Tag Archives: residential fire safety

Brush Fire in San Bernardino National Forest Stopped at 34 Acres, Temporarily Closes Highway 18 | Corona, CA

By RUBY GONZALES | rugonzales@scng.com and QUINN WILSON | qwilson@scng.com | San Gabriel Valley Tribune PUBLISHED: June 28, 2021 at 1:09 p.m. | UPDATED: June 28, 2021 at 6:54 p.m.

Firefighters on the ground, along with helicopters and planes, battled a brush fire on Monday, June 28, that started when a car crashed near Old Waterman Canyon Road in San Bernardino, temporarily shut down Highway 18 and burned 34 acres.

Update 1: Closure remains in place on SR-18 from 40th to 138 due to #PeakFire. Commuters must use other available routes to get up and down the mountain. It is unknown when closure will lift. #Caltrans8

— Caltrans District 8 (@Caltrans8) June 29, 2021

One firefighter suffered heat injury and was taken to a hospital.

The fire was burning in the forest, said Zach Behrens, a spokesman for the San Bernardino National Forest. There were no evacuations, he added.

The fire’s forward progress was stopped around 1:43 p.m., according to National Forest officials. By around 5:15 p.m., crews had reached 10 percent containment on the blaze.

#PeakFire update: now approximately 24 acres. Highway 18 closure is now in effect from Highway 138 down to 40th street. pic.twitter.com/7YKkN1pgs7

— San Bernardino National Forest (@SanBernardinoNF) June 28, 2021

The fire was reported around 10:50 a.m. off of Old Waterman Canyon Road. It headed west upslope, crossed Highway 18 and moved at a rapid rate, Behrens said.

The fire was determined to be ignited by a single-car crash involving a BMW that quickly spread to the adjacent vegetation, according to Lisa Cox, spokeswoman for the National Forest.

“This is a great opportunity to remind people that parking the side of the road where there’s any vegetation at all is not a good idea,” Cox said. “Of course, accidents happen, but if you ever need to pull over be sure to use one of the paved turnouts along highways like (Highway 18).”

Cox said firefighters responded to the initial call regarding the fire, then learned about the car crash. It was not immediately clear if anyone was injured in the crash or the subsequent car fire.

Authorities closed Highway 18, between 40th Street in San Bernardino and Highway 138 in Crestline. The upbound lanes were expected to be fully reopened at 8 p.m. while downbound will have one lane open through Tuesday morning, June 29, Caltrans said.

UPDATE: Upbound 18 will open fully at 8pm tonight. Downbound 18 will have one lane open at 8 pm tonight until further notice. At least through tomorrow morning. https://t.co/ztEmYA2MzV

— Caltrans District 8 (@Caltrans8) June 29, 2021

Behrens said 150 firefighters responded along with five helicopters and nine fixed-wing aircraft.

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

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

Tips to Prevent a Summer Fire Issue | Corona, CA

Now that we are beginning to get back into the social events of the summertime, it is important to remember that there are many fire hazards that take place specifically during these hot summer months. So, before you take off for that camping trip or spark up that BBQ, take a look at some fire safety tips to ensure that your summer celebrations go off without injury of loss of personal property.

Camping trips. If you are setting off to spend some quality time in nature, make sure to pack a fire extinguisher in case your campfire gets a bit out of control. Ensure the location of your fire is clean and free of any grassy areas, hanging tree branches or dry brush nearby. Gather small bits of tinder to spark your fire, then use larger pieces of wood to keep the fire going. Once you are ready for bed, douse the fire with water and sand so an accident isn’t going to happen while you sleep.

BBQs. Especially with the 4th of July upon us, BBQs are some of the best ways to celebrate our country’s birthday. Like social distancing, it is important to keep a three-foot distance between the grill and other objects or people that could be harmed if an ember goes rogue. If you use a gas grill, check for leaks. If you prefer charcoal, make sure you keep things outdoors to avoid CO2 poisoning.

Natural disasters. Summertime is the time of year lightning strikes run rampant. Avoid any natural disasters by keeping your landscaping tidy and your gutters clear.

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

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

‘It’s like having gasoline out there’: Grim fire season starts much drier in U.S. West than record-shattering 2020 | Corona, CA

by: Associated Press, Steve Kuzj, Lauren Lyster Posted: May 24, 2021 / 01:14 PM PDT / Updated: May 25, 2021 / 03:49 PM PDT

As bad as last year’s record-shattering fire season was, the western U.S. starts this year’s in even worse shape.

