should not be either the concern, or option that I was facing, and that if a correctly designed and implemented fire prevention and control guidelines were implemented, I would not have to be contemplating such a horrendous scenario that I and others found ourselves in. This is why a serious re-assessment of fire prevention and fire fighting techniques is needed for the sake of the Fire Fighters risking their lives, and the home owners whose lives are too often horrifically changed in an instant as their home is engulfed in flames. While LAFD is making additions to its fire-fighting equipment in the addition of more helicopters and aircraft, which are good for hot spot control, additional methods are needed to better control fires as they approach residential areas and protect homes. Presently it appears that the primary methods that LAFD is using to fight fires are the homeowners brush prevention program, and dousing water and fire retardant on the wildfires and nearby homes by air and ground crews. The use of additional methods such as fire breaks and backfires is also wind and weather dependent. The really big problem here is that so are their primary methods of fire fighting. The Air Assaults ability to fly is affected by weather, with much of it grounded at night, and ground crews fire-fighting effectiveness is too often reduced to evacuation assistance in the face of a high wind driven wildfire. When unfavorable conditions exist, it can render the primary firefighting methods ineffective, and place lives unnecessarily at risk. I think that our firefighters and citizens both deserve more protection than is presently enacted. This is why an approach that is both multi-level and multi-faceted is need in order to create a fail-safe fire-fighting approach. A multi-level approach provides multiple layers of fire prevention and fire fighting protection, such that a single point failure does not result in a wildfire transferring to multiple residential or commercial buildings, or such a transfer spreading and resulting in a calamity fire. A multi-faceted approach uses a variety of fire-fighting methods that are each suited best to different conditions due to weather or terrain, but overlap with others methods so that changing weather, nightfall, or terrain changes do not render a firefighting effort useless because it has run out of options. While some of these improvements are being put into effect, a more comprehensive effort is needed. Homes built next to wild-lands should be built to even tougher fire resistant standards with fire resistant “green bands” buffering the outer perimeter of developments. Fire-breaks need to be instituted at a higher level next to metropolitan areas, especially were older less fire resistant structures exist. Multiple fire-fighting methods should be implemented during a fire, even if some of the older methods used before the development of air support are not considered as expedient, they might be the saving option when air support is diminished or grounded. Brush mowers and tillers can be airlifted to create emergency firebreaks much more quickly and effectively than dozen men in the face of a raging fire, as recently observed. These methods can also be used during a fire when wind conditions prevent the use of a backfires, in order to deny the fire fuel, making it easier to control next to homes. Special mowers could even be easily developed that could handle steep terrain, in order to remove brush in less defensible areas. Brush removal costs could be partially off-set by their use to produce bio-fuels. By implementing a methodical and multi-level approach there would be multiple fire resistant barriers in place to help to prevent the spread of a wildfire, as well as multiple techniques, so that if weather or other conditions render some methods useless or ineffective, the additional methods would be available to help to compensate. In this way changing conditions such as wind and night-fall do not so adversely hamper the fire-fighting effort. Ideally, in order to provide a high level of fire safety, the preliminary methods of prevention and fire fighting techniques should be implemented to the extent that the more advanced and costly methods that presently seem to be on the front line could actually be onsite as a back-up to help put out the really hot spots that are threatening crews and homes. There should always be additional capacity in reserve, not just in numbers but also in options. In this way, extra safety levels are developed and we would not so often be dependant on a single method or technique left to save the day…. and lives or property. Especially when for so many, the only remaining technique has simply been running for their lives…
I saw on the news that Pierce College is once again accepting large animals.
In referrence to your answer about the Oak Park question, do you happen to know if Ventura County Fire has a blog website or map of the fire like you do?Many Thanks!!
Thank you LAFD for keeping us safe. I'm a single mom working in Porter Ranch and living in Chatsworth with an asthmatic toddler... so these fires have really hit home. I saw a couple of your guys at Country Deli grabbing breakfast this morning and I wanted to hug and kiss them. I opted to politely thank them. ;)This blog is amazing. I can't even fathom all the hard work you've put into it. I really hope someone sends you a gigantic basket of wine as a thank you. And if you don't drink wine... well then I hope you forward it to me.Thanks, best wishes, and hugs and kisses.
