Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Central Zone Strike Teams on the Move Again

Lakeside, CA -

Having just returned from the Lodge Lightning Complex Fire on August 16, 2014, the Central Zone received a request to start a brush strike team northward towards the Junction Fire. The Junction Fire was located in the steep terrain just outside of the community of Mariposa, CA.

Assigned to the strike team were units from Lakeside, Santee, Alpine, Viejas, and Sycuan. The Strike Team Leader is Chief Kremensky from Barona, assisted by Acting Division Chief John Hisaw from Lakeside.

The team started the trip north on the morning of August 19, but as the team arrived in Fresno they received orders that they were being diverted to the Way Fire in Kern County. While in the Fresno area the strike team came across an injury accident on Highway 41. Crews treated the injured while awaiting the arrival of Fresno Fire.

Three hours after receiving the new orders, the crews arrived at the Way Fire incident base camp.

The Way Fire is a 3,000 acre fire burning next to Lake Isabella. The strike team has been assigned to Division A.

Strike Team 6440C at the Way Fire base camp.
Way Fire from local web cams in the Sierra range.
8/20: Central Zone Strike Team 6440C has been assigned to Division A on the Way Fire. The crew was working around properties that had been affected by the fire. This is an essential job to make sure that there is no further property loss. (Photos By: Firefighter-Paramedic David Csik)

Fire damage to a property on Division A.
Firefighter-Paramedic David Csik mops-up on a property affected by the fire.
The crews were then assigned to a 6000' hose lay to reinforce control lines. They are working in locations so remote that supplies are being delivered by helicopter.

Lakeside Brush One working high above Lake Isabella.
Members of Strike Team 6440C punching in a 6000' hose lay.
Crew members replenish supplies flown in by helicopters. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Vehicle Fire Spreads to Vegetation on Hwy 67


Firefighters in Lakeside were called out on Monday August 18, 2014 to reports of a fully involved vehicle fire on Highway 67 near Scripps Poway Parkway.  The dispatch location falls near the border of three fire districts, so units from Lakeside, Cal Fire, and Poway Fire were dispatched.

Cal Fire Engine 3388 arrived just before Lakeside Engine 2 and reported a fully involved vehicle fire that was spreading into the vegetation.  Crews from the Cal Fire Engine and Lakeside Engine 2 split their efforts, using one hose line out to address the vehicle fire and one hose line to address the vegetation fire.  The fire in the vegetation was quickly stopped and held to under 1/4 of an acre.  The vehicle fire was also extinguished, but the car was a complete loss.

The incident, which occurred during the evening commute, caused quite a bit of traffic on HWY 67.  CHP assisted the Fire crews on scene by making what is usually a four line highway into a 2 lane highway.  This assistance gave firefighters enough space to address the two fires safely.

View 2014 Incident Map in a larger map

  Story and Photos by Captain Bernie Molloy

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Lakeside Brush 1 Returns from NorCal

Lakeside, CA - 

 After a two-week deployment to the Lodge Lightning Complex fire in Mendocino County, Lakeside Brush 1 returned home on the evening of August 16, 2014. Brush 1 was dispatched on August 2 as part of a type-3 engine strike team from San Diego County's Central Zone pursuant to a resource request through California's Fire Mutual Aid System. Consisting of five type 3 (brush) engines and a leader (chief officer), strike teams are among the most commonly used firefighting resource for wildland fires.

In addition to the Lakeside brush engine, Strike Team 6440C consisted of engines from Santee (Br4), Barona (Br27), Viejas (Br25), and Alpine (Br17). The 15 firefighters were led by Division Chief Brad Rushing (Div4702) from the Alpine Fire District.

The Lodge Lightning Complex is a series of lightning-caused fires in heavy timber along Highway 101 in Northern California. The fires started on July 30 and have burned more than 12,000 acres.

Brush 1 crew back home after two-week deployment. From left, FF-PM Josh Raczka, Captain Ian Lowe, Engineer Steve Schleif.

