Category Archives: Fire Protection Systems

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.

Preparing Your Suppression Systems for Wildfire Season | Corona, CA

automatic-fire-sprinkler-systems

Now that we are beginning to change from hot summer months to cooler autumn ones, it is important to prepare for the weather changes in order to keep all suppression systems going. After all, it is important for everyone to be prepared for any accident that may occur as a result of unnecessary neglect. This time of year is also notorious for wildfires, so keeping our employees and property safe is of the utmost importance.

The exact maintenance regime needed depends on the suppression system and use case. The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) has guidelines not only for the types of systems that should be used in various settings, but also for the ongoing maintenance of those systems for proper compliance and safety purposes.

The type of system installed, and the nature of the building it is protecting, will determine how often it must be inspected, how often it should be tested, and what type of labor will be required on the system over time. A skilled system designer, such as CJ Suppression, will not only design the system, but can also assist you in establishing and meeting the maintenance and inspection requirements in order to keep your system functioning properly so that if a fire were to occur, lives and property can be saved.

Regular maintenance will identify minor problems before they turn into system failures, allowing you to correct them quickly and inexpensively, rather than allowing them to fail. With automatic scheduling of maintenance activities, you never need to worry about surprise fire department inspections – you’ll be up to date, properly maintained, properly inspected, and fully functional whenever the fire department decides to visit.

Cooking Safety Tips for Older Adults | Corona, CA

Accidental fires

We all want to feel safe in our own homes. It’s a sanctuary away from all of the outside world’s madness. We kick off our shoes, fix ourselves a nice hot meal and curl up on the couch with our favorite relaxing pastime. We keep a first aid kit handy, lock our doors, we keep our phone charged and close by – all of these little habits keep us prepared for anything.

One of the leading causes of home injuries and deaths in the home is related to cooking. And those of us that are 65+ are at an even higher risk. Unfortunately, we all need to eat. And while all these tips work for everyone, let’s also protect those of us on the latter side of life with these simple cooking tips for fire safety:

Don’t forget. There are times when we get sidetracked – it’s natural. So, if you need to step away from the kitchen for even a small amount of time, turn off the oven/stove.

Keep it clean. Grease fires can start unexpectedly. To lessen the chance of these happening, keep the range clean from grease or other debris that can accidentally catch from a stray flame.

Tighten things up. The last thing we think about when we are in the kitchen is what we are wearing. When cooking, keep your sleeves rolled up to prevent accidentally catching on an open flame.

Test the alarms. It’s important to test smoke detectors on a monthly basis and change out batteries once a year. Keeping these alarms in abundance throughout the house will give ample time to get to safety.

For more information about cooking 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.

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.

What Winter’s Dry Spell Means for California’s Fire Season | Corona, CA

This winter’s extreme rainfall and dryness might average out to near-normal levels of precipitation. But that’s no insurance policy against fire, scientists say.

By Livia Albeck-Ripka | March 1, 2022

When rain pummeled California in October, many breathed a sigh of relief: At least in some parts of the state, the worst of the fire season, experts said, was most likely over. The following month, however, precipitation was scarce. In December, it rained again, smashing records. Now, some parts of the state have barely seen another drop of water since early January.

“It has been both an unusually dry and an unusually wet winter,” said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Nature Conservancy.

But what do these ups and downs mean for California’s next fire season? The answer is complicated. Before October, a vast majority of California was considered to be in “exceptional” or “extreme” drought (the highest rankings, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor). So, when meteorological conditions known as “atmospheric rivers” drenched parts of the state in October and December, much of that water was sucked up by the parched landscape.

The hot and windy conditions that followed also led the rain to evaporate quickly, drying out the vegetation that fuels fires. California’s rising snowpack, which provides moisture to the ecosystem as it melts in the spring, has since plummeted.

Historically, California’s fire season lasted a few months during the hottest part of the year. But recently it has become more year-round. In January, typically one of California’s wettest months, a wildfire swept through Big Sur, a mountainous coastal region south of San Francisco, forcing hundreds of residents to evacuate. The scene was “pretty surreal” given California’s wet October and December, the National Weather Service said on Twitter at the time.

