Category Archives: Fire Protection News

Smoke from Western Fires Fuels Dangerous Air Quality | Corona, CA

Over 90 large fires across seven states are triggering alerts over poor air

By Zach Rosenthal | September 13, 2022 at 1:56 p.m. EDT

Dangerous blazes continue to spread across the West, with 93 large fires burning in seven states.

As smoke plumes rise into the skies, alerts for hazardous air quality are in effect in parts of Oregon, Washington state, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. A special weather statement about hazardous air quality was also issued in east-central California and western Nevada. The smoke is most dense and toxic near its source but has also expanded in lesser amounts all the way to the East Coast.

Idaho — where the Moose Fire, the nation’s second largest, is burning — leads the pack in terms of large fires, according to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC).

Firefighters are battling 34 large fires in the state, followed by 23 in Montana, 13 in Washington, 12 in California and nine in Oregon. Utah and Wyoming each report one large fire.

In Oregon, eyes are on the Cedar Creek Fire, which has grown to more than 86,000 acres after being sparked by lightning Aug. 1. After days of extreme fire growth, the fire remains uncontained. The rapidly spreading blaze has forced nearly 1,500 evacuations, while blanketing nearby cities such as Bend in dangerously high levels of smoke. Smoke from the fire has prompted alerts in south-central Oregon.

Firefighters are also battling the massive Double Creek Fire in Oregon, which has burned more than 155,000 acres and is currently the nation’s largest blaze. That inferno has prompted the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to issue an air quality advisory for the northeastern parts of the state.

Fire and heavy smoke conditions in the West are unlikely to abate anytime soon, as hot and dry conditions have left forests ripe for fire growth. Red-flag warnings have been hoisted for much of eastern Wyoming because of hot, dry conditions conducive to fires.

Hazardous air quality conditions — air quality index (AQI) levels of 301-plus — have been observed in at least five states, including California, where the Mosquito Fire continues to burn between Sacramento and Reno, Nev., in the Sierra Nevada.

The Mosquito Fire has forced officials to evacuate more than 11,000 people. At least 25 homes have already been destroyed by the blaze, which has torched more than 48,700 acres and is just 16 percent contained.

Other active and dangerous fires in California include the Fairview Fire, which still burns close to the town of Hemet, though it is now 56 percent contained. Downpours from the remnants of Tropical Storm Kay have assisted crews in containing that blaze. That fire has burned more than 28,000 acres and killed two people who were trying to flee the blaze.

As more fires in the West are ignited and active fires expand, the smoke can travel as far as the East Coast and in the past has even blown into continental Europe. Wildfire smoke has been found to be surprisingly harmful to people even far from the source. A study published in 2021 found that three-quarters of smoke-related cases of asthma visits to emergency departments and deaths occurred east of the Rocky Mountains.

“Smoke is not just a Western problem,” said Katelyn O’Dell, lead author of the study and postdoctoral research scientist at George Washington University.

O’Dell suggested there may be a “lack of awareness” in the East about the effects of smoke, “because you’re not in proximity to these large wildfires, and they don’t really impact your day-to-day.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration described an “expansive area of light smoke” covering most of the Lower 48 state, except for the far southeast and far southwest on Monday. However, computer simulations indicate much of the smoke in the eastern United States is at relatively high altitudes, meaning it shouldn’t substantially compromise air quality near the ground. But NOAA reported some “moderate to thick smoke” had already reached as far east as Colorado, the Dakotas, Minnesota and Iowa.

AirNow.gov, which monitors pollution across the country, showed air quality had worsened to “moderate” in portions of Colorado, including Denver, as well as northern Minnesota and western Iowa on Tuesday.

A total of 49,820 wildfires in the United States have burned 6,726,028 acres this year; both of these numbers are ahead of the 10-year average through Sept. 13.

Research has shown that human-caused climate change has contributed to an increase in the frequency of large fires and the size of the area burned by Western wildfires, as fire seasons become longer and more dangerous.

Jason Samenow contributed to this report.

For more information about fire safety, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

California warned of critical fire weather danger as interior swelters in high heat | Corona, CA

A large swath of the interior of California was warned of wildfire danger and high heat on Tuesday.

Red flag warnings of critical fire weather conditions were in effect in the Sacramento Valley and foothills of the coastal range and the Sierra Nevada due to northerly winds and low relative humidity, the Sacramento weather office said.

