California News

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Thermal dump fire sickens at least 24 students, forces three schools to shut down

At least 24 students have been sickened by smoke coming from a Thermal dump fire that forced three schools to shut down on Thursday morning, officials said. Cal Fire spokesman Fernando Herrera said the smoke affected students who attend Desert Mirage High School, Toro Canyon Middle School and Las Palmitas Elementary School, which all share a campus at Tyler Street and Avenue 66. He said they all suffered from minor respiratory issues. Nine were taken to a hospital by ambulance and others are going by school bus. The student populations of the three schools together totals more than 3,700. One student said evacuations began about 9:45 a.m. "We have a large group of patients. We already used up our ambulances," Herrera said. The evacuation concluded shortly before 11 a.m.
Desert Sun

Follow Up: ATF Agents Search NuStar Facility After Fire in Crockett

VIDEO: In the midst of the investigation of an explosion at NuStar fuel storage facility in Contra Costa County, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, state and local agents served a search warrant at NuStar facility in Crockett Wednesday morning. The search was first reported by NBC Bay Area's Jaxon Van Derbeken. It is unclear exactly what agents are looking for, but sources tell NBC Bay Area investigators lack confidence in the facility's records and record keeping procedures. Previous to that, authorities were investigating if the earthquake that struck about 15 miles southeast from the NuStar Energy fuel storage facility in the community of Crockett 15 hours before the Tuesday fire, had anything to do with the explosion. Aftershocks in the same area were still being felt Wednesday, including one with a 3.4 magnitude.
KNBC-TV NBC 4 Los Angeles

RVs Catch Fire At Dealership In Sacramento

VIDEO: Investigators in Sacramento are looking into the cause of a fire at an RV dealership overnight. The fire broke out just after 1 a.m. at the RV sales lot on the corner of El Camino and Grove avenues. Firefighters were able to put out flames quickly, but not before they damaged several of the vehicles. Popping noises coming from the fire put people in the area on high alert. Firefighters say that wasn’t any cause for alarm.
KOVR-TV CBS Sacramento

Residents Frustrated with City’s Response to Saddleridge Blaze

Firefighters worked Thursday morning to increase containment of the Saddleridge Fire in the northern San Fernando Valley ahead of 20 to 35 mph winds and a chance of red flag conditions this weekend as people who live in the fire area blasted the city of Los Angeles for its handling of the blaze. “Crews will take advantage of the conditions… to make progress and bolster containment lines,” the Los Angeles Fire Department said in a statement Wednesday night. The fire has burned an estimated 8,391 acres destroyed 19 homes and damaged 88 more since it erupted about 9 p.m. Oct. 10 off the westbound Foothill (210) Freeway near Yarnell Street and Saddle Ridge Road in Sylmar. Residents who attended a community meeting claimed the city’s reverse 911 system that was supposed to call residents in the event of an emergency didn’t work, ABC7 reported. The city blamed cell towers that suffered damage in the fire, the station said.

Related: Local Assistance Center To Open In Sylmar To Help Victims Of Saddleridge Fire

A local assistance center will open in Sylmar Thursday to help residents affected by the Saddleridge Fire. The new center will open at 9:30 a.m. at the Sylmar Recreation Center on Borden Avenue. Residents can come to the center to get help with replacing lost records, filing insurance claims, applying for disaster assistance, and get information on property cleanup, repair and rebuilding. The Saddleridge Fire has burned 8,391 acres and is now 56 percent contained. One civilian died of a heart attack during the firefight, which also left eight firefighters with non-life-threatening injuries. It has destroyed 19 structures and damaged 88 others. The fire got whipped up Friday night by strong winds and extremely dry conditions after apparently igniting under some high voltage transmission lines, but the exact cause of the fire remains under investigation.
KCAL-TV 9 Los Angeles

Earthquake app aims to give Californians life-saving warnings

Thirty years ago, the Loma Prieta earthquake rocked California's Central Coast, leading to 63 deaths and more than 3,700 injuries throughout the region. Officials don't know when or exactly where, but they do know California will have another significant earthquake. They agree that a key factor in everyone's safety is getting a warning as far in advance as possible -- even if it's only 15 seconds ahead of time. Advertisement The state's new early earthquake warning system is being launched Thursday morning, and it gives Californians advanced warning in their pockets. "The State of California, with the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, has invested over tens of millions of dollars into the state's seismic network," said Ryan Arba of the CAL OES Seismic Hazards Branch.
KCRA-TV NBC 3 Sacramento

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Contra Costa County Fire: Cause of NuStar energy facility fire in Crockett under investigation

