Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Vegetation Fire Threatens Structures in Lakeside


On Tuesday, August 20, 2013, at 2:14 p.m., the Heartland Communications Center began to receive emergency calls about a vegetation fire in the 12900 blk of Highway 8 Business. Initially dispatched were two brush engines, three structural engines, an ALS medic unit, and two duty chiefs.

Fire starting to make the uphill run from Highway 8 Business.
As firefighters were en-route, additional calls were received stating the fire was quickly growing in size. Responding units could see a building column of smoke so a request was made for additional engines and the helicopter out of Gillespie Field.

With the arrival of the first Lakeside duty chief (Tockstein) about a quarter acre had been consumed and the fire was making a hard push to the east. It soon became evident that this fire was likely to get much larger, and eventually threaten structures. A request was made for an immediate need brush strike team, and a strike team of structural engines.

In addition a request was made for the water tender out of Sycuan and the Lakeside Logistic Volunteers (4140).

The fire continued on an easterly path making a run towards Interstate 8 and the homes off of Amelia Drive. The decision was made to evacuate structures on Amelia Drive, so San Diego County Sheriff Deputies went door-to-door notifying the residents of the approaching fire.

Structural engines were sent to threatened structures on Amelia Drive and Cindy Lynn Lane. The fire bumped a number of structures but pre-positioned companies were able to quick knock down the flames. Some out-buildings received damage but no residential structures were lost. Much of the credit goes to the property owners, and CalTrans, who created defensible space between their homes and the fuels. Had the fuel been allowed to grow unchecked it's likely there would have been significant structural losses.

Fire heading towards structures on Amelia Drive.
Firefighters were also sent to Interstate 8. There was some concern that the fire could spot over the freeway and get established on the south side of the freeway.  Lakeside entered into Unified Command with CalFire (Howell) due to the threat to the State Responsibility Land.

With the arrival of San Diego County Copter 10 and 12, a number of precision drops slowed the forward progress towards the homes. Ground crews were able to eventually surround the fire and at 3:56 p.m. the fire was declared "contained." A CalFire bulldozer and hand crews cut line around the fire.

Two firefighters were transported to local hospitals with heat related injuries. The fire has held to 18 acres.

Note the defensible space.

Lakeside Fire was assisted by: CalFire, Heartland Fire-Rescue, Sycuan Fire, and Santee Fire. This is another example how automatic and mutual aid works to protect all citizens in San Diego County.

Submitted By: Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District
Photos By: Fire Chief Andy Parr, Lakeside Fire District
Video By: Bill Prorok

View 2013 Incident Map in a larger map

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