Post and photo by: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District

Friday, August 15, 2014

Lakeside Firefighters Battle Early Morning House Fire

Lakeside, CA -

Firefighters in Lakeside were alerted by Heartland Fire Communication dispatchers early on the morning of August 15, 2014, for a reported house fire in the 9500 block of Prospect Avenue in Lakeside. The communication center received multiple calls just before 1:00 a.m. indicating a probable working structure fire. Engine 1 (Riverview fire station) was on scene in under six minutes reporting a two-story residence with heavy fire conditions showing from the front of the home on the second floor. With the quick arrival of Engine 2 (River Park fire station) and Division Chief 4104 (Hisaw), firefighters rapidly stretched hoselines to get water on the fire.

With all residents confirmed out of the house, firefighters initiated an aggressive interior attack up the inside stairwell. The well-advanced fire was encountered and extinguished in every second-story room. With all visible fire extinguished, firefighters started the difficult task of opening-up the ceilings to locate and extinguish hidden fire that had made its way into the attic space. The stubborn fire was completely extinguished in around 40 minutes.

Lakeside Fire would like to acknowledge the S.D. County Sheriff deputies who arrived first and assisted with the safe evacuation of all the residents. As always, we would like to thank our automatic-aid partners who assisted us in battling this difficult fire.

Assisting fire agencies included: Santee (T4, R5), Heartland Fire & Rescue (E8), and San Miguel (E19). Lakeside units attending this incident were E1, E2, E203, E26, M2, M3, Div. 4104, Chief 4101, and Support 4140.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Heavy smoke visible from second floor. (courtesy of News 8)

Post by: Captain Scott Culkin, Lakeside Fire District

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Lakeside Sends Engines to Northern California

Lakeside, CA

While Southern California swelters under tropical conditions the same cannot be said for the northern part of our state. Within the "exceptional drought" portion of the state a number of lightning fires have started in a swath of area from the coastal redwoods, to the Shasta area.

On Saturday, August 2, 2014, the request for assistance started to roll into San Diego County. Upon that request Lakeside has deployed three engines as part of regional strike teams.

Lakeside stations remain fully staffed.

Shasta-Trinity-Eiler Fire
OES Strike Team

On August 3, 2014, around midnight, OES 305 was requested to respond to the Shasta-Trinity area. This strike team consists of engines from Lakeside, Heartland Fire & Rescue, Poway, San Diego Fire & Rescue, and Rancho Santa Fe. The strike team is being led by a SDFD Chief officer.

8/3 (9:00 p.m.): OES 305 has arrived at the staging area near Burney, California. The fire has consumed 22,788 acres as of today.

View 2014 Incident Map in a larger map

(9:00 a.m.) The OES strike team has been assigned to structural protection on Branch 1, Division I. They are currently working 24 hour rotation. The burning indexes in they area they are working are at historical levels.

The OES strike team is working in heavy fuels and timber on the Eiler Fire. (Photo By: Captain Jerry Daoust)
A forest heavily damaged by fire. (Photo By: Captain Jerry Daoust)
Lakeside firefighters take action on a spot fire that had crossed the control line. Crews are working in heavy ground cover. (Photo By: Captain Jerry Daoust)
8/5: The OES strike team is still committed to the Eiler Fire near Burney, California. The crew is in the process of constructing fire line. In addition they are providing much needed structural defense. Changing weather conditions caused some concern as a band of thundershowers moved through the area. This can create erratic fire behavior.

8/7: OES Strike Team 6840A was released from the Eiler Fire on 8/6. The team should be back in San Diego County late on 8/7.

Mendocino National Forest-Lodge Complex
Central Zone Type III

The Lodge Complex fires consist of two major fires burning in the area near Laytonville, California. This fire saw explosive fire behavior yesterday that nearly doubled the size of the fire. Currently it is estimated to be 1,800 acres of timber. The fire is burning in steep terrain with difficult access.

View 2014 Incident Map in a larger map

On August 2, 2014, around 10 p.m. the Heartland Communications Center received a request to send a strike team of brush engines to the fire. Strike team 6440c consists of engines from Lakeside (Brush 1), Barona, Alpine, Santee, and Viejas. This strike team is being led by an Alpine Division Chief.

8/3 (1:30pm): Strike Team 6440c has arrived at the base camp in Laytonville.

Strike Team 6440c at the base camp in Laytonville, CA. (Photo By: Captain Ian Lowe)
8/5: Strike Team 6440C has been keeping busy working line control. The crew has been working with falling crews on Division G putting in control lines and firing operations. The crew is working 24 hour shifts.

