Category Archives: Fire Safety

Dam Fire 40% Contained After Charring 217 Acres Above Azusa; Battle Continues Amid Heatwave | Corona, CA

by Nisha Gutierrez-Jaime

Posted: Jul 31, 2020 / 10:22 AM PDT / Updated: Jul 31, 2020 / 11:47 AM PDT

Despite blazing temperatures and difficult terrain, firefighters have increased containment on the Dam Fire which has burned more than 200 acres in the mountains north of Azusa, officials said Friday. The wildfire erupted Thursday afternoon around 1:45 p.m. in the 9500 block of North San Gabriel Canyon Road, near Morris Dam in the Angeles National Forest, the Los Angeles County Fire Department reported.

As of Friday morning, the Dam Fire had burned 217 acres and was 40% contained. Firefighters are continuing to aggressively work on gaining the upper hand despite sweltering temperatures.

“The combination of hot temperatures, low relative humidities, locally gusty winds, and drying fuels will bring elevated fire weather conditions to the Dam Fire burn area today,” officials said on the wildfire’s InciWeb page.

More than 250 firefighters from several agencies responded to the wildfire to battle it from the ground. Video from Sky5 also showed aerial units dousing the flames with water from above. Nearby residents could hear the planes working overhead throughout the afternoon.

The fire grew quickly on Thursday afternoon, resulting in mandatory evacuations and road closures.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered around 4 p.m. for those in the area north of Morris Dam to Crystal Lake. Camp sites and recreation areas in the surrounding areas are also off limits.

“They are not typical residential evacuations ion that we typically see during these big wildfires,” Marc Peebles of the U.S. Forest Service told KTLA. “There are some special use cabins up there and I believe one of them had people in it, so they evacuated the folks out of there.”

Highway 39 was closed to all traffic at Old San Gabriel Canyon Road, as well as East Fork Road. The Azusa Police Department said the closures would be in effect through at least Sunday. Non-residents were not being allowed to go past El Encanto Restaurant. In addition to the heatwave, rockslides have also made the situation difficult on crews.

“As the slopes burn it loses the ability to hold back those heavy rocks, so we have had several rockslides that have come down on the roadways so CalTrans is here working with us,” Peebles said.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a smoke advisory in effect through Friday afternoon due to the Dam Fire as winds were expected to come from the southwest, which could push smoke to the northeast, toward Wrightwood and Mount Baldy. The cause of the wildfire remains under investigation.

|UPDATE| #DamFire Despite hot temperatures and steep terrain, your #AngelesNF firefighters were able to grow the containment to 40%. Overnight, we mapped the fire at 217 acres. pic.twitter.com/4iGsqJ2VBl

— Angeles_NF (@Angeles_NF) July 31, 2020

ANF Fire Chief Robert Garcia; “A very robust air and ground attack is holding back further spread. But tough days ahead in some of the steepest terrain in the Angeles, combined with a heat wave of 100-degrees-plus. Please give thanks to your firefighters.” #DamFire. Photo #air7hd pic.twitter.com/Q51kVvMJUv

— Angeles_NF (@Angeles_NF) July 31, 2020

**HWY 39 WILL BE CLOSED TO ALL TRAFFIC ** through at least Sunday. Please stay away from the area as non residents will not be allowed to continue beyond El Encanto Restaurant.#azusa #CityofAzusa #AzusaPD #fire #lafd #firefighters #canyon #roadclosed

— Azusa Police (@AzusaPD) July 31, 2020

For more information about summertime 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.

Enjoy Your Summer Safely | Corona, CA

Let’s face it – we all love the summertime fun that commences once the days get longer. The BBQs, vacations and recreational outdoor sports are just the beginning of the fun the summer season holds. But while we are enjoying ourselves with friends and family, it is important to keep fire safety in mind. Today, we are going to break down some fire safety tips to prepare for so that everyone has a great time in the summer sun…

When it’s time to grill:

  • Check the connection between the propane tank and the fuel line to ensure they aren’t blocked.
  • Do not overfill the propane tank.
  • Do not wear loose clothing while cooking at a barbecue.
  • Be careful when using lighter fluid. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire.
  • Keep all matches and lighters away from children. Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately. Supervise children around outdoor grills.
  • Dispose of hot coals properly – douse them with plenty of water ensure the fire is out.
  • Never barbecue in enclosed areas – carbon monoxide could be produced.
  • Make sure everyone knows to Stop, Drop and Roll in case a piece of clothing does catch fire. Call 911 if a burn warrants serious medical attention.