Golfchick, ...and the good folks at Pierce College just as quickly closed to receiving new animal evacuess, as the few extra spaces were filled not more than a few minutes following the newscast... and that's not a bad thing really, as it's comforting to know that as many needy animals as possible were taking advantage of safe and available shelter. Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,Brian HumphreyFirefighter/SpecialistPublic Service OfficerLos Angeles Fire Department
Thank you to all the firefighters, both from LAFD and from all over the state of California for risking their lives to keep our families and property safe. My daughter and I saw several firefighters from Dinuba and San Jose in our local grocery store parking lot in Granada Hills and thanked them for their bravery. It was all I could do to keep from tearing up when I saw them.THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!Lynn KimotsukiGranada Hills
Anonymous 9:30, While I was able to find a blog related to their department (?), it seems to be a non-official fan site. Unless someone happens to find something I can't, my best suggestion is to stick with their always informative official website. ...and if you happen to speak with VCoFD PIO Ron Oatman or his boss, Chief Roper, please extend my warmest regards.Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,Brian HumphreyFirefighter/SpecialistPublic Service OfficerLos Angeles Fire Department
My wife was evacuated from the Mountain View Convalescent Home on Monday. The building is on the corner of Hubbard and Fenton. She was relocated to a facility in Bell Gardens. I wounder if she has to stay out there for a long duration, can I claim the gas with emergency aid? The media and officials saw all the ambulances leaving to transport the residents, but stated on the news they had no idea why the vehicles were there. So much has been reported on the "other fire" and nothing on the Slymar area fire.
opps! Forgot to say you guys do the best job! I live in Canyon Country and you saved that part as well as all of California last year. God I wish I was young and fit to be a firefighter!
I wanted to extend my deepest thanks to all of the firefighters as well as to everyone posting here on this blog. My husband and I moved up into Woolsey Canyon in July and this was our first fire. On a gut instinct we ran home on our lunch breaks on Monday to get our dog out, just in case, and while we were up there got the order from the sheriff for immediate mandatory evacuation. During all of that time this blog was our only source of real factual information and updates. The Los Angeles times posted an article with a quote from a spokesperson from the LAFD that they were concerned about the fire getting closer to Woolsey Canyon, but the news wasn't reporting anything. Through the entire time we were evacuated the news reported little to nothing on the North-Western Valley areas that were evacuated so quickly. The only thing they did do was refer us to fire.lacounty.gov which they said had the most up to date information and according to the map that was posted around 5pm yesterday, Box Canyon and Woolsey Canyon were gone. We were overjoyed last night when the 10:00 news finally reported that we could go home with I.D. and found our neighborhood safe and intact. So again, I want to thank you all for the information you were able to provide or share in such a difficult and uncertain time. It truly meant a lot. To the firefighters, we will never be able to thank you enough for all of your hard work, you truly are the best in the world!
We were not allowed onto Poema Place on Tuesday night, so Summerset Village still appears to be evacuated. Any idea if it's open as of Wednesday morning?
To all of the firefighters and support staff, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your hard work. I live on Arapahoe Trail in Twin Lakes. The fire made it to within 15 feet of my rear door. My heart goes out to my neighbors who lost everything. I know you worked just as hard to save their homes as well. Sometimes fate is just cruel in its randomness. God bless all of you.
LAFD, we cannot thank you enough for saving our home.We can see how close the fire came by the burnt remains of our backyard. Without your efficiency we probably would not have been able to sleep in our own beds last night.Thank you for all of your hard work, effort and time.God bless.
Dear firefighters,My name is Aria and I am 6 years old. I live in Granada Hills, by O'Melveny Park. I would like to thank you for putting out the fire near our neighborhood.You saved the day!Thank you so much,Aria
I want to thank everyone in the LAFD and associated agencies for the quick and tireless work they've put into keeping the fire at bay.One thing I cannot find either via the web or the 800-number posted above, is whether or not traffic is blocked on Balboa northbound to get to Old Road. My wife needs to get to school in Valencia and she's coming from Chatsworth. Thanks again for this wonderful update page.