Investigators are trying to determine if Monday's 4.5 magnitude earthquake in the Bay Area is linked to the explosion and fire at the NuStar Energy facility in Crockett. All operations have been suspended and shipments halted at the facility today. One Chevron firefighter was injured battling the blaze. He was treated and is expected be ok, according to officials. Firefighters remain at the scene to monitor flare-ups. They are keeping foam blankets over the area of the tanks that burned. Crews have concerns about the structural integrity of a tank adjacent to the ones that burned in the fire, according to Contra Costa County Fire Protection District spokesman Steve Hill. After a seven-hour battle, firefighters contained the blaze at the energy facility last night. Two tanks, one of which collapsed, caught fire sending large plumes of black smoke into the air that could be seen in the area and in other parts of the Bay Area. The fire broke out before 2 p.m. yesterday.
KGO-TV ABC 7 San Francisco

LAFD Says 107 Structures Damaged or Destroyed in Saddleridge Fire, Shares New Map of Blaze’s Path

Los Angeles fire officials released a map Tuesday showing how the Saddleridge Fire tore its way across the northern San Fernando Valley, consuming homes and vegetation. Authorities now say the blaze damaged 88 structures — up from 58 on Monday — and destroyed another 19 as it seared across Sylmar, Granada Hills and Porter Ranch. The revised structure numbers appeared to be the result of more thorough surveying, since firefighters said the flames gained no acreage Tuesday. As of Tuesday night, the fire had burned through nearly 8,400 acres — about 13 square miles — and was 46% contained. The new map shows the flames’ progress between Thursday night and Monday morning. About 1,000 crew members remain assigned to the firefight.
KTLA-TV WB 5 Los Angeles

Auburn trying new measure to help prevent wildfires

While the concern for wildfires is always prevalent in Northern California, the city of Auburn is taking a major preventative step. "Our entire city is really exposed to a devastating fire, and we want to do everything we can to reduce the risk of our community burning," said Auburn Fire Chief Dave Spencer. On Monday night, City Council voted unanimously to designate the city of Auburn a wildland urban interface area. This means that all new construction will have to adhere to wildfire preparedness codes. "We're already at risk and exposed just from where we sit alone. And this, by bringing this code forward, really reinforces that we're doing everything we can to protect our community," stated Chief Spencer. "Based on the number of fires that we've had the last 50 years, [and] based on the topography and weather events - it's not about if it will happen; it's when it will happen."
KXTV ABC 10 Sacramento

Briceburg Fire: 5,563 acres, 90 percent contained

Fire crews held their ground over the Briceburg Fire overnight and gained more containment over the flames. Wednesday, CAL FIRE reported the fire is now at 5,563 acres and 90 percent contained. At this time, more than 400 firefighters are working to control the blaze. Highway 140 reopened at 6 p.m. Sunday. Since crews are still working in the area, authorities are reminding drivers to be cautious and aware of possible debris in the roadway. One structure has been destroyed. The Mariposa County Sheriff's Office says all mandatory evacuations and fire advisements were lifted at 1 p.m. Friday. It is still unclear what sparked the fire, which is burning near the area of last year's devastating Ferguson Fire.
KFSN-TV ABC 30 Frenso/Visalia

Moraga-Orinda Fire District peer support team helps firefighters cope with stresses of the job

Acknowledging that a cultural shift is necessary, and encouraged by the firefighters union, the Moraga-Orinda Fire District has instituted a peer support group to help suppression personnel deal with the unique struggles and traumas they experience on the job. "Firefighters are human and not immune to things they see in their career," said Anthony Stephens, MOFD firefighter and executive vice president of United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa County, Local 1230. Firefighters deal with potential life endangering emergency calls daily, and witness things that a local firefighter once said "people should never see." The peer support program is a concerted effort on the part of the membership to look out for one another. Stephens said that in addition to taking care of each other on the local level, the aim of the support program is to eliminate the stigma of asking for help in the first place.
Lamorinda Weekly

Firefighters tackle ‘suspicious’ fire at abandoned concrete plant in Cloverdale

Officials are investigating a suspicious fire at an abandoned concrete plant in Cloverdale early Monday morning. Authorities received reports of a fire on Levee Road between Crocker and Berti Winery roads about 6:10 a.m., said Cloverdale Fire Battalion Chief Rick Blackmon. Blackmon said the fire appeared to have started in a camp trailer that was parked up against the building, which is owned by Shamrock Materials but hasn’t been in operation for years. The fire spread to the building, and firefighters were able to contain the blaze within about 30 minutes. While the cause of the fire is under investigation, Blackmon called it “suspicious” because the area is abandoned and has no power. Blackmon said it appears that someone left the trailer in the area, but didn’t know who owned it.
Santa Rosa Press Democrat

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