Tag Archives: fire protection

Reasons You Need Fire Sprinklers | Corona, CA

While it’s true that most commercial buildings, and in many cases even residential ones, have some form of fire protection systems installed, not all put a premium on just how important they are. In fact, many often only have such systems installed because of certain bylaws or as requirements for certifications. If owners were given the chance, most commercial buildings probably wouldn’t have any kind of fire protection system installed, except for maybe a fire extinguisher or two.

According to the United States’ NFPA, residential fire sprinkler systems increase the resident’s survival expectancy during an accidental fire by as much as 80% because they’re the fastest to respond and control a fire at its exact point of origin.

While it is easy to raise the point on how fire extinguishers are enough, one has to remember that in fires, it’s not the heat nor flames that are the most dangerous. Rather, the aspect that poses the most hazard to one’s health are the toxic fumes and smoke produced by a fire. Even with fire sprinkler systems, toxic fumes and smoke will still be there, but their production will be significantly reduced to breathable levels, which could easily mean the difference between life and death.

It’s also important to remember that sudden fires can easily spread out to uncontrollable levels in just a few seconds. However, with fire sprinklers, that few seconds could extend to as much as 10 minutes, which is more than enough time for people to evacuate the vicinity and for the firefighters to arrive.

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.

Fire at West L.A. High-Rise Sends Residents Scrambling for Safety; Two Critically Injured | Corona, CA

By Hannah Fry, Alejandra Reyes-Velarde, Luke Money, Sonja Sharp

JAN. 29, 2020 9:54 PM

A fire broke out Wednesday morning in a 25-story Westside residential building, sending residents climbing out windows and fleeing to the rooftop to escape the flames. The blaze, which erupted on the sixth floor at the Barrington Plaza apartments in the 11700 block of Wilshire Boulevard, was reported shortly after 8:30 a.m. by fire crews, who were tending a nearby blaze that had begun earlier.

At least 300 firefighters responded to help battle the fire and evacuate residents inside the building. Eleven residents were injured; seven were sent to a hospital for treatment, including a 3-month-old baby, and four were treated at the scene. Most were suffering from smoke inhalation. Two firefighters suffered minor burns.

One 30-year-old man required CPR and was listed in grave condition Wednesday afternoon, and another 30-year-old man was in critical condition, according to Los Angeles Fire Capt. Erik Scott. “The preliminary information is the two most critically injured … were both in the unit of fire origin,” Scott said.

Fire officials initially reported that some people had jumped from the building to escape the flames. Authorities later clarified that two people contemplated jumping but were rescued by fire officials. Residents crawled on their bellies through thick smoke to escape. One man was seen clinging to a ledge before a fire ladder was hoisted up to him. “This could have been much worse,” Scott said.

Fire officials said residents won’t be allowed back into the building overnight while they investigate the blaze, which was deemed suspicious.

Firefighters took an unconventional approach in battling the flames, hosing the building from the outside in an effort to cool the units before allowing firefighters to tackle the flames inside. The bulk of the fire was on the sixth floor of the 240-unit high-rise, though three other levels were damaged by smoke, officials said.

While some crews focused on the fire inside, others were tasked with evacuations. At least 15 people, some in bathrobes, were airlifted to safety from the building’s rooftop. Officials said it was the first time the fire chopper had been used in rescue efforts. “This was a herculean effort by the members of the Los Angeles Fire Department,” said Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas. “It takes a lot of coordination, and our resources did a good job.”

After an intense, hourlong battle that was made more challenging by strong winds gusting up to 35 mph, firefighters were able to knock down the flames shortly before 10 a.m. Deputy Police Chief Justin Eisenberg said the Los Angeles Police Department and arson investigators were studying the blaze to determine whether it was criminal or accidental. No one has been arrested in connection with the fire, he said. The separate fire that started earlier in the morning about three blocks away also is part of the investigation.

Mackenzie Williams, 25, said she was driving to work at Pure Barre — a fitness studio at Wilshire Boulevard and Granville Avenue — about 9 a.m. when she “saw one firetruck pass by me, then I saw two, then I saw 10, then I saw about 20, so I definitely knew something was going on.” After seeing smoke pouring from the building and the helicopter evacuations, she said, “I just hope everyone is OK over there.”