We want to thank the firefighters who spent two nights on our cul-de-sac, "just in case" the fire came our way. They were in our neighborhood the entire time the winds were blowing, and all of us are very grateful for their presence. Just hearing them say "we'll be here all night" was such a comfort. Thanks again!--Fountainwood resident
LA County Animal Control is actually the Dept in charge of caring for animals in these fires, not LA Animal Services. The fires are mainly in LA County and Ventura County, not LA City. LA County is in charge of all the horses if you are missing your horse. Thanks LAFD for helping the County out with this fire.
Anonymous 4:56,Thanks very much for the note. Please know this blog post was at first planned merely to be a resource for those in our jurisdiction (LA City) who were impacted by the Sesnon fire. That is one of the reasons the Sesnon post looks so different from the Marek post on the LAFD Blog.Among those in imminent need were a significant number of residents in Porter Ranch and other areas that fall inside the city limits and had animal issues.We spoke with an L.A. Animal Services rep early on, and they were indeed guiding and in some cases coordinating local support and information for animals that had to leave their city homes or had other needs.As you mention, there were also a significant number of horses and other animals from the Counties of Los Angeles and Ventura in need of care or facilities. I was sadly unsuccessful in raising an LA County Animal Control rep, but by then, they were certainly busy (and doing great good!) as was nearly everyone in their vocation.Please know that my personal failure to mention the L.A. County (or for that matter Ventura County) Animal Control authorities was not a matter of malice or any ill intent by our agency. I will indeed add them to the list of 'cooperating agencies' in this post.It was our honor to work alongside the proud members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department and other agencies in battling this wind-whipped blaze, which itself knew little mercy and clearly no respect for jurisdictional boundaries.Again, thanks for the note. Please stay safe and be well.Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,Brian HumphreyFirefighter/SpecialistPublic Service OfficerLos Angeles Fire Department
Now that I'm back at home in Porter Ranch, its amazing to see all the fire damage around my community, yet all the houses where I live were kept safe. I don't know how to express my gratitude and appreciation to all the firefighters who risked their lives to save my home and many others. You are all amazing and I'm sure I can speak for everyone in the community when I say THANK YOU!
Jen, Those two words may not mean much to some people, but they mean the universe to the men and women of the LAFD.It is certainly now our turn to thank you and so many others for listening intently, acting decisively and moving swiftly and safely when the evacuation orders were issued.As firefighters, we know that many of you hold positions of high respect and responsibility in our community. From leading large classrooms of children, managing large projects or leading major corporations, most of you are not accustomed to having a complete stranger take full and total command of your day - much less your life and livelihood.That you would look us squarely and trustingly in the eye and with nothing more than a slight wince and a nod follow the order to leave all of your worldly possessions in our care speaks volumes of the trust that we are sworn to uphold at any cost.Thank you Jen. Please know that we will always be there for you, Alex and Leah. No matter the reason, no matter the time, no matter the risk, no matter the cost. We will always be there. To do anything less would rob us of the opportunity to be the gifted recipients of that wince and nod, and yes - those two magic words.Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,Brian HumphreyFirefighter/SpecialistPublic Service OfficerLos Angeles Fire Department
... as you may have noted, this LAFD blog post is now pointing to the CALFIRE site for Sesnon Wildland Fire information. While that site remains the best source for concise and accurate information, please know we still warmly welcome your participation here...-Brian-
Nice GeoMac map Brian, Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery...Just giving you bad timeBob Editor California Fire News - http://calfire.blogspot.com/
Bob, Thanks for the note and your hard work. Like you, we make no pretense of the map's origins (and wish they were available earlier in such blazes). That map, like all images on the LAFD blog is clickable, and in this case, takes our readers to the GeoMAC site.Again, thanks for you hard work, support and continuing interest in the work performed by the men and women of the LAFD. Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,Brian HumphreyFirefighter/SpecialistPublic Service OfficerLos Angeles Fire Department
thank you guys so much for all your hard work. for getting the fires away from our homes. god bless you
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