Firefighters Confine Brush Fire Near Sun Valley to Just 3 Acres

Friday, May 13, 2011 |

LAFD and Allied Agencies Tackle Shadow Hills Brush FireOn Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 1:06 PM, 10 Companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, 3 Helicopters, 2 Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, 1 Water Tender, and additional agencies including: LA County Fire Department, Angeles National Forest, Department of Transportation & Department of Water & Powera total of 60 LAFD Firefighters all under the direction of Battalion Chief John Duca responded to a Greater Alarm Brush Fire at 10718 Stallion Ranch Road in the Shadow Hills area of Sun Valley.

Firefighters arrived to find one-half acre of brush burning up hill and quickly requested additional assistance. Ground crews rapidly began to make their way up steep terrain on both sides of the fire to surround and attack the flames. Three water dropping helicopters provided precise water drops, helping Firefighters on the ground in warm and breezy conditions. As the afternoon battle progressed the fire consumed an additional two acres.

This area nestled between Hansen Dam Recreation Center and Sunland Boulevard consists of moderate brush, hilly terrain, and is surrounded by large ranch style homes. Due to the decisive measures implemented, the afternoon blaze was swiftly confined to just under three acres.
LAFD and Allied Agencies Tackle Shadow Hills Brush Fire

A knockdown was declared in 53 minutes before any homes were damaged and without any one being injured. The cause of the fire was accidental reported to have been started by a welding operation at a perimeter fence.

Submitted by Cecil Manresa & Erik Scott, Spokesmen
Los Angeles Fire Department


Victor Eldred said...

I live in the area and I had the opportunity to listen to the fire on my iphone scanner. The firefighters did a great job as usual but I was troubled with some of the chief's words. At least I assume it was a chief. He kept telling the firefighters not to be aggressive. He even told the helicopter not to be aggresive with its water drops. I wasn't sure why he would say that? Maybe you can explain.

LAFD Media and Public Relations said...

Mr Eldred,

Thanks for the kind words regarding your Los Angeles Fire Department.

Listening to public safety radio broadcasts can often be an enlightening experience, but as you allude, rarely offers a clear or comprehensive overview of what has transpired.

This is especially true when monitoring a multi-frequency agency/incident through a third-party application that may be connected to an unattended scanner radio sampling a hundred or more radio frequencies.

That much said, there may be a multitude of reasons for what you believed/heard - none of which should lead you to lose confidence or believe that our agency is anything but tenacious in the attack of wildfire.

Quite likely you were hearing a Fire Officer (Captain or Chief) or even the Incident Commander guide with finesse, the assault on flames in regard to nearby items of prime or collateral value (people, horses, homes, etc) that may have been at that particular moment, at greater risk from a water drop, etc. than the fire itself.

For a definitive and official answer, we warmly welcome you to speak directly with Battalion Chief John Duca, who was in command of this fire. He will be pleased to clarify his command objectives and goals, as well as the tactics and strategy he deployed in limiting this fire to less than 3 acres in less than an hour without injury to human, equine or real estate. Indeed it may that conclusion that most readily affirms that the perfect 'aggressiveness' was taken in regard to this fire.

Again, thanks for your interest in the Los Angeles Fire Department, and for taking the time to post a timely and relevant question regarding this incident.

Respectfully Yours in Safety and Service,

Brian Humphrey
Public Service Officer
Los Angeles Fire Department

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