John Tavakoli was outside when the floor where his grandmother lives burst into flames. As firefighters rushed to evacuate her and her neighbors, his initial horror settled into smoldering rage — another fire like this one had burned here a few years ago, but little had changed. Like others, he blamed the revolving door of short-term renters for unsafe conditions in the building.

“A lot of people Airbnb here.” he said. “They party all night — they’re up until 2 a.m. on a Tuesday.”

Meanwhile, he said, safety issues have gone unaddressed.

“Our rent goes up, utilities go up, but one elevator’s always broken,” he said.

Resident Gavyn Straus stood barefoot on the sidewalk, holding a towel around his American-flag bathing suit as he watched a Sheriff’s Department helicopter hoisting stranded neighbors off the roof. He had been in the pool swimming laps when he turned his head for a breath and noticed the smoke. Right away, he leaped out of the pool and dashed up to alert neighbors on his floor.

The smoke “was like a black wall” on the seventh floor, he said. Higher up, he started banging on doors, telling neighbors to get out.

Twins Kristina and Kimberly Pagano, recent UCLA grads, were asleep in their apartment when the fire broke out. They woke up to the sound of firetrucks. Moments later, the building fire alarm went off, and they rushed outside.

Both immediately thought of the 2013 fire, believed to have been sparked by a cigarette. The building still allows residents to smoke in their units on designated floors, which the sisters had toured before moving in. Like others, they said the building hosts a large number of short-term visitors.

“We always see people with luggage,” Kristina said.

“It’s like a hotel,” Kimberly agreed.

Officials have said that there is no indication the fire was caused by anyone smoking inside or that it broke out in a unit rented as an Airbnb. The building is covered by L.A.’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance, which limits annual rent increases for tenants, but some of its units are exempt from that law, according to housing department spokeswoman Sandra Mendoza. Under an ordinance that went into effect last year, Angelenos cannot rent out their apartments for short stays if they live in a rent-stabilized unit.

The 2013 fire erupted on the 11th floor of the building, displacing up to 150 residents and injuring two people. It also raised concerns about a lack of sprinkler systems in some buildings in Los Angeles. Barrington Plaza was not equipped with a sprinkler system at the time. Because it was built nearly 60 years ago, it does not fall under state regulations later adopted that forced buildings taller than 75 feet to include such fire-suppression systems unless granted an exemption.

Los Angeles has a loophole in its fire code that allows 71 residential high-rises to house tenants despite having no fire sprinklers in the buildings. The structures were built between 1943 and 1974, when new codes required sprinklers.

Deputy Chief Armando Hogan said Wednesday the building still does not have sprinklers. There have been repeated attempts to require older buildings to install sprinkler systems, including a push after Barrington Plaza’s last fire, but landlords at the time argued they would cost too much.

A year ago, the City Council again tabled a proposal to require sprinklers in all buildings. One of the sponsors of the measure said the issue lost momentum amid opposition from landlords, but Councilman Mike Bonin said he will reintroduce a mandate for sprinklers in light of the latest blaze.

Curtis Massey, chief executive of fire safety consulting company Massey Emergency Management, said the sprinkler systems typically seen in modern high-rises quickly douse flames before they have a chance to spread. “It’s like an on-duty 24-hour firefighter that’s able to respond faster in most circumstances to a fire than the building staff or the fire department,” said Massey, whose company has worked on fire preparedness plans for Century Plaza and the Wilshire Grand Center.

Modern fire safety features also include elevator and stairwell-pressurization systems that keep the smoke out of those areas, he said.

In 2014, a group of tenants in the high-rise sued the building’s corporate owner for negligence. According to residents, several fire alarms failed to sound in Barrington Plaza as the October 2013 blaze spread. A door to the roof was locked and the stairwells filled with choking smoke, tenants said. “The conditions at the supposedly high-end apartment building were atrocious,” attorney Mark Geragos said at the time.

Resident Ivo Gerscovich’s 2-year-old daughter and father-in-law were found unconscious in a smoke-filled stairwell above the 20th floor during the 2013 fire. “It’s a deathtrap,” Gerscovich said then. “It’s totally insane and indefensible.” Ben Meiselas, an attorney with Geragos’ firm, said the building “is a relic of the 1960s.” “It conformed to codes of the 1960s, and since that time, they’ve availed themselves through grandfather clauses of the building codes of that bygone era,” he said.