The National Weather Service also said much of the same area would be under a heat advisory from noon Tuesday until 11 p.m. Wednesday. Predicted high temperatures ranged from 95 degrees to 105 degrees.

Heat advisories will extend south through the San Joaquin Valley on Wednesday.

“Today into Wednesday the weather will be hot, dry and windy,” the National Weather Service’s Sacramento office tweeted Tuesday. “There is a Red Flag Warning in effect through Wednesday morning.”

The San Francisco Bay Area was not under the advisories, but forecasts called for hot and dry weather Tuesday, with near-critical fire conditions in the North Bay interior mountains and the East Bay hills.

Tuesday, Southern California fire investigators were seeking the cause of a blaze that destroyed a large home and five rental cabins near Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernardino Mountains.

About three-quarters of an acre burned in the Hook Creek area on Monday, the San Bernardino County Fire Department said in a statement.

The two-story home and the cabins were vacant at the time, and there were no injuries to firefighters or citizens, the department said.

Last week, a fire near the community of Dunnigan, northwest of Sacramento in Yolo County, surged through 120 acres of grassland before it was contained Friday afternoon.

In the Sierra Nevada foothills, the Golden Fire prompted some evacuations and closed State Route 49, known as the Golden Chain Highway, south of the small town of Camptonville.

Yuba County authorities said the fire reached 26 acres before it was stopped from spreading and was 20% contained. The fire started in a building and spread to the wildlands, authorities said. No other buildings were damaged.

Tahoe National Forest reported that federal, state and local crews were battling the flames.

And on May 11, a destructive wildfire erupted in the coastal community of Laguna Niguel, burning at least 20 multimillion-dollar homes as it grew to 199 acres.

Various utilities’ electrical equipment has repeatedly been linked to the ignition of disastrous California wildfires, especially during windy weather. Southern California Edison has advised state utility regulators that unspecified electrical “circuit activity” occurred around the time a destructive wildfire erupted in the coastal community.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

For more information about grilling fire safety, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

It’s Time to Break Out the Grill | Corona, CA

Now that we are filled with beautiful springtime weather, many of us are beginning to plan our first grilled meals with friends and family. From a campfire breakfast to extra-thick steaks, no matter the time, a bright sunny day is a reason to strike up the ol’ BBQ.

But with these happy times comes with a few precautions. We know that it is supposed to be a good time to be had by all, and not some strict gathering, but these aren’t rules that will change the way you celebrate. Fire safety may seem unnecessary, but there are things we need to keep in mind in order to protect our loved ones from any fire accidents. After all, this is an open flame we’re dealing with – things can happen in a blink of an eye. Here are some tips to ensuring that this season’s BBQs are filled with nothing but happy faces and full bellies:

  • Use only charcoal lighter fluid to start a fire.
  • Once coals are ignited, never add more charcoal lighter fuel or other flammable/petroleum-based products to the fire – the container may explode in your hand!
  • Dispose of used coals in proper containers.
  • Be sure propane grills have the correct setting when being installed.
  • Use grills at least 10 feet away from your house.
  • Keep children and pets away from grills when in use.
  • Dispose of hot coals in proper receptacles – buried coals retain heat for up to 24 hours and may cause a serious burn injury to an unsuspecting passerby who steps on them.

For more information about grilling fire safety, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

California bracing for what could be another bad fire season. What to expect as weather warms up | Corona, CA

Jessica Skropanic | Redding Record Searchlight

Much of California is already in wildfire season after an extremely dry winter left vegetation brittle and water levels low. With winds and hot temperatures in the forecast starting this week, and no rain or snow expected in the near future, conditions aren’t likely to improve, fire experts said.

Statewide, firefighters battled 925 fires from Jan. 1 to April 1 — about the same as those dates in 2021, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. However, the acreage destroyed this year is almost double what burned during those months last year.

“Most of the state is already in moderate to extreme drought,” said Cheryl Buliavac, fire prevention specialist at Cal Fire’s Shasta-Trinity Unit. This year’s fire season could be worse than last year’s.

By Saturday, winds pick up to 40 mph and weekday heat will have dried out the North State, pushing fire danger to what the weather service considers moderate levels.