When you’re out camping:

  • Build campfires where they will not spread, away from dry grass and leaves.
  • Keep campfires small, and don’t let them get out of hand.
  • Keep plenty of water and a shovel around to douse the fire when you’re done. Stir it and douse it again with water.
  • Never leave campfires unattended.

For more information about summertime 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.

East Contra Costa Fire Urges Vigilance in Preventing Fires and Injuries Over 4th of July Holiday | Corona, CA

Press Release by ECT -Jun 26, 2020

Brentwood, CA — As we roll into the Fourth of July, hot, dry and windy conditions are once again expected and ECCFPD is asking everyone to do their part in preventing fires and injuries caused by fireworks. NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) states that throughout the nation over the last several years that approximately half of the reported fires on the Fourth of July were started by fireworks.

“Because our first priority is the safety of our community, it’s important to remind people what a fire-safe 4th of July means,” said ECCFPD Fire Chief Brian Helmick.

Contra Costa County (and Fire District) is a “fireworks-free-zone”; therefore, the possession or use of fireworks of all types and sizes (including Safe and Sane fireworks) are banned in the county and the Fire District (County Ordinance 44-2.002 and East Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Ordinance 5601.1.3). The District includes the cities of Brentwood and Oakley Discovery Bay, Bethel Island, Knightsen, Byron, Marsh Creek, and Morgan Territory.

“Compounded by the Fire District’s underfunded resources we need to do everything we can to prevent and protect against the threat of fires to our communities”, Fire Marshal Steven Aubert added, “Fire Service personnel will be out enforcing these laws with our allied Police agencies”, he said.  Any person who starts a fire from fireworks – even accidentally – can be held liable for the fire suppression costs as well as property damage costs.

Possession of illegal fireworks that explode, go into the air, or move on the ground in an uncontrollable manner can lead to a possible fine of up to $50,000 as well as prison time or jail for up to one year.

“We appreciate that everyone wants to celebrate the Independence Day holiday.  We just ask everyone to please avoid the temptation of putting yourself and your neighbors at risk.” Fire Marshall Aubert stated.

The District wishes everyone a fun and safe 4th of July holiday!

Learn more at www.eccfpd.org.

For more information about 4th of July 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.

TLC for Fire Extinguishers | Corona, CA

fire extinguisher service

Fires can happen at a moment’s notice, and without any warning. Because of this, it is important to have some type of fire protection at all times, whether it be your home or business. One of these fire safety options is the traditional fire extinguisher. It’s a very important tool to have to fight fires, however, if it’s not kept in good working condition, it will most likely be useless when you need it most. Yes, even fire extinguishers need some regular maintenance in order to do their job. To ensure that your fire extinguisher works in the event of a fire, you should follow these guidelines:

  • Make sure that your fire extinguisher is readily available.
  • Be sure that the fire extinguisher is set up properly so it’s easy to handle.
  • Check that your fire extinguisher is adequately charged at all times. Frequently check the pressure dial to see if it needs to be charged.
  • Make sure that the pull pin is properly secured in the handle and held in place by the tamper seal.
  • Inspect the extinguisher for any cracks, dents, or rust on its shaft which may hinder its performance.
  • Ensure that there are visible, legible operating instructions on the fire extinguisher in case of an emergency.
  • Be certain that no modifications have been made to your fire extinguisher that may affect its performance.

If you fail to maintain your fire extinguisher, the resulting consequences can range from property damage to loss of life. In order to avoid problems when you desperately need your fire extinguisher, set a monthly maintenance reminder.

For more information about fire extinguisher maintenance, 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.

11 Firefighters Hurt in Downtown L.A. Explosion that Caused Fires at Several Buildings | Corona, CA

Embedded video

By LIAM DILLONBEN WELSHMAY 16, 20207:02 PM UPDATED MAY 16, 2020 | 10:22 PM

An explosion in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday caused a large fire that left 11 firefighters injured, authorities said.

Firefighters first received a call about 6:30 p.m. about a structure fire in the 300 block of Boyd Street south of Little Tokyo, said Erik Scott, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department.

