For Southern California, brush fires are no longer limited to just one season. Instead, these wildland fires rage year-round. Though SoCal residents must take the necessary precautions (instructions can be found here), there is no need to fret. Your Los Angeles Fire Department is prepared for this climate change.
In December 2015, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) granted the LAFD five Type III Wildland Fire Engines. Specifically designed to combat wildfires, these 4×4 off-road capable fire engines are used as front-line and mutual-aid resources against brush fires throughout the state. Today these engines are strategically housed at LAFD stations in Los Feliz and the San Fernando Valley. Together, they form what is referred to as a “strike team.”
The recent transition to summer has kept the strike team busy. On Sunday, May 28, more than 150 firefighters, outfitted in brush helmets provided by the LAFD Foundation as a department-wide initiative in 2013, fought a 55-acre brush fire in Brentwood’s Mandeville Canyon. Engine 8136 – one of the five LAFD Type III Wildland Fire Engines – housed at station 35, arrived on scene Sunday afternoon.
Located in Los Feliz, Station 35 does not typically respond to incidents across the city in Mandeville Canyon. But that Sunday, Captain Vincent Alvarado and his crew – Engineer Brian Wall, and Firefighters Blake Harrington and Derek Dahl – spent over seven hours battling the Brentwood brush fire. Thanks to the joint efforts of the LAFD and LA Country Fire Department, the wildfire was fully contained by late Sunday night, with no lives lost or homes destroyed.
Although divided into 106 stations, the LAFD works as a team to preserve life and property in the city of LA. “There wasn’t just one person that stood out at the Mandeville fire,” admits Captain Alvarado, “everyone together did an incredible job.”