“Vegetation is as dry now as it would be in a normal year in mid-June,” Buliavac said. That’s in part because precipitation forecasted over winter didn’t arrive or dropped less rain than expected.

It’s not just one dry season that’s making 2022 potentially worse for fire than 2021, said Karl Swanberg at the weather service in Sacramento. “It’s a combination of conditions overall.”

Some portions of the North State got more rain this winter than last year, he said.

15.44 inches of rain fell on Redding from Oct. 1, 2021, to April 6, 2022

13.27 inches fell from Oct. 1, 2020, to Sept. 30, 2021

What’s making 2022 worse is having two very dry years back-to-back, both well below the 28.54 inches of rain per year considered normal, Swanberg said. The cumulative effect is stretching out the fire season even longer.

Extremely windy conditions this winter further dried out thirsty trees and brush, Buliavac said. “It’s very concerning because we were under similar conditions the last few summers.” While fire danger is still present in Sacramento and the southern Sacramento Valley, that area appears slightly greener and less dry than the north valley, Swanberg said.

Snowpack levels dropped to 16% of their historic average throughout the Scott River sub-basin in the Klamath National Forest, west of Yreka, according to the U.S. Forest Service’s latest measurements, taken throughout the basin on April 1, when the snowpack is at its maximum.

Less snow means less water for communities and farmers — not only in Siskiyou County, but at lower elevations in Trinity and Shasta counties. The latter rely on meltwater to raise humidity levels and water vegetation. Without a good snowpack, there’s not enough slow meltwater running down the mountains into the valley, Buliavac said.

North coast forecast

Coastal residents are seeing fire risk grow starting this week, too. Temperatures soared into the high 80s, drying out the historically humid San Francisco Bay Area, according to the weather service.

This weekend, strong offshore winds will further dry vegetation, increasing the potential for fire starts and spreads.

Surrounding areas, including the North Bay, won’t fare better, the weather service said. Wind gusts out of the north and northeast could reach 70 mph over Napa and Contra Costa counties late Saturday into early Sunday.

Relief could come Monday, when up to half an inch of rain could fall, the weather service said, but warm dry spells and wild winds will likely visit again this year.

Further up the coast, inland areas such as Ukiah are reaching the low 90s. That’s definitely warm for April, said Jonathan Garner, meteorologist with the weather service in Eureka.

Vegetation is still green, so fire danger is less in the northwest corner of the state, he said.

Statewide in 2021, firefighters battled 8,835 fires that destroyed 2,568,948 acres. Nine of the 10 largest fires were in Northern California, including the 963,309-acre Dixie Fire which burned in five counties, the 223,124-acre Monument Fire in Trinity County and the 221,835-acre Caldor Fire east of Sacramento to Lake Tahoe.

How to prepare for fire season

Cal Fire encourages residents to prepare for fire season:

  • Property owners should consider creating defensible space early in the year, before temperatures soar. For more information go to the Cal Fire website at bit.ly/3x6ttzy.
  • Prepare a “go” bag in the event of an evacuation. If you never unpacked last year’s bag, replace anything that expired: Batteries, food, water, pet food, etc.
  • Make sure to plan two ways to get out of your home and two routes out of your neighborhood.

For more ways to prepare for fire season go to Cal Fire’s Ready for Wildfire website at readyforwildfire.org.

For more information about fire safety, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

Spring Has Sprung! Make Your Home Fire Safe | Corona, CA

Springtime is a renewing time of year. We shed all the winter off and begin to prepare for sunnier days and warmer nights. One way we celebrate this refreshing time of year is by spring cleaning. Tossing out the old and welcoming in a new, cleaner time of year. So, while you are reorganizing your closets and preparing for a lighter, brighter season, keep in mind some of these fire safety tips:

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms. These are our first line of defense against house fires, so it is important that you test alarms monthly and replace batteries as needed.

Kitchen. Keep countertops and stovetops free of grease and clutter that can easily catch fire, like oven mitts, towels, or wooden utensils.

Electrical cords. Take the time to check all electrical cords in your home for wear and tear.

Clothes dryers. Excess lint in the dryer is the number one cause of clothes dryer fires, so make sure to use a lint filter and clean it regularly.

Grilling. Keeping a grill clean from grease and fat not only prevents fires, but helps food cook better. Check the propane tank, hose, and all connection points for leaks. If you have a charcoal grill, use only charcoal starter fluid.