While firefighters were inside attempting to find the source of the blaze, there was “a significant explosion, very high, very wide, rumbling the entire area,” Scott said. The explosion was so powerful that it blackened a fire engine parked across the street and melted the helmets of some firefighters, he said.

Eleven firefighters were receiving treatment for burn injuries, Scott said. All were taken to County-USC Medical Center. At a news conference at the hospital late Saturday night, Mayor Eric Garcetti said three of the firefighters sustained critical but not life-threating injuries. All were expected to survive.

“We’ve been saying for the last two months even more than usual how much we appreciate our medical personnel and first responders,” Garcetti said. “Tonight I’m doubly and deeply grateful for the both of them.”

Scott said more than 240 firefighters had responded to the blaze before it was extinguished shortly after 8 p.m. An initial investigation of the scene identified the business as Smoke Tokes, a warehouse distributor with supplies for butane hash oil, he said. The cause of the fire has not been determined.

“It’s very tough to see our brothers and sisters go through something like this,” Scott said.

He described how several firefighters were inside the building and on the roof fighting the initial blaze when the explosion occurred, causing a tremendous roar that arriving personnel described as sounding like “a freight train or a jet engine.”

A massive ball of flame erupted out of the building, Scott said. Firefighters ran “straight through that ball of flame to get to safety across the street,” he said.

Major fire in Little Tokyo/downtown Los Angeles at San Pedro and Third. Dangerously close to Skid Row residents, senior and low income housing. Major smoke screen, ash is raining for blocks.

Jeralyn Cleveland was celebrating a family birthday party on the roof of the 13-story apartment building she manages three blocks away when she saw the explosion.

“Everyone in my building thought there was a bomb that went off,” said Cleveland, 37. “It was like a mushroom.”

Cleveland said there are small fires all the time in the neighborhood, which borders skid row, but she had never seen anything like this before.

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.

Fire Sprinkler System Inspections Save Lives | Corona, CA

fire sprinklers

We all want to make sure we are protected from fire. Not only ourselves and our property, but our staff and neighbors are also at risk if something happens and a fire breaks out. One way to do this is with fire sprinklers. They are fast-acting and can really prevent damages by fire that would be happening while waiting for the fire department to arrive. But like anything, they become victims to wear and tear. This is why it is important to fire your fire sprinkler system inspected regularly. If you doubt the importance of fire sprinkler inspections, here are a few reasons to convince you why you should take them seriously:

Water supply and pressure. The efficiency of a fire sprinkler system relies on the available water supply. If too low, then the system won’t be able to work as it is intended to and fires will spread quicker, rendering the sprinklers almost useless.

Proper water flow.  While pressure is checked during the initial design and installation phase, continued periodical checking makes sure the fire sprinkler system is okay and working properly.

Obstruction-free. The whole system will also be checked for obstructions that may damage the system. These obstructions are then cleaned out periodically to make sure that the fire sprinkler system works as intended.

It may be required by law. In most states, including California, the National Fire Protection Agency have set out quite a few regulations regarding fire sprinkler systems. They mandate the installation of such systems, especially in commercial buildings, but also require them to be checked periodically by a licensed inspector.

For more information about fire sprinkler inspection, 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.

Fire Heavily Damages Two Downtown Natchitoches Businesses | Corona, CA

NATCHITOCHES, La. — Natchitoches firefighters and first responders responded to a fire in downtown Natchitoches Thursday morning. The fire on the north end of Front Street heavily damaged Mayeaux’s and All Tangled Up salon. Residents in the nearby apartments were alerted and were on standby in the event the fire spread, the Natchitoches Times reported. There were no evacuations. The fire department was able to keep the fire contained.

The Natchitoches Parish Journal shared dramatic video with KTBS 3 of the desperate attempts to extinguish the fire.

Natchitoches Fire Chief John Wynn said they received the call at 5:34 a.m. from the city police.

“We got on scene and made attack, and evidently it looks like it had been burning for a time. That’s about all we know right now until we can make further access inside,” Wynn told the Natchitoches Times. “All of our units are on scene and we called District 6 to come help us supplement water from their truck.”

He said the point of origin will possibly be determined once they make entry and conduct their investigation. “We have to get crews inside to see,” Wynn said.

Wynn said there were no known injuries to the public or his firemen and women as of 8:45 a.m.