The soil in the West is record dry for this time of year. In much of the region, plants that fuel fires are also the driest scientists have seen. The vegetation is primed to ignite, especially in the Southwest where dead juniper trees are full of flammable needles.

“It’s like having gasoline out there,” said Brian Steinhardt, forest fire zone manager for Prescott and Coconino national forests in Arizona.

A climate change-fueled megadrought of more than 20 years is making conditions that lead to fire even more dangerous, scientists said. Rainfall in the Rockies and farther west was the second lowest on record in April, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“It means that the dice are loaded toward a lot of forest fire this year,” said Park Williams, a UCLA climate and fire scientist, who calculated that soil in the western half of the nation is the driest it has been since 1895. “This summer we’re going into fire season with drier fuels than we were at this time last year.”

In addition, the western drought is deepening week by week.

In late March, less than one-third of California was suffering extreme or exceptional drought. Now more than 73% is, according to the National Drought Monitor, which is based on precipitation, temperature, soil moisture and streamflow measurements. A year ago, heading into the record-smashing 2020 fire year when more than 4% of California burned, just 3% of the state was in extreme or exceptional drought.

But the outlook is worse elsewhere.

“I think the Southwest is really primed for a bad fire season,” University of Utah fire scientist Phil Dennison said. That’s because last year’s normal monsoon season, which brings much of the year’s rainfall, never showed up.

A year ago, none of Arizona, Nevada and Utah was in extreme or exceptional drought, but now more than 90% of Utah, 86% of Arizona and 75% of Nevada is in those highest drought categories, according to the drought monitor. New Mexico jumped from 4% extreme or exceptional drought a year ago to more than 77% now.

UCLA meteorologist Daniel Swain, who also works for the National Center for Atmospheric Research and The Nature Conservancy, said key factors going into fire season are soil and plant wetness.

“So is soil moisture very low? Is vegetation extremely dry? Absolutely, yes. Unequivocally, yes. Pretty much everywhere in California and the Southwest,” Swain said. “So that box is checked big time in a way that is going to massively increase the potential background flammability … given a spark, given extreme weather conditions.”

This doesn’t necessarily ensure the 2021 fire season will be worse than 2020. Last year more than 15,800 square miles of the United States burned, an area about the size of Maryland and Delaware combined. Several scientists said last year’s fires were stoked not just by hot, dry conditions, but by unusual situations that made a bad year horrific:

Two intense heat waves — one that nearly set a record for hottest temperature on Earth in Death Valley — set the stage, and a freak California lightning barrage provided lots of spark.

The lightning outbreak was the type that has happened only a few times in history and is unlikely to occur two years in a row, Swain said.

“Maybe it won’t be the hottest summer,” he said, adding. “I’m really grasping at straws here. All we have going for us is dumb luck.”

When the scientists see extremely dry or dying trees, they get even more worried.

In Arizona, junipers are succumbing to the 20-year drought and its two-year intensification, said Joel McMillin, a forest health zone leader for the U.S. Forest Service there. Officials haven’t done a precise count but anecdotally the die-off is 5% to 30% with some patches up to 60%.

Until the dead needles drop to the ground, which takes a year or so, the fire hazard increases, fire manager Steinhardt said. “So you have something that’s highly flammable and it’s … 20-, 30-, 40-foot tall and every single one of those needles on there now becomes an ember that can be launched.”

“This is probably one of the driest and potentially most challenging situations I’ve been in,” said the veteran of 32 fire seasons.

In California, normally drought-tolerant blue oaks are dying around the San Francisco Bay Area, said Scott Stephens, a fire science professor at the University of California, Berkeley. “They don’t have access to water. Soil moisture is so low. When you start to see blue oak dying, that gets your attention.”

Human-caused climate change and decades of fire suppression that increases fuel loads are aggravating fire conditions across the West, scientists said.

Global warming has contributed to the megadrought and is making plants more prone to burning.

Normally a good part of the sun’s energy removes water from plants and soil, but when they are already dry, that energy instead makes the air hotter, which creates a feedback loop, Swain said.

And drier conditions lead to beetle infestations that further weaken and kill trees, said University of Utah’s Dennison.

For decades, U.S. firefighting agencies have tried to put out fires as quickly as possible, and that’s usually worked, UCLA’s Williams said. But the practice resulted in the buildup of dense trees, brush and other potential fire fuels.

