Friday, May 2, 2014

Early Morning Fire brings Immediate Structure Threat

El Monte Valley-

On Thursday, May 1, 2014, at 6:51 a.m. the Heartland Communications Center received multiple calls about an explosion and brush fire in the area of El Monte Road and Lake Jennings Park Rd. At the time of the call, the Lakeside area was experiencing the third day of significant Santa Ana wind conditions. An augmented initial response was dispatched that sent two brush engines, three structural engines, a water tender, an ALS medic unit, and two chief officers. Simultaneously, CalFire sent multiple companies to the fire.

Lakeside Fire crews start laying hose on the flank of the fire.
Crews knocking down hotspots in advance of the hose lay.
Responding units could soon see a large loom up of smoke in the area. Soon a wave of 911 emergency calls were received reporting that the structures on Laurel Canyon Road and Vista Laurel Place were being threatened by the fire. An "initial attack" strike team (5 engines and a chief officer) was requested to provide structural defense.

Arriving crews found a well established wind-driven fire that was pushing toward residential structures. Firefighters took up positions on the flank of the fire and on structures in the fire's path. Due to the fierce winds, a number of embers were blown into the housing tract starting a number of small spot fires. Crews assigned to structural defense quickly knocked down those spot fires. There was some minor infrastructure damage to fences in the area; however, there was no direct damage to the exposed structures.

Baptism by Fire: The new Engine 3 takes up a position with Brush 1 on the El Monte Valley side of the fire. 
Crews were able to contain the fire at 4 acres. The Lakeside Fire District was in unified command with CalFire. Assistance was provided to Lakeside from CalFire, Santee Fire, and Alpine Fire.

Photos By: Fire Engineer-Paramedic Rich Smith, Lakeside Fire District
Submitted By: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District

View 2014 Incident Map in a larger map

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