For more information about fire suppression, 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.

Putting Out Fires with Foam | Corona, CA

Extinguishers, sprinklers, hoses, even a towel – there are many ways to put out a fire. It really just depends on the situation and the type of fire. Firefighting foam systems suppress fire by separating the fuel from the air. Depending on the type of foam system, this is done in a few different ways:

  • Foam covers the fuel surface and smothers the fire.
  • The fuel source is cooled by the foam’s water content.
  • The foam blanket suppresses the release of flammable vapors that can mix with the air.

Engineered and manufactured fire suppression systems ensure a rapid, thorough, and economical response to fires and spills.  Customized to application specifications, our dependable engineered systems include bladder tanks and pump-type balanced-pressure proportioning systems; in-line balanced-pressure proportioning systems; high-expansion foam systems; large dry chemical systems and skids; twin-agent systems and skids; foam trailers; large dry chemical and twin-agent trailers; monitor trailers; aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) pump systems; water-powered AFFF pump skids; foam/water monitors; nozzles; eductors; ratio-flow controllers; foam makers; foam chambers, and specialized proportioning storage and monitor trailers.

Listed high-expansion foam systems provide fire-fighting protection for diverse applications: aircraft hangars; basements; cable tunnels; flammable packaging areas; flammable liquid  drum storage areas; hazardous waste facilities; LNG tank farms and loading facilities; mines; roll-paper warehouses; shipboard engine rooms, bilges, and holds; storage buildings; warehouses; and fire breaks.  The light, voluminous foam blanket produced by our high-expansion foam systems can quickly obtain great heights, reaching elevated flammable materials (such as on storage racks).  The foam blanket efficiently transports small amounts of water to the fire, encapsulating the flammable vapors and causing suppression and extinguishment.

Are you curious to see how it works? Click here.

For more information about our foam systems, 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 the Coronavirus Pandemic Is Crippling California’s Efforts to Prevent Catastrophic Wildfires | Corona, CA

Kurtis Alexander March 25, 2020 Updated: March 25, 2020 9:04 a.m.

California’s ability to prepare for a dry and potentially dangerous fire season this year is being crippled as the coronavirus pandemic prompts fire agencies across the West to cancel or delay programs aimed at preventing catastrophic wildfire. From clearing out undergrowth in forests to training firefighters to tamp out flames, local, state and federal fire forces are trying to move forward within new social distancing guidelines, as well as with potentially sick employees, but that’s making their work harder and sometimes impossible to do.

The U.S. Forest Service, which oversees more than half of California’s wildlands, announced last week that it was suspending all prescribed burns, one of the most effective tools for increasing California’s resiliency to fire. The state’s Cal Fire agency, meanwhile, says it won’t halt its vegetation management activities — at least at this point — but it is rethinking how, when and where they’re done.

Spring fire preparations are considered vital to readying California for the warmer, drier summer and fall. Wildfire experts worry that disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak will not only increase the fire threat in the coming months but also sap momentum from a yearslong effort to make sure the state can weather the types of mega-fires recently seen in Butte County and Wine Country.

“If we don’t increase prescribed fire, restoration thinning and managed wildfire, we will never get out of our current forest problems,” said Scott Stephens, a professor of fire science at UC Berkeley. “Suspending prescribed fire further puts us in a hole in terms of long-term activities to increase forest resilience to climate change, wildfire and drought.”

Officials with the U.S. Forest Service, which oversees the nation’s largest firefighting force, said they were halting their burn program indefinitely so that communities wouldn’t have to deal with smoke during new shelter-in-place orders as well as for the safety of employees. About 5,000 Forest Service firefighters work in California.

Those conducting prescribed burns routinely travel in groups to burn sites, often across long distances. The work itself is done in crews of up to 20 members. Health experts have advised people to stay at least 6 feet away from others to prevent spread of the highly contagious coronavirus, and the White House has issued guidelines discouraging gatherings of more than 10.

The suspension of the burn program comes as the federal government, in concert with states like California, was beginning to initiate new, aggressive goals for prescribed fire in response to deadly blazes like the 2018 Camp Fire, which killed 85 people. Such infernos have helped put a spotlight on the perilous, overgrown condition of the nation’s forests, and burning off the thick brush and dead trees has proved a cost-effective solution.