“Fire is escaping our control increasingly frequently,” he said. “And some of the reason for that might be because of increasing density of fuels. But we also see that these fires are escaping our control during record-breaking heat waves — and it’s the warmest, driest years when we have the hardest time controlling fires.”

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.

Safety Tips for Your Home | Corona, CA

Accidental fires

During the pandemic, we were forced to figure out things to keep us occupied at home. Some of us learned to bake bread, others learned to eat bread – lots of it. Regardless of how we spent our time indoors, it is important that we keep ourselves safe and sound from fire. After all, accidents happen all the time – we should be aware of anything that can lead to one. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • When cooking, keep your eye on everything on the stove and make sure to turn off the oven after you’re done.
  • Clean out your laundry lint traps. Believe it or not, the lint can catch on fire.
  • Make sure you’ve stored any toilet paper surplus away from any heat source, like a furnace or clothes dryer.
  • Candles are a great way to soothe a soul, just make sure to buy flameless ones to prevent accidents.
  • During your family time, why not discuss a fire escape plan? Everyone’s input will not only ensure that everyone is aware of what to do but will create a special bonding because you are looking after each other.

Summertime is a great time to get outside and enjoy the sun. And now that we are slowly able to hang out with friends and family again, BBQs are wonderful ways to celebrate. If you’re sparking the grill, make sure to keep it at least three feet from the house. Any random sparks could possibly ruin your fun. Being prepared for any accidents is a great way to not only protect your property and loved ones, but also allows you to relax and enjoy yourself.

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

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

Is Your Home Equipped with a Fire Extinguisher? | Corona, CA

Does your home have a working fire extinguisher? Many will answer yes. But do you know if it is in working order? Chances are, you haven’t even thought about that fire extinguisher since you purchased it. Don’t worry – you aren’t alone. Unfortunately, home fires aren’t at the top of our minds on a day-to-day basis. When it comes down to it, the only time you’d probably think of a fire extinguisher is when you need them in an actual fire emergency, but these life saving devices could very well end up saving your life once you get to know just how important they are.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, back in 2019, the United States fire departments responded to as many as 1,291,500 fires. While fire extinguishers certainly couldn’t have prevented all those disasters, their presence could’ve at least minimized the damages.

Fact is, it’s not hard to think of the possibility that portable fire extinguishers have been used a lot more times to prevent fires from spreading than what’s commonly known. At home, having fire extinguishers can certainly help a lot, but they’re not the only additional measure that you can take.

Working smoke detectors and a good home fire evacuation plan should both be implemented in your home if they aren’t already. Having fire sprinklers installed all throughout the vicinity can also help contain and even kill the fire. However, unlike fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers turn on automatically once the fire reaches certain levels, which, if when it cannot eliminate the fire, the fire sprinkler can buy you enough time to evacuate or get the extinguisher.

Be safe by staying prepared and keeping a functioning fire extinguisher inside your home at all times.

For more information about fire extinguishers, 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.

Landlord Problems: Fire Protection for Your Tenants | Corona, CA

When deciding to be a manager of a residential property, it is important that you keep up health and safety standards in order to keep your property safe for your tenants. One of these areas would be fire safety. Because there are loads of circumstances that can happen, extra precautions need to be taken in order to ensure the property will be safe from any and all dangers. Not only for you and your investment, but for your employees and tenants. And one of the biggest, and most devastating, dangers you may face is fire, not only affecting your business, but those neighbors around you. To ensure you have taken all proper precautions to ensure the safety of all, you may need to make a few improvements.

Tenant improvement can be a hassle and a potential danger if not done properly. For this reason, CJ Suppression provides installation, relocation, and rework within tenant improvement and remodels. We will thoroughly modify and add to existing to fire sprinkler systems to ensure the safety of your business. Not only will you rest at ease, knowing you’ve taken care of your investment, you can be sure everyone will rest at ease knowing you are looking after their well-being.

The following are different types of fire suppressions systems that we install and services we provide for all your tenant improvement needs:

  • Fire sprinkler systems
  • Dry/chemical systems
  • Preaction sprinkler system (Single/Double Interlocked)
  • ESFR (Early Suppression Fast Response) sprinkler systems
  • Rack storage systems
  • Roof and ground storage tank installations
  • Underground fire lines
  • Special hazard systems
  • Centrifugal and vertical fire pump installations and upgrades

For more information about fire protection options, 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.