Fire escape plan. No one wants to be involved in a house fire, but accidents happen all the time. Being prepared is the number one way to not only look after you and your loved ones but keeping calm whilst doing so. Create a fire escape plan, including a map of each home level with two escape routes in each room. Discuss and practice the plan with everyone in the household. The more you’re prepared, the safer your will be.

For more information about fire safety, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

Mr. T’s Restaurant Building in Downtown Riverside a ‘Total Loss’ After Latest Fire | Corona, CA

By BRIAN ROKOS | brokos@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise

The latest fire at the iconic but shuttered Mr. T’s restaurant in downtown Riverside might be its last.

More than 30 firefighters battled the blaze at 4307 Main St. after it was reported at 6:29 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 25. Firefighters quickly searched the building and didn’t find anyone. By 10:30 a.m., Riverside city code enforcement officials and the owner were making plans to knock the chimney into the structure so it wouldn’t fall on anybody.

“The structure is severely compromised. This building is a total loss,” Battalion Chief Bruce Vanderhorst said.

It was the fourth or fifth fire at the A-framed restaurant, he said, adding that it closed around 2019 after a kitchen fire. The city in 2020 issued a permit to the owner, listed as J & P Canaan, to fix the damage. But that permit expired without any repairs being performed, city spokesman Phil Pitchford said.

The building was later boarded up, but that didn’t prevent break-ins. Tuesday, Vanderhorst said he asked for police to respond quickly when a transient tried to re-enter the building to retrieve his belongings.

An arson investigator determined the fire was not intentionally set, but the exact cause was listed as undetermined, Vanderhorst said. No one was reported injured. Main Street was closed for hours after the fire between 12th and 14th streets.

The 1,958-square-foot, $35,000 building opened as an International House of Pancakes, according to the building permit issued in 1963. It was unclear Tuesday when the name was changed to Mr. T’s.

Vanderhorst said firefighters from the downtown station sometimes drove their rigs to the restaurant and ate Sunday breakfast there. It was a popular gathering spot for attorneys because it was a short walk from the courthouses, said former Riverside County District Attorney Rod Pacheco.

Pacheco, who now is a practicing attorney, described the fire as “sad news.”

“It was close, a good, solid breakfast, and the price was always right,” Pacheco said. “There were other places to eat and for some reason, we gravitated toward it.”

It was at Mr. T’s — over breakfast with a Press-Enterprise reporter in 1995 —  Pacheco said he kicked off his successful campaign for state assembly. Pacheco learned that a candidate had dropped out, and Pacheco decided to run. He won, serving three two-year terms representing the 64th District that encompassed Riverside, Jurupa Valley, Norco and downtown Corona.

Staff Writer Fielding Buck contributed to this story.

For more information about CalFire map updates, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

After years of delays, CalFire says updated and expanded wildfire hazard maps are on their way | Corona, CA

Chris Nichols | Monday, December 20, 2021 | Sacramento, CA

For years, state officials have promised and failed to update maps that show the parts of California most at risk for wildfire. In the more than a dozen years since current maps were released, climate change and climate science have dramatically adjusted our understanding of what might burn.

Now, state officials say the long-awaited updates will land in the next few months.

The stakes for the new fire risk maps are high. Local governments use CalFire’s hazard zones as a guidepost in deciding where new homes and businesses should be approved — or rejected.

Homeowners who live inside high risk zones have to disclose that risk when they decide to sell. They also are required by a new state law to keep their homes fire-proofed — by building out defensible space. The number of homes in those high-risk areas has grown in the last decade. The state’s wildfires now regularly set records in size and destruction. “Fires are burning in ways that nobody has seen before,” said CalFire Chief Thom Porter at an August news conference. “Yes, I keep saying that. You keep hearing that. But it is absolutely true.”

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection last updated its fire hazard severity zone maps in 2007, well before recent record-breaking megafires swept across California. Past mapping focused on geographic hazards such as forests and canyons where fire spreads, according to Daniel Berlant, CalFire’s assistant deputy director. This time, climate hazards are front and center.

“What has changed,” Berlant added, “is these extreme wind events, which carry embers now well past that outer edge [where development intersects with wildlands] into areas that historically were not even designated with a fire hazard level.”

