It’s been quite the week for firefighters in Southern California. Just for the sake of posterity, I’d like to go over some of the wildfires we’ve had.
Note that this is not a comprehensive listing; I’m just going to cover fires in the areas that I enjoy hiking in .
- We started the week off around 16:50 on Monday afternoon with the Santiago Fire in Orange County. I have a more complete writeup of my experience here in the works, so I will save the details for that post instead.
14:22: the Euclid Fire began near the juncture of the 91 and 71 freeways in Chino. The fire has burned about 150 acres and is 75% contained, but not expeted to grow. The fire is believed to have been started by a car on fire.
Some time around 14:00, the Portola Fire began in Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles. The fire was started by a man using a weed whacker to clear brush. Homes were evacuated, but none were lost.
- At 17:25, the
Live Oak Fire
was reported. I tried to make my way to this one, but firefighting efforts were swift and well-coordinated, and the aircraft were released from the incident right as I showed up. Structures were threatened, but none were damaged. A number of goats at one of the homes were also unharmed.
6/13/18 Vegetation Fire - live oak canyon https://t.co/lfoM1z15hf— OCFA PIO (@OCFA_PIO) June 14, 2018
The quarter-acre Saunders Fire sprang up near Idyllwild and was quickly put down. Not a whole lot of information is available about this fire.
Shortly afterwards, around 14:20, the Indian Fire started a few miles north of the Saunders Fire. It was held at a bit under 2 acres.
Back in Los Angeles at 15:45, the Gambier Fire broke out in a homless encampment near El Sereno Middle School. It blackened 5 acres before being contained.
Friday has been quiet so far. Then again, I’ve only started writing this on my lunch break, and from the listed start times above, it’s apparent that things start to go all pear shaped in the mid to late afternoon.
This was a very flammable week, more so than any other this year. Thankfully, our various federal, state, and county firefighting services are well-rested and well-trained, and - based on the response to the Santiago Fire, it looks like the OCFA has learned its’ lesson from their handling of the Canyon 2 Fire last year, which drew a lot of criticism .
Most of these fires have been relatively small, as well. Even though we’re at a point where there are up to seven active fires in a single day , firefighters seem able to handle them, which is a good sign for the upcoming fire season. We’ll see how things progress as sleep, water, funding, and time all begin to dwindle as the summer continues on.