Meiselas said building owners should be required to prominently display whether their structures adhere to current codes. “You have this building that advertises itself as a class-A luxury building, but back in 2013, at least, it really had fundamental safety issues,” he said.

Residents said that they weren’t aware of any additional safety measures. “This situation really scares me,” said Ploy Pengsomboon, who was able to evacuate from her ninth-floor unit only after smelling smoke and hearing firetruck sirens. “I’m scared if one day I’m in a deep sleep and something like this happens. I didn’t get a chance to prepare. They should tell everyone to get out and shouldn’t let us learn about it ourselves.”

The blaring of a fire alarm woke 84-year-old Dan Karzen, who has lived in Barrington Plaza for 20 years. “I had my pajamas on, so I had to hurry to put some clothes on, grab my phone and walk out the door of my 16th-floor apartment,” Karzen said. “I knew it was bad because there was all this smoke.”

After leaving the building, he crossed the street to a strip mall, where he stopped to await word from fire officials. “I don’t know when we’re going to go back in, and I don’t want to leave because all my stuff is up there,” he said.

When Liz Bowers was jolted awake by sirens, she smelled smoke and immediately thought it couldn’t be another fire, remembering the 2013 blaze. But when she looked out her window, there it was. “I was like … it’s Tower A again,” she said. She had a clear view of the flames and clouds of black smoke. She could hear screams and windows blowing out from the heat of the flames. Bowers ran downstairs to the public pool area shared by the two buildings and continued watching as firefighters worked to quell the flames and rescue residents. After witnessing the dramatic events, she decided she’d had enough. She needs to move out.

Bowers thought about all the times she could smell cigarette and marijuana smoke from her apartment, the result of little oversight from building managers, she said. She spent three years knocking on the leasing office’s door, writing letters and making phone calls to building managers. Eventually, she gave up. “They should have put sprinklers in after the [2013] fire,” she said. “They let everybody smoke. There’s a lot of Airbnb [rentals]. You get all these people coming into party and smoke pot. The landlords don’t care.”

Times staff writers Matt Stiles, Dakota Smith, Colleen Shalby, Andrew J. Campa, Emily Alpert Reyes, James Rainey and Matthew Ormseth contributed to this report.

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.

How to Design a Fire Protection System | Corona, CA

We all want to be safe from the harm and damage that comes from a fire. No one wants to lose anything or anyone due to an accidental fire. Unfortunately, this can’t be helped – they’re called accidents for a reason. This is why it is so important to be prepared, in case one of these accidents arises. One way to do this is by designing a fire protection for you and your valuables. But, where does one even begin?

The design of fire protection systems is a multi-step process beginning with an assessment of the environment to be protected. Factors both internal and external to the environment are considered. We begin with a site survey of the facility then provide the client with appropriate alternatives based on an assessment of the fire protection and life safety needs. Once a decision is made on the specific type of system required, we assign a primary engineer to the project that then develops the appropriate engineering design.

Our CAD design services include:

  • Fire sprinkler design drawings with as much detail as required and then some.
  • All designs are based on the latest NFPA codes. All schematic CAD drawings include underground fire supply, riser details with location within structure, main and branch line locations, sprinkler head type and location.
  • Bid drawings can also include back-up specifications, water analysis, and hydraulic calculations.
  • Fire sprinkler fabrication/installation/coordination drawings include all compliments listed above including computer generated shop drawings, hydraulic calculations and material submittals.
  • Fire Pump and/or ground storage tank installation drawings with all associated piping and equipment.
  • Special hazard suppression system fabrication/installation drawings.

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.

Family Puts out Christmas Fire After Kid Sets Lawn Ablaze with Magnifying Glass | Corona, CA

Dec. 30, 2019, 8:52 PM PST / Source: TODAY

By Samantha Kubota

Almost every family that celebrates Christmas has a ridiculous story of how someone got into some shenanigans at some point — but it seems likely that only one Texas family can say that this December they accidentally set their lawn ablaze with a magnifying glass.