On the maps, which cover all 58 counties, are three color-coded designations: yellow for moderate fire hazard, orange for high hazard and red for very high. This time, CalFire says those zones are likely to be bigger, taking in more Californians and more areas where homes and wildlands meet.

In Santa Rosa, where the Tubbs Fire caused widespread urban damage, homeowner Brian Fies is waiting anxiously for CalFire’s new maps. Fies’ home burned to the ground in 2017, and he wrote a memoir about his loss called A Fire Story. Eventually, he rebuilt on the same land.

“Climate change is making risk a moving target,” Fies said. “Places that used to be safe aren’t safe anymore, and firefighters need to understand and reflect that change.”

New maps will have big impact

Local governments use CalFire’s hazard zones to help decide where new homes and businesses should be approved. Inside these zones, developers must follow the state’s strict and more costly fire safety rules, known as the 7A codes.

Those codes require:

  • Wider roads, more access to water supplies, and more road and directional signs.
  • More costly materials for new home construction, including walls, roofs and eaves that can resist flying embers and heat from fire.
  • Clearing 100 feet of defensible space around buildings; and 
  • Disclosure that a piece of property is within a fire zone when it’s sold.

Local governments have argued that expanding the hazard zones will make it harder to meet state targets for new affordable housing, said Staci Heaton, a regulatory affairs advocate with the Rural County Representatives of California. “The state’s telling [counties] they have to build so many housing units per year,” she said. “Even in the high fire hazard severity zones, they have to strike that balance between fire mitigation and also building these low-income housing units.”

For homeowners within hazard zones, Heaton argued life is likely to be more difficult. Homes in risky areas are more likely to lose their electricity when the wind picks up, she says, because utility companies may target their neighborhoods for planned power shut offs.

And Heaton expects some property owners could find their homes uninsurable. “Once those fire maps get finalized, I think we’re going to be seeing a lot more non-renewals,” she said. “We’re already seeing a lot of homeowner insurance non-renewals in our communities.”

‘We want to get the science right’

CalFire officials maintain that they’re focused on precision, not politics, in drawing the new hazard zones, which were anticipated in 2020. “We want to get the science right,” Berlant said. “Unfortunately, building that science into a model has taken us a lot longer than we had originally projected.”

The update will incorporate extreme weather models that didn’t exist when the current maps were developed nearly two decades ago. But critics like Rick Halsey, director of the California Chaparral Institute, a nonprofit environmental group, say CalFire has long had the capacity to make the maps more accurate and relevant. “To have [the old maps] still hanging around is pretty inexcusable,” he said. Halsey added that the existing maps are both outdated and flawed.

In Santa Rosa, the Tubbs Fire burned the Fountaingrove neighborhood, just as the Hanly Fire had in 1964, and a blaze before that in 1908. “This is what’s so tragic: That area burned twice before, virtually in the same footprint in the previous 100 years,” Halsey said. “And so why that history wasn’t incorporated into the fire severity maps is a mystery to me.”

Approximately 95% of structures seriously damaged in California wildfires from 2013 through 2020 took place inside either federal, state or local fire hazard zones, according to data provided by CalFire. Dave Sapsis, CalFire’s wildland fire scientist in charge of the maps, points out that the state’s hazard maps proved highly accurate in predicting where structures would burn during California’s recent wildfires.

But he also acknowledged that the map for Santa Rosa should have incorporated historical burn risk better. “Our existing model right now works almost all the time except when it doesn’t,” Sapsis said. “And that was a fairly sizable miss.”

Complicating things for the public, CalFire’s maps only show state fire hazard zones and some local hazard zones, but not those designated by the federal government.

Because of climate change, CalFire’s Sapsis expects to update hazard maps more often in the future.  “That hazard is increasing with time,” Sapsis explained. “The fire environment is getting worse. It’s getting drier, it’s getting windier.”

Berlant, CalFire’s assistant deputy director, said the agency would unveil the new maps to county governments “as early as the beginning of next year.”

In Santa Rosa, homeowner Brian Fies says state and local governments should put the map in every mailbox. “In my opinion they should push it,” Fies said. “Not just passively provided, not just it’s available on, you know, Page 312 of the county’s website, but they should push it.”

