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

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