Lakeside Brush 1 working night operations. (Photo By: Captain Ian Lowe)

Strike Team 6440C at their work location on Division G. (Photo By: Captain Ian Lowe)

Slightly different fuels that we typically see in Southern California (Photos By: Captain Ian Lowe)
Firefighter-Paramedic Josh Raczka lays down fire on a firing operation. (Photo By: Captain Ian Lowe)
8/7: Strike Team 6440C continues to work in the back country with firing operations intended to cut off the forward spread of the fire. Much of the work is being conducted on narrow forest roads, or dozer trails. The crew is working a 24 hour on/24 hor off rotation.

Lakeside fire crews monitor a large snag burning. (Photo By: Captain Ian Lowe)
Strike Team engines work their way down narrow forest roads with overhead fuels. (Photo By: Captain Ian Lowe)
Lakeside Brush One on a dozer trail used for access. (Photo By: Captain Ian Lowe)

8/9: Strike Team 6440C is still assigned to mop-up operations on Division K. The crew continues to work on a 24 hour rotation. The crew stumbled upon Division Chief Ron Laff (a recent Lakeside retiree) who is working on the fire as a Division Supervisor with Viejas Fire.

The fire is reported to be 7,100 acres with 30% containment.

The crew of Brush One. (L to R) Captain Ian Lowe, Division Chief Ron Laff (Lakeside retired), Engineer Steve Schleif, and Firefighter-Paramedic Josh Raczka.
8/13: Strike Team 6440C is currently working in the Eel River area of the wilderness on Division K/L. The crew has laid contingency hose lays and is conducting patrols to make certain the the fire does not spot in this pristine area. Fire is reported to be 11,000 acres and 45% contained.

The crew of Lakeside Brush One near the Eel River area. (Photo By: Scott Larson, Santee Fire)
Crew from Brush One patrolling the area for spot fires. (Photo By: Josh Raczka, Lakeside Fire)
8/15: Strike Team 6440C spent the last 24 hours working on Division L. The team was assigned to perimeter control and holding operations. The crew saw lots of fire but were able to hold it to pre-established control lines. The crew has been informed that they will start the demobilization process today and begin the trip home to Lakeside.

Backing fire on Division L. (Photo By: Captain Ian Lowe)

Shasta-Trinity: Eiler Fire
Central Zone Type I

On August 3rd, 2014 around 5 p.m. the Central Zone sent a third strike team to the Eiller Fire which is burning close to the community of Burney, California. The strike team includes units from Lakeside, Santee, Heartland Fire & Rescue, Barona, and Bonita Fire. The strike team is being led by Lakeside Division Chief Jim Kirkpatrick.

8/7: Central Zone Strike Team 6840A was released from the Eiler Fire on 8/6. The team should be back in San Diego County late on 8/7. The crew conducted structural defense and line construction during their time on the fire.

A forest lost to fire. (Photo By: Captain Eric Stamm)
Central Zone Strike Team 6441A (Photo By: Captain Eric Stamm)

View 2014 Incident Map in a larger map

As of August 16th all Strike Teams have returned to San Diego County.

Submitted: Fire Captain Mark Grow, Lakeside Fire District

Friday, August 1, 2014

Veteran Lakeside Fire Captain Retires

 Lakeside, CA -

After 39 years of dedicated service to the citizens of Lakeside, veteran fire captain Tim Macrorie has retired.   Originally from the Los Angeles area, Tim ventured south in search of his dream job. In 1975, Tim successfully competed with several hundred candidates in an arduous hiring process and was offered a position with the Lakeside Fire Protection District. He and wife Marie relocated to San Diego County and have been "native" San Diegans ever since. 

Tim progressed through the ranks of the fire department serving as a firefighter, engineer, and in 1988, he was promoted to the rank of captain. He was involved in many aspects of department operation most notably as shift training captain, overseeing the comprehensive firefighter training program Lakeside is known for. 

Tim will be remembered for his skill, knowledge, competency, and perhaps most of all for the compassion he offered to the many people he helped during his long and memorable career.

Captain Macrorie is congratulated by Fire Chief Andy Parr.