Northridge Apartment Fire Caused by Cooking Oil – 3 Injured | Corona, CA

Accidental fires

A stovetop fire spread quickly throughout a 60,000-square-foot apartment building in Northridge Thursday.

NORTHRIDGE, CA — 95 firefighters took 33 minutes to extinguish a fire that broke out on the third floor of a large Northridge apartment building, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

As of 12:17 p.m., LAFD paramedics have evaluated three civilians for unspecified but non-life-threatening injuries, and one person was transported to a nearby hospital. No other injuries or fatalities have been reported.

The fire broke out just before 11:45 p.m. Thursday in a 3rd floor unit of a 60,246 square-foot, three-story, 53-unit apartment building on the 9800 block of North Reseda Boulevard, just across the street from LAFD Station 70, according to the LAFD. Firefighters were able to confine the fire at around 12:15 p.m., and the building remains standing. Most residents quickly self-evacuated, but LAFD crews had to help one person get out of the building, according to LAFD spokesperson Brian Humphrey. Fire sprinklers were not present in the building, but functioning fire alarms allowed most residents to safely escape.

The fire was caused by flames from a stove-top fire, fueled by cooking oil. Although the person cooking tried to stop it with fire extinguishers, the blaze broke windows and allowed strong winds to spread it and send thick smoke through the top of the building, Humphrey told City News Service.

“With the thick smoke challenging the escape of occupants from several of the 52 other apartment units, firefighters swiftly ascended ground and aerial ladders to perform strategic vertical ventilation of the attic with chainsaws, making the top floor exit paths more tenable to escapees, and allowing their colleagues with hose lines to more readily attack the seat of the fire,” Humphrey said.

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.

Products to Extinguish a Fire | Corona, CA

We all want to be prepared for any type of fire emergency. And fires can be extinguished in a few ways. Sure, we automatically go to reach for the fire extinguishers but, they have specific uses. So, before you pick up a fire extinguisher, here is a quick rundown of each and what type of fire they are suited for:

Water extinguishers. If cost-effectiveness is your goal, the water extinguisher is the best bet. These are best at extinguishing Class A fires made from solid material, like wood or paper and have a variety of sprays to choose from. Look for a red label.

Foam extinguishers. Foam extinguishers can be used on Class A and B, or fires made with liquids like gasoline or oils. The foam seals the fire basically suffocating the vapors and snuffing out the fire. These have a cream label.

Powder extinguishers. Next in line is the powder extinguishers, ideal for Class A, B and C fires, or fires involving gasses. Because it uses powder to put out these fires, it isn’t ideal for inside use because it causes a loss of visibility and breathing issues when activated. A blue label identifies these.

Carbon dioxide extinguishers. If you have a place with a lot of electrical equipment, a CO2 extinguisher is a must-have item. Because they don’t leave a residue, they are also suitable for Class B fires as well. Look for a black label.

Wet chemical extinguishers. Kitchen fires are what is considered to be a Class F fire and a wet chemical extinguisher is ideal for these, as well as Class A and B, because the soap-like solution is fast-acting. They have a yellow label. Another option for a kitchen fire is a fire blanket.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

City News Service contributed to this report.

Maintaining an In-Home Sprinkler System | Corona, CA

If you are one of the proactive families with an in-home fire sprinkler system, it is important that you know that regular maintenance checks are crucial to ensure that you and your family is safe. You may prefer to hire a professional to come in to do the work for you, there are some basic tips to maintaining your fire protection system in the coming months on your own:

Check on shutoff valves. The first step is to make a visual check on all the water shutoff valves to see if they’re all open and if the storage tank is full if they have one. Those living in very cold areas, or have pipes in the attic, should also check the insulation on their pipes.

Conduct flow tests periodically. Flow tests should be conducted every few months. To test, simply open the valve slowly and let the water run its course for more than a minute. Also, keep in mind that if your sprinkler system is connected to the fire alarm, this testing may cause it to trigger.

Check the sprinkler components. Make sure that the sprinkler heads and cover plates are not painted over and obstructions like stacks of boxes and shelves far away from the heads.

Use visual signs. Accidentally locking the sprinkler valves in the closed position by mistake is a common mistake, so placing signs near the sprinkler components can help remind everyone what the correct positions are.

Secure the control valves. Routinely check if all sprinkler control valves are locked in the open position. If your valves are connected to your fire alarm system, you can supervise them electronically or adding LO/TO signs to prevent unauthorized closures.

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.