California News

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Flames destroy dozens of structures as 70,000-acre wildfire rages near Yosemite

A huge wildfire near Yosemite National Park swelled to more than 70,000 acres overnight as flames destroyed dozens of structures and forced two towns to evacuate. Burning east of Merced, the Detwiler fire in Mariposa County grew from 48,000 acres to 70,096 acres Thursday morning, said Nancy Phillipe, spokeswoman for the California Department Forestry and Fire Protection. The aggressive blaze, which was 10% contained Thursday, has forced more than 4,000 residents to flee their homes and triggered evacuations for the historic gold rush towns of Mariposa and Coulterville. The massive fire has destroyed 45 structures and damaged six others, she said.
Los Angeles Times - Metered Site

Anaheim starts construction of its first new fire station in 10 years

Anaheim broke ground Wednesday, July 19, on its first new fire station in 10 years. Station 5, serving the neighborhoods around the 57/91 interchange as well as freeway incidents, will move into the 9,481-square-foot building at 2540 E. La Palma Ave. in about a year. The current fire house on North Kraemer Boulevard, more than 55 years old, then will be used by the city’s public utilities. It is more than half the size of the new station. The $5.4 million fire station, which department officials said will improve response times, is expected to take some of the pressure off of the station that serves the Broadway area. “It gives us a much better access back into the north part of the city,” Fire Chief Randy Bruegman said. “It’s a busy corridor up there. The goal is to reduce area response times to four minutes or less.”
Orange County Register

Video: Bakersfield firefighters save dog from house fire

Firefighters revived a dog they pulled from a house fire early Wednesday. Bakersfield Fire Department Battalion Chief John Frando said firefighters encountered "heavy fire" at the home on Quarter Avenue. He said they got initial reports of an explosion, but that hasn't been confirmed. A small dog was unresponsive as a firefighter carried it out of the home. Firefighters used a specialized animal oxygen mask to save the pup. Frando said they're investigating the cause of the fire.
KFRE & KMPH-TV Fox 26 & CW 59

Humboldt Fire: Evacuation warnings lifted, forward progress stopped

The 150-acre Humboldt Fire fire is burning off Highway 32 near Yosemite Drive in east Chico was 50 percent contained as of 7:10 p.m. Wednesday night. Evacuation orders were in place for about 30 minutes Thursday, but were lifted after forward progress was stopped. Highway 32 was closed between Bruce Road and Upper Humboldt Road, but officials believe it will be open before 6 p.m. with traffic control. Butte County CALFIRE said the call for the fire came in around 4 p.m. Wednesday. Initially, it was in Chico Fire's jurisdiction. However, when the fire spread across Highway 32, Butte County CAL FIRE got involved. When firefighters arrived on scene, the fire was three acres. It quickly increased to 30 acres, then 150 acres. About 15 engines total responded.

Merced: Santa Cruz Firefighter battling terminal cancer gets a hero’s welcome home

The sidewalk along Santa Cruz Avenue in Merced was lined up with dozens of people on Tuesday afternoon welcoming home a firefighter and “true hero” who was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. Clayton Ogden, a firefighter with the Santa Cruz Fire Department of more than 15 years, was escorted to his home from Doctors Medical Center in Modesto by fire and law enforcement agencies. More than 100 family members, close friends, colleagues and neighbors cheered, waved banners and American flags as Ogden arrived to his Merced home of 23 years. Ogden, 47, and his family declined an interview and photographs.
Merced Sun-Star

1 person injured in Apple Valley house fire believed to have been started by child playing with lighter

One person suffered a minor injury in a blaze that tore through a home here before firefighters contained it Wednesday afternoon, officials said. Apple Valley Fire Protection District firefighters responded to the fire, which occurred at a home in the 15000 block of Apache Road just after 12:45 p.m. Wednesday. AVFPD Battalion Chief James Peratt said crews arrived and found the fire burning in the home’s garage, with flames extending to the rest of the home. While bystanders reported that victims were trapped inside, the home’s residents were able to exit when firefighters arrived, Peratt said. “Our crews made an aggressive attack and were able to stop the fire before it spread all the way into the house,” Peratt said.
Victorville Daily Press

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wildfire in Mariposa County Near Yosemite Destroys 8 Homes, Scorches 45,000-Plus Acres

As wildfires rage throughout the western U.S., one California blaze in the rugged mountains outside of Yosemite National Park destroyed eight structures and forced thousands of nearby residents to flee their homes. As of Wednesday morning, the fire had scorched at least 45,724 acres, which is just over 71 square miles, according to Cal Fire. The blaze burning since Sunday was making its way to the hills on the edge of Mariposa, a town of about 2,000 people under a mandatory evacuation order. Record rain and snowfall in the mountains this winter was celebrated for bringing California's five-year drought to its knees, but it has turned into a challenge for firefighters battling flames feeding on dense vegetation, officials said. "There's ample fuel and steep terrain," said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokeswoman DeeDee Garcia. "It makes firefighting difficult."
NBC Bay Area

Gov. Jerry Brown Declares Emergency for Mariposa County Wildfire Burning Near Yosemite

Tall grass from a deluge of winter rains is fueling wildfires throughout the Western U.S., damaging more than a dozen homes in Nevada and leaving Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency in California as thousands of residents outside of Yosemite National Park fled a 30-square-mile blaze, authorities said Tuesday. Flames threaten more than 1,500 homes and buildings in mountain communities southwest of Yosemite, clearing out the small town of Mariposa, California.
KNTV-TV NBC 11 Bay Area

Cordelia, Vacaville rural fire districts seek to merge

The Vacaville and Cordelia fire protection districts have taken the beginning steps toward consolidation, citing financial issues and the risk of not being able to provide adequate service as the primary reasons. The boards of each rural fire district – Cordelia on May 18 and Vacaville on May 25 – adopted resolutions outlining the financial difficulties and the need to consolidate into a single district. “. . . (The) interests of the residents of the areas serviced by the Vacaville Fire Protection District and the Cordelia Fire Protection District are best served by the reorganization of the two districts into one entity or by certain functional consolidation . . .,” the resolutions state.
Fairfield Daily Republic

California Pizza Kitchen Raises Funds For Los Angeles County Fire

The Los Angeles County Fire Department's Explorer program is fundraising Tuesday and Wednesday at participating California Pizza Kitchen restaurants. The program, a joint venture with Learning for Life, offers educational and community service opportunities for teens and young adults interested in firefighting careers. Customers who mention the program at CPK locations across the Southland - - from Valencia to Manhattan Beach -- can direct 20 percent of their lunch or dinner check to the fundraiser. The Explorer program is designed for young people from 15 to 21 years old. Local posts include up to 25 explorers led by a professional firefighter and there are about 400 explorers overall.

Firefighters battle brush fire in Cambria’s East Village

Authorities have confirmed that the brush fire is a wildfire, and there is no current estimate on how many acres have burned, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office. Evacuations are in progress for residents on Wall Street, Bridge Street and those in the area of the Santa Rosa Cemetery, the Sheriff’s Office said, and officials advise anyone living near those areas should also prepare to evacuate.
Fresno Bee

Homeless encampment catches fire in San Francisco’s Mission Bay

A fire at a homeless encampment in the Mission Bay neighbor of San Francisco was quickly extinguished by firefighters Wednesday morning, but caused a huge plume of smoke. The fire broke out just before 7 a.m. at the encampment at Seventh and Berry streets and burned several tents clustered in the area. By 7:30 a.m., firefighters had the blaze out. There were no immediate reports of injuries and it was unclear what sparked the blaze.

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