“A lot of people were looking forward to this year being a ramping up of prescribed fire,” said Malcolm North, a professor of plant sciences at UC Davis who works with the U.S. Forest Service in the Sierra Nevada. “My concern now is that we’re going to be more reactive to fire than proactive.”

In response to the pandemic, the U.S. Forest Service has also called off in-person fire training through at least April 3 and canceled meetings where planning and risk assessment is done for fire season.

Like many businesses, the federal agency has moved many work discussions and training sessions online. However, surveying the landscape for fire danger and learning how to drive a fire engine are tough to do via Zoom.

“Training that cannot be done virtually will either be conducted in smaller groups or a waiver may be given until the training can be completed at a later date,” said Jonathan Groveman, spokesman for the Pacific Southwest Region of the Forest Service, in a statement to The Chronicle.

The biggest challenge may lie ahead as making adjustments, including social distancing, only gets harder come fire season. It’s a reality that fire officials have just begun to ponder.

The big wildfires that burn in California typically draw hundreds, if not thousands, of firefighters into densely packed tent cities, where they work, eat and sleep together for weeks. Norovirusoutbreaks are common, and the more severe coronavirus would probably find ripe breeding grounds there.

If the virus continues to spread, as many medical experts expect, some firefighters might be too sick to make it to the front lines. Already, local fire departments have begun to report that some of their employees are infected by the virus or showing symptoms of the corresponding illness, COVID-19.

“The thing I worry about is firefighter health and wellness,” said Kelly Martin, the recently retired chief of Yosemite National Park’s fire program. “Our firefighting workforce is already stretched to the max in terms of the year-to-year response to these large fires where whole communities are being destroyed. The firefighters are already seeing a toll.”

Martin advises that residents in rural and wooded areas prepare for a less robust response from fire agencies this year. She encourages more home hardening for wildfire and clearing more vegetation around houses. “Don’t always count on the helicopters and the air tankers and the firefighters to be there,” she said.

In Grass Valley (Nevada County), a community in the Sierra foothills that has come together in recent years to address the area’s high fire risk, residents are trying to continue neighborhood fire-prevention work despite the obstacles posed by the coronavirus.

“We’re not going to have our April meeting, and we don’t know about May,” said Susan Rogers, 68, an organizing member of the Nevada County Coalition of Firewise Communities. “But we can put stuff on our website and link people to it. That’s how we’ll keep people updated for now.”

Officials at Cal Fire say they’re also continuing to help communities get prepared. They don’t plan to stop their house-to-house safety inspections, which they do thousands of each spring, nor curtail the work of crews that trim trees and cut fire breaks around homes.

Cal Fire’s academies for new and seasonal firefighters will go on as well. The agency expects to have close to 7,000 total firefighters at work during peak season. “We don’t know what’s going to happen, but rest assured, we will respond accordingly,” said Scott McLean, spokesman for Cal Fire. “That is our job.”

Kurtis Alexander is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: kalexander@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @kurtisalexander

For more information about our services, 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.

Do You Have a Fire Escape Plan? | Corona, CA

Now that we have been sequestered to our homes, it’s a good time to ask yourself – what happens if there’s a fire? Are you and your family safe? One way to ensure that you and your loved ones are safe is to have a fire escape plan set in place.

Yes, having smoke alarms and fire extinguishers are necessary features for every home, but there are times when a fire spreads so quickly, you need to get out of the house as fast as you can to ensure everyone is safe. Because smoke alarms don’t activate until the smoke reaches their sensors, they don’t leave a whole lot of time to get out. If you have a designated route for each room to take, and you practice fire drills occasionally, the chances of you making it out safe and sound rise dramatically. After all, remaining calm is the best advice to have when a fire breaks out. Knowing what you are doing will help you do just that. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when designing your fire escape plan:

  • Use a floor plan to designate two escape routes per room.
  • Have a smoke alarm in every sleeping room and on every floor.
  • Keep routes clear and windows easy to open.
  • Choose a meeting place a safe distance away from your home.
  • Make sure your street numbers can be easily seen by the fire department and memorize the phone number of the fire department.
  • If your windows have security bars, make sure there are emergency release devices inside.
  • If there are babies or family members with mobility issues, make sure everyone can pitch in to help ensure they are safe as well.

For more information about our services, 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.