But though the extreme rainfall and dryness might average out to near-normal levels of precipitation, that’s no insurance policy against fire, scientists say. As global temperatures warm, even in wet years, hot weather can ultimately dry out vegetation to produce droughtlike conditions.

“We still get dry years and wet years, but we don’t really get cold years anymore,” Swain said. He added, “No matter what, everything still dries out.”

For now, the dry spell has a small silver lining. The lack of rain gives fire authorities more opportunity to conduct prescribed burns that help to reduce the worst impacts of fires during the summer. And fires that ignite spontaneously during these colder months are also likely to be less intense, and can help to avert worse fires in hot, dry conditions. But without rain in the coming days or weeks, the state could begin relapsing further into drought. Last year, historically low rainfall and ongoing drought helped cause a brutal fire season that lasted several months and burned 2.6 million acres.

“I don’t think March is going to somehow bail us out,” Swain said of the likelihood that generous rain in the coming weeks would help stave off intense fires this year.

“We’re seeing bad fire years almost every year,” he added.

For more information about CA fire season, 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.

Is Your Office Fire Safe? | Corona, CA

Since the pandemic, many of us office workers have found themselves working from home, while others have returned to the office and their day-to-day back to normal. Because we are returning to a workplace for the majority of our days, it is important that it is safe from fire hazards. Not only to protect yourselves, but all the property housed within your workplace. Here are some simple tips to keeping your workdays safe:

Eliminate fire hazards. While we are slowly converting to an electronic office, there is still loads of paper products around. Ensure trash is emptied frequently to prevent buildup. Electronics can also lead to accidental fires. Do not use equipment that delivers a mild electrical shock, gives off unusual heat or smells odd. Use tools and equipment correctly and keep everything well maintained in order to prevent accidental fires. Keep your outlets safe from overload and electrical cords hidden so as not to become a tripping hazard.

Emergency preparation. It is important to know who to call if something happens within the office, like a building manager or security office. Make sure to have the numbers posted in various areas, so anyone can find them. If a fire or emergency arises, report it as soon as it happens to receive proper attention.

Evacuation procedure. Every building should have a fire exit in place. Make sure all employees know where to go in case evacuation is necessary.

General workplace fire safety. If you don’t work in an office environment, it’s still important to maintain your workspace. Make sure all walkways are kept clear, sweep up scraps of paper, debris and dust as soon as possible. Do not use electrical equipment when flammable gases, vapors, liquids, dust, or fibers are present. 

For more information about fire safety in the workplace, 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.

How Are You Protecting Your Home from Fire? | Corona, CA

fire extinguisher training

Believe it or not, but there is an average of 358,000 house fires every year, and these fires lead to more than 3,000 deaths. Those are rather frightening statistics. Because while a house fire seems pretty common, there are a few ways to prevent them from occurring.

Unfortunately, most of these fires could be prevented by just paying attention to what you’re doing, because most of these fires occur in the kitchen while cooking. Having some basic fire suppression tools around can help if and when a fire breaks out in your home. One is a fire extinguisher. Because many of these fires begin in the kitchen, having an extinguisher handy is a great way to put out a quick flareup.

Another great tool to have in your home is the trusty smoke detector. Because fires can arise from things like space heaters or irons left on, it is important to have these placed in various rooms in your home. While they don’t do anything to extinguish the fire, they will make everyone in the house aware that a fire has started and to get to safety as quickly as safely as possible.

Lastly, the fire sprinkler. Many homeowners believe that a smoke detector is the only real necessity in protecting their home from fire, but a sprinkler system will not only extinguish a fire quicker than a fire extinguisher but can detect it sooner because it is triggered by a rise in the air’s temperature. One it is set off, the sprinkler sprays the entire area down, thereby preventing any large losses or damages that just having a smoke detector will create.

It may seem excessive, but isn’t your home and family’s safety worth it?

For more information about fire suppression tools, 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.