Nissa-Lynn Parson was not surprised when her 12-year-old Cayden asked for the magnifying glass for Christmas. She explained he loves reading and science, so she assumed that was why he wanted it. “It’s like a basketball player asking for basketball shoes,” she added.

The family donned their matching pajamas and opened presents on the big day. After the exchange, the kids went outside to try to burn a few holes into newspapers with Cayden’s gift. “We were watching it and everything,” Parson explained. “I was happy they were outside playing together! They weren’t playing video games and wanted to go outside.”

Her 15-year-old was holding a paper that caught fire and the wind blew it out of his hands, Parson said, and into the lawn.

“The kids ran inside and said ‘Mom, dad, we got a little bit of the grass on fire!’” she said. They rushed outside and within seconds, the whole lawn was ablaze.

“We’re all in Christmas pajamas, someone had a bucket of water, my husband turned the sprinklers on,” she said. “We got it contained and it wasn’t a problem.”

The family fire brigade was able to extinguish the blaze without calling the fire department. “It could’ve been a lot worse,” Parson said. “We were very blessed and thankful it wasn’t worse.” The fire even took out a small part of their neighbor’s lawn, but Parson said they took it well. “They were totally understanding and they kind of laughed because they also have kids,” she said.

She believes part of the reason her Facebook post went viral was because so many people can identify with it. “I think that’s one of the reasons this story took off, because so many people related,” she said. “(We’re lucky) it just turned out to be a Christmas memory and not a tragedy.”

Samantha Kubota is a digital journalist and editor for TODAY.com.

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.

Stay Safe this Holiday Season | Corona, CA

The holiday season is the time of year for family, friends and lots of fantastic festivities. We take a lot of pride in our homes and spend lots of time decorating them to the nines, but we also need to take some time to keep your home and everyone safe and sound. Accidents happen, but they can be prevented by keeping a few tips in mind as we prepare our homes for the celebrations:

Prepare for the worst. First thing’s first – make sure all of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are tested and running properly. It is also important that everyone in your home knows the fire escape plan, just in case something happens, and you need to exit quickly.

Pamper your pine. An average of 230 home fires that start with Christmas trees each year. If you have a live tree in your home, make sure you get a fresh one and water them daily so that it doesn’t dry out before the holidays are over. If it’s artificial, make sure there is a fire-resistant label.

Check your cords. When it comes to holiday décor, make sure to check all light strands and decorations for any frays or cord damage that may have happened over the year. Never connect more than three at a time and avoid overloading the outlets. Make sure to turn off any sort of holiday lighting before you leave the house or fall asleep.

Stay warm. As you plug in your heaters and spark your fireplaces, ensure that anything that can catch fire is at least three feet away. If you are lighting candles, snuff them out before you leave the room or head off to bed.

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.

Canyon Fire Burn Area Winter Preparedness | Corona, CA

When rainfall events are predicted, stay alert, and monitor information sources. Those living in this area should follow city information and think about what to do should they be asked to leave their homes.

Based off predicted rainfall amounts and the duration of time in which it will occur, the National Weather Service (NWS) may issue a Flash Flood Warning. Flash Flood Warnings will be given via television, radio and wireless emergency alerts if your device is compatible. In the event a Flash Flood Warning is issued for the Canyon Fire burn area, evacuation orders may be given. If you are told to evacuate, please adhere to these orders, as they are given to ensure your safety.

The City of Corona has a local notification system that will send telephone notifications to resident and business during an emergency. Only landlines are in the system. Register your cell phone number and select if you would like to receive an additional notification by email and/or text. Visit www.CoronaCA.gov/ENS to register!

Remember when rainfall events are predicted regardless how large or small, stay vigilant as weather can change quickly.

In preparation for upcoming storms, up to ten free pre-filled sandbags are available for Corona residents at Santana Park. There are also sandbags at Fire Station #5 at Canyon Crest for residents of the Canyon Fire burn area.

  • Santana Park: 598 Santana Way
  • Fire Station #5: 1200 Canyon Crest Drive

It is important to remember areas within and downslope of the Canyon Fire burned areas have an increased risk of erosion, flash flooding and debris flows. Remember when rainfall events are predicted regardless how large or small, stay vigilant as weather can change quickly.

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.