Fies’ neighborhood wasn’t in a high-risk zone on the CalFire map when he rebuilt. But he’s worried about what the updated maps may reveal. “It seems like nowhere in the western half of North America is there a safe place anymore,” Fies added. “It’s difficult, even in the suburbs.”

For more information about CalFire map updates, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

What to Know About the Dixie Fire | Corona, CA

Tuesday: Although it rained on Monday, fire season is well underway. And the state’s biggest blaze is burning near areas scarred from the Camp Fire.

By Jill Cowan | July 27, 2021

Good morning.

There may have been rare July showers in parts of California on Monday. But make no mistake: The drought is still a threat. And fire season is underway.

The Dixie Fire, California’s largest wildfire this year, continued to burn through thousands of acres of rough terrain, prompting evacuation orders and threatening communities in a region scarred by the memory of the 2018 Camp Fire, the deadliest in the state’s history.

More than 5,400 firefighters were battling the Dixie Fire, which merged over the weekend with another nearby blaze, the Fly Fire, and had burned through about 200,000 acres, according to Cal Fire, the state’s fire agency.

That’s an area a little larger than New York City, and about half of the acreage burned by the Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon, the nation’s largest this year. But the Bootleg Fire is burning in a more remote area; 300 people live within five miles of that blaze, according to The New York Times’s wildfire tracker, compared with 4,900 within five miles of the Dixie Fire.

The Dixie Fire started more than a week ago, just a couple of miles from the spot where the Camp Fire ignited, said Rick Carhart, a spokesman for Cal Fire in Butte County. That fire killed more than 80 people and all but leveled the remote town of Paradise.

“There really is so much — there’s no other word for it — PTSD,” Mr. Carhart said. “There’s so much anxiety.”

A stream of firefighting helicopters taking off from a nearby airport in recent days has flown over Magalia, a community that was also devastated by the Camp Fire. Residents there are out of the path of this year’s flames, Mr. Carhart said — but are still afraid.

“They see a helicopter with a bucket attached,” he said. “And it’s, ‘Oh my God, here we go again.’”

The two blazes also bear another chilling similarity: Pacific Gas & Electric, the state’s largest utility, said last week that blown fuses on one of its utility poles may have sparked the Dixie Fire. PG&E pleaded guilty last year to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter for its role in starting the Camp Fire.

Mr. Carhart said that crews have been making progress in controlling the Dixie Fire, and the weather has been more cooperative in recent days than fire officials had predicted. Nevertheless, the size and timing of the blaze — which he said is already the 15th-largest in California’s recorded history — point to a future in which fires won’t be limited to a single season.

“One of the most concerning things about it is how early in the year it is,” Mr. Carhart.

Last year’s record-breaking wildfire season, during which millions of acres burned across California and the West, actually had a below-average start, he said, until widespread lightning strikes ignited tinder-dry vegetation in many remote areas.

Right now, Mr. Carhart said, the thousands of firefighters who are cutting fire lines, dousing hot spots or doing any of the other time-consuming, physically demanding work required of them, are looking at months before there’s likely to be rain, which heralds an end to the most intense fire activity.

In the past, he said, he might have expected a blaze like the Dixie Fire sometime in September — not July.

“We’re all kind of learning that fire season isn’t a three-month or six-month thing anymore,” he said.

For more information about home hardening tips, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas.

Thousands of SCE Customers Without Power as Strong Winds Batter SoCal | Corona, CA

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Tens of thousands of Southern California Edison customers were without power Wednesday as strong winds posed the risk of downing power lines that could spark wildfires.

SCE imposed public safety power shutoffs, in which electricity is turned off for customers in wind-prone areas. As of early Wednesday afternoon, over 26,800 SCE customers had their power shut off, while another 36,000 customers were under consideration for shutoffs.

Meanwhile, firefighters battling blazes across the Southland appeared to have gained the upper hand while contending with the strong winds following a day of ferocious Santa Anas that battered mountain and valley areas. Fire crews were working to contain a 43-acre brush fire on the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians reservation near Mecca. The non-injury blaze, which was 50% contained as of Wednesday morning, was reported about 4:40 a.m. Tuesday in the area of Pierce Street and Avenue 73 amid a red flag warning due to high winds and low humidity.

Riverside County Fire Department spokeswoman April Newman said 18 firefighters remained on scene with the goal of fully containing the blaze by the end of the day.

