Friday, May 31, 2013

Firefighters Respond to Fire on Hwy 67

Santee, CA -

On Thursday May 30, 2013, Lakeside Firefighters extinguished yet another road side fire on Hwy 67.  The fire was actually reported by E2, which was headed southbound on Hwy 67 enroute to the training tower.  As E2 was driving down the road they saw several spot fires in the grass on the right shoulder of the southbound lane just North of Woodside Ave.  E2 requested a wildland dispatch and began attacking the fire by themselves. Heartland Communications Center dispatched a low wildland response to assist E2 with the fire attack.  The full response consisted of three type 1 structural engines, two type 3 brush engines, an ALS medic unit, and a duty chief. 
The view after most of the fire was extinguished
The fires burned rapidly, fueled by the wind and dry vegetation.  The spot fires burned together quickly spreading to several hundred yards up the 67 and then spreading to the center divide.  The next in Engine, Lakeside BR1, began to attack the fire in the center divide with assistance from the crews from Santee Engine 4 that arrived just behind them.  The fires were quickly stopped before they were able to get too large or spread off of the highway.
Firefighter/Paramedic Steve Russo  with BR 26 during the mop up phase
When the fires were extinguished it was determined that a trailer hauling lumber had caused the fire as a result of a brake failure that sent pieces of hot brakes into the dry vegetation.  This fire illustrates the ease with which the dry grass and brush around the east county can be ignited and highlights the reason why local fire departments are focusing attention on fire safety and defensible space.

View 2013 Incident Map in a larger map

Story and photos by Captain Bernie Molloy

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