Tag Archives: fire updates

El Dorado Fire Burns 18,506 Acres, 63 Percent Contained | Corona, CA

INLAND EMPIRE, CA — Crews brought containment on the massive El Dorado Fire to 63 percent by Wednesday night, but thousands of evacuations were in place with 26,031 structures still threatened, fire officials said.

The “very dynamic” blaze had consumed 18,506 acres and injured 12 people, officials reported. More than 1,300 firefighting personnel are assigned to the blaze that has destroyed four homes and six outbuildings. It has damaged two other homes and six outbuildings, Cal Fire said.

“… great work by firefighting resources assigned to the El Dorado Fire continued today,” officials said Wednesday night. “The fire slowly backed down at low intensity into a retardant line placed along Hwy. 38 in the vicinity of Angelus Oaks. Ground crews were able to directly attack the fire utilizing hose lines to protect the community.”

A high-pressure weather system was in place Wednesday, causing hot and dry conditions, according to Cal Fire.

Evacuation orders remained in effect for: Mountain Home Village, Forest Falls, Angelus Oaks and Seven Oaks. Big Bear residents are not under evacuation but are asked to remain alert and watch updated orders.

Fire officials are asking evacuated residents to remain patient as crews continue to work in their neighborhoods. A Red Cross evacuation center is located at the Redlands East Valley High School, 31000 E. Colton Ave. in Redlands. Highway 38 is closed between Bryant St. to the south and Onyx Summit to the north.

Smoke from the El Dorado, Bobcat and Valley fires is impacting Inland Empire air quality. A Daily Smoke Report issued by the Wildland Fire Air Quality Program is available, and residents can also visit www.airnow.gov for air quality updates in their area. Most of Riverside County is forecast to have unhealthful air quality on Wednesday, officials said.

Cal Fire officials said the brusher was sparked Sept. 5 by a smoke-emitting firework used at a gender-reveal gathering of family members at El Dorado Ranch Park in Yucaipa. Record heat and dry conditions helped the fire quickly spread north to the Yucaipa Ridge, fire officials said.

The Desert Sun reported that the family who planned the small gathering was cooperating with authorities and that no charges have been filed yet.

Fire officials told the publication that the family called 911 after trying to extinguish the blaze themselves. They remained on the scene until firefighters arrived according to the report.Cal Fire Capt. Bennet Milloy said the blaze remains under investigation.

“Those responsible for starting fires due to negligence or illegal activity can be held financially responsible and criminally responsible,” CalFire officials said Sunday.

Milloy said investigators are testing the mechanism used at the family gathering to see if it’s considered a “safe and sane” firework. But he said “safe and sane” pyrotechnic devices are illegal in Yucaipa.

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.

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.

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.

Refinery Fire in Metro Los Angeles Controlled by Firefighters | Corona, CA

CARSON, Calif. (AP) – Firefighters have controlled a fire at a large refinery in metro Los Angeles.

Massive flames could be seen burning from the Marathon Petroleum Corporation located 13 miles south of downtown Los Angeles. (Source: KABC/CNN)

The fire erupted late Tuesday at the Marathon Petroleum refinery in the city of Carson.

Firefighters were still pouring water onto part of the refinery early Wednesday, but large flames from the fire had disappeared. No injuries were reported. No harmful products were found in the air near the facility.

An explosion preceded the fire in a cooling tower, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The department said the fire sparked about 10:50 p.m. Crews confined the fire and shut off the fuel supply around 1 a.m. Wednesday, according to a tweet from the fire department. Authorities could not immediately say what sparked the fire.

Marathon is the largest refinery on the West Coast and the company’s website says the refinery has a crude oil capacity of 363,000 barrels daily.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved. Gray Media Group, Inc., 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.

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.

California Wildfires: Homes Burn in San Bernardino and Strong Winds Threaten to Stoke Other Blazes | Corona, CA

By Madeline Holcombe, Gianluca Mezzofiore and Jason Hanna, CNN

Updated 1:37 PM ET, Thu October 31, 2019

(CNN)Firefighters are trying to contain a wildfire that raced into part of San Bernardino in Southern California and engulfed a few homes overnight, and officials are urging more than 1,000 people to stay away while the battle goes on Thursday morning.

The Hillside Fire — which started sometime after midnight in the hills above San Bernardino — quickly consumed about 200 acres, officials said, and is one of at least 10 active wildfires in a state plagued by them in recent weeks.

Strong winds Thursday threaten to stoke the flames further. With gusts stronger than 50 mph expected in some areas, more than 17 million people in Southern California are under red flag warnings — meaning wind, humidity and other conditions are ripe for fires.

