California News

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Fire Tears Through Vacant Old Escondido Country Club

A raging fire ripped through the vacant old Escondido Country Club Wednesday morning, sending plumes of thick smoke into the air, visible from miles away. The flames engulfed the building at West Country Club Lane and Golden Circle Drive at around 5:20 a.m. Quickly, the blaze escalated to a two-alarm fire and more crews were called to battle it. The fire caused part of the roof to collapse on the south side of the building and, due to safety issues, fire crews were not able to enter the building to tackle the flames from inside. Using three trucks and ladders, firefighters doused the roof. It kept burning. At one point, firefighters feared they were running out of water. The water department was asked to increase water pressure so crews could continue working.

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approves next step for new fire station in Santa Clarita

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors progressed steps to bring a new fire station to Santa Clarita at their meeting Tuesday. Board members unanimously approved to knock down the current Fire Station 104 and build a new fire station down the street. “It is (Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s) intent to ensure safety for the Santa Clarita Valley,” Barger’s Communication Deputy Tony Bell said. “Today’s motion was part of the effort to build a new state-of-the-art fire station and make room for the city to build a new sheriff’s station.” Dismantling the old station will make way for the City of Santa Clarita to build the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station on site, according to Los Angeles County Department of Public Works Public Information Officer Mike Kaspar.
Santa Clarita Valley Signal

LAFD Engine Collides With Metro Blue Line Train In Downtown Los Angeles

Eight people suffered minor injuries Tuesday when a Los Angeles Fire Department engine responding to an emergency call collided with a Metro Blue Line train in downtown Los Angeles. Reported Just Before 2 p.m. The collision, described as minor, was reported just before 2 p.m. in the 1800 block of South Olive Street, according to LAFD spokeswoman Margaret Stewart. All eight patients, ranging in age from 29 to 67 years old, were taken to a hospital to be checked out, Stewart said. None of those injured were firefighters. The engine was responding to a medical call, with its emergency lights and siren deployed, Stewart said.
LA West Media

San Diego Fire-Rescue Staffs Up for Late-Season Heat Wave

The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department announced increased staffing for Wednesday and Thursday amid a late-season heat wave and Santa Ana winds. The department added staffing for five brush rigs, each with a crew of four, and 2 water tenders. Its two firefighting helicopters will be available around the clock on both days. The National Weather Service forecast for Wednesday calls for highs of 85 to 90 near the coast to 93 to 98 inland. It will be cooler on Thanksgiving day, with highs of 81 to 86 expected near the coast and 87 to 92 inland. The late-season heat wave broke records Tuesday at Palomar Mountain and in Campo, and has created wildfire conditions throughout San Diego County. The U.S. Forest Service said that given dry conditions in the county, upon ignition, fires may grow rapidly.
Times of San Diego

Sonoma County To Enforce Abatement Of Fire-Affected Properties

Homeowners in Sonoma County face abatement proceedings if they do not select one of two options by Wednesday to remove hazardous materials from their properties damaged by the Sonoma Complex Fires that destroyed 6,000 structures in October. The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors this morning approved the abatement provision contained in an amendment to a fire cleanup emergency ordinance they passed on Oct. 31. The deadline was Nov. 13 to file a Right of Entry application that allows the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to remove the hazardous debris, ash and foundation of a home without cost to the homeowner. Homeowners who want to pay a private contractor to do the job must file a debris and ash removal work plan by the close of business Wednesday.
Sonoma Valley

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Glen Ellen Cal Fire captain’s plan saved more than 2,500 homes from Sonoma fire

Fifty-foot flames flaring down Agua Caliente canyon in the earliest hours of Oct. 9 were about to devour the Mission Highlands neighborhood and race into the backyards of Boyes Hot Springs. That’s when Glen Ellen Cal Fire Capt. Sean Jerry studied the situation from a crest on High Road and said, “OK, this is what we’re going to do.” What followed involved a bulldozer driving up asphalt roads and bursting into the canyon to dig a firebreak while Jerry and other firefighters set a back burn below it that kept the fire within a few feet of reaching 66 Mission Highlands homes and 15 minutes away from the thickly populated Springs area with 2,500 homes. “It would have been there –– 100 percent,” he said. But they stopped it.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat

4 Suffer Burns When Fire Rips Through Navy Dental Clinic in Balboa Park

A fire ripped through the Navy's dental clinic in Balboa Park Monday, burning one patient and three staff members, confirmed the Naval Medical Center. The flames broke out around 10:30 a.m. inside the clinic on the second floor of Building One at the Naval Medical Center, hospital spokesperson Mike Alvarez said. Firefighters from the local Federal Fire Department kept the flames confined to one room. Crews knocked down the blaze by 11 a.m. The victims were evaluated at the hospital's emergency room. Two were transfered to a hospital ward for treatment, and one of them was taken to UC San Diego's Burn Center for further care, according to the Naval Medical Center.

Man Dies After Trying to Rescue Dogs From Inside Burning RV in Rancho Park: LAFD

A 46-year-old man died on Monday after attempting to rescue his dogs from inside a burning recreational vehicle in Rancho Park, authorities said. The victim lived in the RV at 2734 S. Westwood Blvd. – in a residential neighborhood – with his wife and dogs, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. The victim's partner, Rachel Spencer, identified him as David Michael Plott of Alabama. She said they were engaged, not married. The couple was gathering cans in an alley when a fire broke out inside the RV, according to Spencer. Plott entered the RV in an attempt to save their three dogs. “I thought he was gonna come out because he’s tough,” Spencer said. “I thought he was gonna come out running with the dogs." Some men tried breaking the RV windows to save Plott "but it was too late," she said. "I heard him crying 'I love you' and my dogs crying."
KTLA-TV WB 5 Los Angeles

California lawmakers upset that wildfire money is left out of White House’s disaster aid request

Every day, Mike Thompson hears a new story about how last month’s fires in Northern California have affected people’s lives. Insurance is being denied. Tourism is down. Some companies have laid off workers. “Block after block of homes are wiped out and cars are melted down to their skeletal remains,” the Napa Valley congressman said of his travels in Santa Rosa over the weekend. And yet none of the $44 billion that the White House requested of Congress on Friday for supplemental disaster aid includes funding to rebuild California after the fires — which killed 43 people and destroyed nearly 9,000 structures — a move that’s sparked an outcry from Thompson and his fellow lawmakers.
Los Angeles Times

Santa Cruz Fire Department prepares residents for wildfire

Preparing for wildfires is a big priority for many Central Coast communities, and one Santa Cruz neighborhood got a crash course Monday night. Advertisement The DeLaveaga/Prospect Heights area is especially at risk and Santa Cruz Fire wants them to learn to protect themselves. It's a reminder inspired by recent devastating fires like the ones up north and even the Bear Fire, closer to home. While the meeting was focused on one neighborhood, the lessons can be valuable to everyone. Scenes like the devastating Northern California wildfires are the nightmare of every homeowner in the Santa Cruz neighborhood. For residents near DeLaveaga Park, it was almost a reality before a fire in early July was contained. "It just was an eye opener, we were told that we may have to evacuate our home right away, in minutes of notification," said Dave Dwyer who lives across the street from DeLaveaga Park.

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