We’re Here to Help at CJ Suppression | Corona, CA

fire extinguisher service

Fire safety is important for both you and everything you’re responsible for. We are a one-stop shop for all of these needs because we are dedicated to supplying top notch service with quality end results:

Inspections/certifications. Our trained technicians perform all required inspections and testing to ensure your fire protection system is fully operational.

Title 19 (5-year inspection). This procedure inspects all components of your fire protection system and is performed every five years.

Annual. This procedure inspects the required components of your fire protection system on a yearly basis.

Quarterly. This procedure inspects the required components of your fire protection system every 3 months.

Fire pumps. Fire pump inspections are typically performed annually and more frequent depending on the authority having jurisdiction or insurance carrier.

Backflow. Testing and certification are required annually in most jurisdictions.

Flow tests. Hydrant flow testing are needed for system inspection/certification and water flow requirements for system hydraulic calculation design.

Kitchen hoods. We perform installation, inspection, testing, certification and cleaning of kitchen hoods per NFPA codes requirements.

Maintenance. We can provide a structured maintenance program with automatic scheduling within our in-house database.

Repairs. We provide repair service of any type of fire protection system from underground fire line to overhead wet, dry or special hazard systems.

24-hr emergency service. Our on-call staff can facilitate support for any type of emergency around the clock.

Employee training. We provide education and training sessions of all types of fire protection systems to employees and or management.

Fire extinguisher service. We specialize in service and sales of all fire extinguishers.

Fire extinguisher training. Our onsite training for any size company to ensure proper protocol in case of a fire event.

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.

When Tenant Improvements Are Necessary | Corona, CA

Having safe and protected buildings are a top priority for any landlord. Not only does it keep your tenants safe, but it also keeps your investment protected. And as time goes on, wear and tear take place and buildings need to have some improvements done. The same goes for fire safety – we need to invest some time and money in order to protect everyone and everything from a fire. Fire sprinklers are a fantastic investment in order to keep up your fire safety, but even this needs to be improved from time to time. It is time to call in a professional.

But where do you start? It can be a daunting task trying to figure out just what you need to be fire safe. You can rely on word of mouth, but can you be sure? When making tenant improvements, it is essential to confide in a reliable company that will get the job done in a timely manner. After all, improving anything will surely disrupt your daily business, so having things done quickly and correctly is necessary to keep things moving smoothly. The professionals of CJ Suppression have years of expertise with tenant improvements and specialize in all of the following:

  • Installation
  • Relocation
  • Rework within improvements
  • Remodels
  • Modifying fire sprinkler systems

Thorough tenant improvements ensure that your business runs smoothly and efficiently. For this reason, it is vital to rely on our company to avoid any complications. Call CJ Suppression in Corona, CA today and ask about how our experience with tenant improvements can help you.

For more information about tenant improvements, 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.

More Than 30 Injured in Texas Refinery Plant Explosion | Corona, CA

More Than 30 Injured in Texas Refinery Plant Explosion

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

The city of Baytown says that Irving-based Exxon Mobil has requested some nearby residents shelter in place as a precaution.

More than 30 people were injured in an explosion and subsequent fire at refinery plant fire near Houston, officials said.

The fire, which is burning polypropylene materials, started Wednesday morning at the Exxon Mobil Baytown Olefins plant, located about 25 miles east of Houston.

The city of Baytown says the fire is in an area that contains polypropylene material and that Irving-based Exxon Mobil has requested some nearby residents shelter in place as a precaution. Baytown city officials said three people suffered injuries and drove themselves to a hospital, according to Houston NBC affiliate KPRC.

Exxon Mobil issued the following written statement about the fire:

“A fire has occurred at the Baytown Olefins Plant. Our fire teams are working to extinguish the fire. We are conducting personnel accounting. Our first priority remains the safety of people, including our employees, contractors and the surrounding community. As a precaution, our Industrial Hygiene staff is conducting air quality monitoring at the site and fence line. We are cooperating with regulatory agencies. We deeply regret any disruption or inconvenience that this incident may have caused the community.”

The area has seen large fires this year involving other petrochemical companies, too.

In April, one worker died after a tank holding a flammable chemical caught fire in Crosby. And in March, a fire burned for days at a petrochemical storage facility in nearby Deer Park.

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.