In northern San Bernardino, wind-driven flames moved from the hills and destroyed or damaged six homes and two other buildings by 7:30 a.m. (10:30 a.m. ET), San Bernardino County Fire Chief Don Trapp said.

Authorities rushed to alert residents as the flames swept into some neighborhoods overnight, stunning residents who’d been sleeping. No injuries have been reported.

Julien Cooper, 53, and his father were sleeping in Cooper’s San Bernardino home when he heard his phone ringing. He woke up and smelled smoke.

“Ten seconds later, I hear the doorbell and I already know what it is since we had a fire a week ago,” he told CNN. “It was the neighbor saying that there was a fire in the field.”

Cooper grabbed his dad and his dog, crossed the street to help the neighbor’s elderly mother evacuate and met up with a relative at a McDonald’s. Minutes later he returned home and grabbed some valuables — and his neighbor’s home was on fire.

Cooper took video of the neighbor’s house engulfed in flames. His nephew Henri Moser, who lives in Maine, shared it on Twitter. Cooper said he heard firefighters say they’d try to save his house, which had barely survived a wildfire 39 years earlier.

490 homes in San Bernardino evacuated

By mid-morning Thursday, firefighters had stopped the flames in at least one neighborhood where a home burned to the foundation, video from CNN affiliate KTLA showed. But fire was burning elsewhere near the city.

“This fire moves so fast that it’s imperative that people ‘evacuate when we ask them to,” San Bernardino County Fire Deputy Chief Kathleen Opliger said.

“It’s not a safe place to be.”

Evacuations have been ordered for about 490 homes in northern San Bernardino, accounting for about 1,300 people, the county fire department said. Hundreds of firefighters were there, trying to contain the flames, San Bernardino County Fire Department spokesman Chris Prater said.

The fire was a few miles away from Cal State San Bernardino, which was closed Thursday because the regional utility intentionally cut power as a precaution, hoping to prevent fires in the red-flag conditions. The campus lost power at 3:20 a.m. Thursday.

Just to the southeast, firefighters also were battling a blaze that erupted Thursday morning in Riverside County’s Jurupa Valley, prompting evacuations. With county fire officials reporting three homes there destroyed, workers at a pet adoption center prepared evacuations as flames licked nearby brush, an employee told KTLA.

Fires in the Los Angeles area

Thursday’s winds will be of no help to Los Angeles-area firefighters, who are battling several blazes.

The Getty Fire in Los Angeles, which began Monday, is threatening more than 7,000 homes, the Los Angeles Fire Department said. Most evacuations have been lifted, and the blaze is 39% contained.

And about 40 miles northwest of the city, the Easy Fire broke out in Simi Valley Wednesday. Wind gusts of hurricane force — at least 74 mph — were reported at a weather station about seven miles north of Simi Valley.

The Easy Fire quickly consumed more than 1,600 acres in Ventura County and threatened 6,500 homes, officials said. The fire forced school closures and mandatory evacuations of about 30,000 people in Simi Valley, officials said. Three firefighters have been hurt.

Those evacuations included the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, where the former President and his wife, Nancy, are buried. The facility appeared safe by Wednesday evening after firefighters responded.

The state has secured grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help fight several fires, including the Easy Fire and the blazes in San Bernadino and Riverside County, the governor’s office said. The grants allow affected local and state and agencies to apply for a 75% reimbursement of eligible fire suppression costs.

Power companies may be responsible for fires

The Simi Valley wildfire started near a Southern California Edison sub-transmission line, the power company said, adding that it has filed a report with the state Public Utilities Commission.

“SCE is conducting a review into the circumstances surrounding the fire, and will cooperate with all investigations into the origin and cause of the fire,” the company said in a statement.

The company said Tuesday that its equipment likely also contributed to the Woolsey Fire last November. The fire became one of the most destructive in the state, according to the California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection, killing three people and destroying more than 1,600 structures.

In Northern California, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) filed three reports with the California Public Utility Commission Wednesday indicating that its equipment may be involved in the start of three fires, according to officials.

Bill Johnson, CEO and President of PG&E Corp., told media the company has contacted the state about reports of videos possibly showing sparking powerlines at the Bethel Island and Oakley fires.

A third report was then filed linking its equipment to a fire in Milpitas, California.

“Troublemen observed wire down. They observed two houses, two cars, and a shed damaged by the fire. An on-site Milpitas Fire Department Investigator informed the troubleman that he was looking at the downed wire as a potential ignition source and collected a portion of the conductor into evidence,” PG&E said in a statement to CNN.