A few fires broke out Tuesday, including one in the Santa Clarita area that blackened 167 acres and a wind-driven brush fire near the westbound 10 Freeway in the San Dimas area that burned about 40 acres. Firefighters appeared to have the upper hand on both blazes Wednesday.

A red flag warning for extreme fire danger expired Tuesday night, but elevated to brief critical fire conditions were still possible Wednesday due to continued strong and gusty offshore winds, according to the National Weather Service.

A wind advisory was in effect until 6 p.m. Wednesday for most of Los Angeles County, and a high wind warning was in effect until 6 p.m. for Orange County coastal areas, and until 10 p.m. for inland Orange County. North to northeast winds of 25 to 40 mph were expected in the San Clarita Valley, with gusts up to 55 mph. Gusts were expected to reach 55 mph in the San Fernando Valley, 50 mph in metro Los Angeles, and 60 mph in the mountains. The winds should become weaker by nightfall, with those number dropping by 15 to 20 mph, the NWS said. On Tuesday, the NWS recorded gusts topping 86 mph in some mountain areas, including Warm Springs and the Magic Mountain Truck Trail in northern Los Angeles County. Other parts of the Santa Clarita Valley were hit with gusts topping 40 and 50 mph, as were select areas of the San Fernando Valley. Winds were also recorded near 50 mph in the Antelope Valley.

The Los Angeles County and city fire departments were prepared up for the wind event, pre-deploying resources in critically endangered areas prior to Tuesday. The Los Angeles Fire Department stationed three task forces in the valleys, while the county fire department ordered “additional staffing and pre-deployment of resources throughout the county.”

Red flag parking restrictions took effect Los Angeles at 8 a.m. The restrictions, which bar residents from parking on streets in high fire hazard zones to ensure fire crews can access hard-to-reach areas, were scheduled to be lifted at 8 a.m. Wednesday. Pasadena imposed similar restrictions at noon, continuing through at least 7 a.m. Wednesday.

Kevin McGowan, director of the county’s Office of Emergency Management, urged residents to be prepared for dangerous conditions.

“Our emergency response officials are world-class and will stand ready to defend lives and property,” he said. “But we need collaboration from all residents who live in L.A. County to stay safe as a region. We must all do our part by staying informed and being ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice, especially if you live in canyon, mountain or foothill communities.”

He urged residents to have an evacuation plan in place and be prepared by taking steps such as parking vehicles facing the street and on driveways — not in garages that may not be accessible if electric garage-door openers become inoperable in an outage.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Brush Fire near Corona Airport Explodes to 750 Acres, Shuts Down Highway 71 in Both Directions | Corona, CA

By Rob McMillan and ABC7.com staff

Friday, December 4, 2020

CORONA, Calif. (KABC) — A fire that erupted near the Corona Municipal Airport has grown to 750 acres, shutting down a main road in the area, authorities said Thursday morning.

The blaze, dubbed the Airport Fire, started Tuesday night and exploded in size by Thursday as strong winds continued to whip across Southern California, leading to other fires across the region. As of 4:40 p.m. Thursday, the fire was 10% contained.

Early Thursday morning, the flames prompted the closure of State Route 71 in both directions between the 91 Freeway and Highway 83, according to CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department. Residents of the Sonora Ranch neighborhood, which is approximately less than two miles away from the blaze, have been keeping a close eye on the flames since it started earlier this week. Some say their concerns grew when the winds kicked up overnight.

“When the winds started kicking up last night and sounded like waves crashing up against the house, that was the concern for us,” said Tahisha Cattouse. “I was still able to sleep but then this morning my husband goes ‘the fire is still here and it jumped the freeway’.”

An evacuation warning had been issued for several streets (Big Springs Court., Rock Ridge Court, Cheyenne Road, Homestead Road, Holster Street and Lone Tree Street). But by 10 p.m. Wednesday the warnings were lifted.

The fire was first reported Tuesday night behind the airport at the Prado Basin at less than five acres. But red flag conditions – Santa Ana winds and low humidity – kept it going and spreading to at least 25 acres by early afternoon Wednesday, then 50 acres later in the day. No damage to structure or injuries have been reported.

For more information about fire updates, call CJ Suppression at 888-821-2334 or visit the website at www.cjsuppression.com.

CJ Suppression proudly serves Corona, CA and all surrounding areas