Fighting Fire with Fire: Ventura County Crews Use Controlled Burns to Prevent Wildfires | Corona, CA

Jeremy Childs, Ventura County Star Published 1:54 p.m. PT May 30, 2019 | Updated 10:05 a.m. PT May 31, 2019

A new study backs up what Ventura County firefighters already knew: A controlled blaze at a time and place of their choosing can prevent a disaster later. With that in mind, local firefighters became fire starters when they conducted their first controlled burn of the year to get rid of built-up vegetation that can fuel a brush blaze into a monster wildfire.

Controlled burns like Wednesday’s – which cleared at least seven acres of tall grass on a ranch in Hidden Valley – can also revitalize soil and give trainees the skills to battle wildfires. Yet despite their effectiveness, a study concluded not enough controlled burns are taking place in the western U.S. to keep wildfires from raging out of control.

The study by University of Idaho researcher Crystal A. Kolden laid the blame mostly on federal agencies that control large amounts of land in the West.

But Kolden conceded that the agencies’ resources are also consumed by firefighting instead of prevention and that they’re dealing with a public that’s more fearful of controlled burns in the western U.S. than elsewhere. Public concerns include excessive smoke and flames getting out of control.

Even if federal agencies seem reluctant to conduct controlled burns, state and local agencies aren’t, the study found.

“Whenever we have to opportunity to do them, we do them,” said Capt. Brian McGrath, a spokesman for the Ventura County Fire Department.

He said his agency is committed to using controlled burns to prevent wildfires, a sentiment echoed by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, also known as Cal Fire.

Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean said the state has stepped up its prevention efforts after a series of major wildfire seasons that included Ventura County’s Thomas, Woolsey and Hill fires. “The idea behind it is to provide for the safety and protection of property and bring our forests and lands back to resiliency,” McLean said, noting that the recent drought has increased the amount of dry vegetation that fuels wildfires.

‘We have a lot of work ahead of us’

Tasked by Gov. Gavin Newsom with identifying the top 35 areas where fuel-reduction efforts are needed, Cal Fire has come up with about 90,000 acres of land to target. As of early May, Cal Fire had burned 10,518 acres this year, according to McLean, a number that’s grown in the past 30 days.

The state has increased funding for the efforts, letting Cal Fire dedicate six hand crews to thinning wildfire fuel, and has sent 110 National Guard troops to help for six months.

Cal Fire has also performed about 100,000 inspections of defensible spaces this year, and aims to complete 250,000 through December. Despite the doubled-down efforts, McLean cautioned against thinking the problem is taken care of with extra money and resources. “We have a lot of work ahead of us for quite some time,” he said.

The burden in California may be on Cal Fire and local agencies.

Kolden’s study, published Wednesday in the peer-reviewed journal Fire, showed that in places where controlled burns have increased in the past two decades, they’ve mostly been conducted by state or local agencies. In the same period, controlled burns by federal agencies shrank from more than 90% of burns to less than 30%.

Kolden found that from 1998 to 2018, controlled burns grew in acreage by 5% per year throughout the U.S., although there was a 2.3% decrease in Southern California. Kolden found 70% of all controlled burns and 98% of the increase was in the southeastern U.S., which Kolden said could be why that region has seen fewer recent wildfire disasters than the western U.S.

‘There’s a lot to take into account’

While the Ventura County Fire Department may be sold on the idea, conducting controlled burns is easier said than done, according to McGrath. Choosing the location alone can be complicated. “You have to take into consideration the impact on wildlife, water runoff, the type of fuel,” McGrath said. “There’s a lot to take into account.”

The jurisdiction of the land can also play a huge role, as state or federal land is more highly regulated than county or privately-owned land.

“It’s a lot easier to do on private property,” McGrath said. “We’re under the same protocol as an agriculture company burning their crops.”

Even with a location picked out, unexpected factors such as high temperatures or gusty winds can delay controlled burns. McGrath said his agency works closely with the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District to determine the best days to perform burns.

But Mother Nature sometimes beats firefighters to the punch.

“We had a half dozen scheduled, and the Thomas Fire took them all out,” McGrath said.

Jeremy Childs is a breaking news and public safety reporter covering the night shift for the Ventura County Star. He can be reached by calling 805-437-0208 or emailing jeremy.childs@vcstar.com.

For more information about wildfire 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.