PG&E has been under scrutiny in recent years for the role its equipment played in several devastating fires across the state, including last year’s deadly Camp Fire, which killed 85 people. Over the last weeks, the utility has been enacting preventative shutoffs all over northern and central California.

California’s biggest fire is far from contained

North of the San Francisco Bay, the week-old Kincade Fire — the state’s largest active wildfire — has destroyed nearly 77,000 acres across Sonoma County and more than 260 structures, including more than 130 single-family homes, officials said.

It was about 60% contained as of Thursday morning. At the Sonoma County Airport, several airlines have canceled all flights for Thursday.

The Kincade Fire started October 23, but the cause is still under investigation.

The good news: Forecasters say winds in Northern California will weaken through Thursday, and more residents can go home.

CNN’s Cheri Mossburg, Joe Sutton, Holly Yan, Ray Sanchez and Dave Hennen 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.

Cal Fire Makes Progress on a Slew of Wildfires Raging Across Northern California | Corona, CA

BY VINCENT MOLESKI

SEPTEMBER 08, 2019 11:29 AM, UPDATED SEPTEMBER 08, 2019 12:26 PM

Cal Fire crews are working to fight fires across Northern California, with at least three major wildfires burning in Tehama, Butte and Lake counties. One of the largest wildfires in the region is the Red Bank Fire, burning west of Red Bluff in Tehama County. The Red Bank Fire was started by lightning on Thursday after weather officials warned of hazardous conditions and dry thunderstorms in the area.

The fire is currently 8,838 acres and 20% contained, according to Cal Fire. Cooler weather brought some relief to firefighters, Cal Fire said, but the situation is still dangerous.

“Although the humidities will be higher, the vegetation remains extremely dry and volatile,” Cal Fire said in a Red Bank status update. “Terrain and access will continue to challenge firefighting efforts.”

Evacuations remain in place between the Shasta-Trinity National Forest and the intersection of Four Corners and the Petty John, Hammer Loop and Weemasoul Road areas south of Vestal Road.

The Swedes Fire in Butte County east of Oroville doubled in size, reaching 400 acres, but Cal Fire crews have managed to contain 20% of the wildfire. The Swedes Fire started Saturday, growing in minutes to 50 acres and reaching 200 acres later in the day. The cause is still under investigation, Cal Fire said.

“Fire activity was minimal overnight as winds were light and relative humidity was high, and crews made good progress,” Cal Fire said in an update. “The focus for today is improving containment lines in areas of steep, rugged terrain.”

Evacuation orders remain on Mount Ida Road, Quality Lane, Deer Valley Road from Swedes Flat Road to Jernigan Way, Lost Horizon Drive to the Oro-Quincy Highway and Old Olive Highway to the Oro-Quincy Highway.

The Swedes Fire has destroyed two structures.

The Oak Fire, which Cal Fire said started near Kelseyville in Lake County Friday, was fully contained as of Sunday morning at 53 acres.

“Cal Fire and cooperating agencies made significant progress overnight by completing containment lines around the fire,” Cal Fire said in its final incident report for the Oak Fire. “Fire personnel will be extinguishing these areas today and will be checking the fire area over the next several days.”

All roads in the area are now open, but evacuations are still advised, according to Cal Fire. The Oak Fire destroyed one structure.

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.

Why California Is Having Its Mildest Fire Season in 20 Years | Corona, CA

By Paul Rogers

Firefighters and rural residents have been on edge about wildfires all year, after the Camp Fire, the deadliest in the United States in 100 years, obliterated the town of Paradise in Butte County last November, killing 86 people, and the Wine Country fires the year before destroyed more than 6,000 homes in a similar trail of death and destruction across Napa, Sonoma and Lake counties.

Yet in a run of much-needed good fortune, California has been spared this year — at least so far.

a screenshot of a cell phone

© Provided by MediaNews Group d/b/a Digital First Media

There are still at least two months left in fire season, and hot weather is forecast over the next two weeks, so things could change. But as of this week, fewer acres have burned in California this year than in any year since 1998, according to an analysis of 25 years of federal and state fire records by this news organization.

“It’s been great. We don’t want to see fire. We don’t want to see anybody hurt,” said Scott McLean, deputy chief of Cal Fire, the state’s primary firefighting agency. “Our troops need the break. They need the rest.”

From Jan. 1 through Aug. 21, a total of 65,360 acres burned statewide on all types of land, including private property, national forests, national parks and other lands. That’s a staggering 94 percent less than what had burned last year over the same period in California: 1,096,033 acres, an area more than three times the size of Los Angeles.

More noteworthy: This year’s total is 83 percent lower than the previous 10-year average through Aug. 21, which is 387,295 acres.

On Friday, as crews put the finishing touches on extinguishing the 600-acre Mountain fire north of Redding, no major fires were burning anywhere in California. In fact, the U.S. Forest Service has rated most of the state as at “moderate” risk for wildfires this week, issuing a map largely colored green while major parts of Nevada, Utah and Arizona were orange and red.

© Provided by MediaNews Group d/b/a Digital First Media

There are two main reasons for the lack of catastrophic fires this year, experts say.

First, this past winter was very wet across the state. Fed by soaking atmospheric river storms that barreled in off the Pacific Ocean, the Sierra Nevada snow pack grew to 161 percent of its historical average by April 1. Lake Tahoe filled to the top, and ski resorts stayed open until July.

Fires don’t burn in snow. At lower elevations, umbrellas were out a lot, too. Rains filled reservoirs and replenished rivers and groundwater basins that were still suffering from the state’s five-year drought, which ended in 2017. That drenched millions of acres, reducing fire risk.

Added to that, temperatures across much of California have been slightly cooler than normal so far this summer, even though other parts of the world have seen record heat waves as the climate continues to warm. Record wildfires are raging in Alaska, Siberia and the Amazon rainforest, for example, and last week federal scientists reported that July was the hottest month globally ever recorded back to 1880 when modern temperature records began

“We have epic fires elsewhere,”  said Craig Clements, professor of meteorology at San Jose State University and director of the school’s fire lab. “But because our weather locally was cooler and wetter, our fire danger was lower. But in the long term, the trends are showing we are going to have more drought and warmer temperatures. That’s going to affect wildfire.”

A key factor in wildfire risk in California is the moisture content of plants — basically, how much water they have soaked up. The more water they have, the more difficult it is for them to burn.

The moisture content of manzanita and chemise, two plants scientists regularly measure to gauge fire risk across California, is about 20 percent higher now in the Bay Area than average, Clements said.

So even though wet winters cause more grass to grow, he said, when larger vegetation like shrubs and trees soak up more moisture during wet winter and spring conditions, fires that start in the grasses don’t spread as rapidly to shrubs and trees as they do in dry years. That allows fire crews to make progress before the flames explode out of control and burn hundreds of homes.

“There have been a lot of ignitions, but the fires are being put out,” Clements said. “They aren’t spreading as fast this year.”

That’s what happened Thursday when an ominous fire began 15 miles north of Redding, near Shasta Lake. That blaze, called the Mountain Fire, immediately re-kindled memories of the Carr Fire last August, which started when a flat tire on a vehicle caused its metal rim to spark against the road. That fire burned for a month, charring 229,000 acres around Redding, killing three firefighters and five residents, destroying 1,600 buildings and causing $1.6 billion in damage.

As soon as the Mountain Fire started, Cal Fire, the Forest Service and local fire agencies leaped into action, sending more than 500 firefighters to the blaze in meadows, rural subdivisions and oak woodlands.

© Provided by MediaNews Group d/b/a Digital First Media Smoke rises from the Mountain Fire near Redding on Thursday. (Photo: Cal Fire)

Roughly 4,000 residents in the area near Shasta Lake were evacuated. But by Friday morning, the fire’s progress had halted at 600 acres, and crews said they expected it to be out by late Saturday. Three homes burned, but no one died.

“The concern was that we are looking at triple-digit heat with winds forecast for this week coming up,” said McLean. “We wanted to get ahead of the game. There are no flames there now, just a few hot spots.”

An analysis by this news organization of fire and weather records over the past 25 years shows that four of the five worst fire years back to 1994 all occurred after drier-than-normal winters and, similarly, four of the five mildest fire years, including this year, all occurred after wetter-than-normal winters.

There are exceptions. In late 2016 and early 2017, there was a very wet winter. But dry conditions followed in October, and by November, heavy winds knocked down power lines across the state, sparking fires across Napa, Sonoma and Lake counties.

With forecasters calling for hot weather over the next two weeks, fire crews are on alert, McLean said, adding that he hopes for rain in October to dramatically cut fire danger.

“We can’t be complacent,” he said. “We still have a long way to go. September and October are historically our worst months for fires. It only takes one spark.”

Mercury News researcher Leigh Poitinger contributed to this report.

For more information about fire season 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.

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.

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