Monday, May 22, 2017

2017 Wildland Fire Training in La Habra Heights

Don't be alarmed when you see a large contingency of Fire Engines, Command Staff, and Helicopters moving throughout La Habra Heights... IT'S ONLY A DRILL.

On May 23rd, 24th, 25th, and 26th  of 2017, from approximately 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. the La HabraHeights Fire DepartmentLos Angeles County Fire Department, and other local Firefighters from Brea, Fullerton, Compton, Vernon, Downey, and Santa Fe Springs will be conducting  our annual Wildland Firefighter training on the west side of La Habra Heights. Residents may see a large commitment of fire apparatus, including helicopters operating in the area.

This training improves our preparedness, interoperability and communications that will be used to successfully mitigate emergencies and save lives and property. Coordinating dozens of Fire companies from multiple jurisdictions is complex and challenging. These drills provide not only the ground based Firefighters an opportunity to practice their firefighting operations, it also provides an opportunity Air Operations the Command Staff from different Departments to work together.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Brush Fire Scorches 1/2 Acre in La Habra Heights

On May 5th, 2017 at 6:45 p.m.  La Habra Heights Firefighters were dispatched to investigate a report of smoke in the area of Hacienda Rd. and Reposado Dr in La Habra Heights. With smoke showing from the powder canyon area, a full brush assignment was requested and additional Firefighters, camp crews, and air support from Los Angeles County Fire, Santa Fe Springs, Downey, and Vernon were dispatched.

The fire was located just off Skyline trail, North of the end of Reposado Dr. Due to the fire being located within the Habitat Authority Preserve area, ground crews had to navigate narrow dirt roads to gain access to the fire. The fire was contained to approximately 1/2 acre of heavy brush and 8' tall milkweed. 75 firefighters assisted by several water dropping helicopters were able to knock down the fire in about an hour. Crews remained on scene for several hours to completely extinguish the fire and create a scratch line around the entire perimeter.

Several factors helped Firefighters quickly control the fire. The recent transition by the La Habra Heights Fire Department to the Los Angeles County Fire Dispatch and communications system has improved communications and interoperability between the two agencies. A series of multi-agency wildland drills with Departments from Los Angeles and Orange Counties have recently been conducted in the Heights, with the next one scheduled for the end of the month.

The cause of the fire has been determined to be an illegal campfire. There were no witnesses or suspects.

While the heavy brush in the area was more than 8' tall, it has not yet dried out. In addition, favorable weather conditions and a lack of wind allowed firefighters to safely attack the fire from the ground. Unfortunately, a few days of low humidity and strong winds can have a significant negative impact on firefighting tactics and efforts.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Narrow Roads and Fire Engines Don't Mix

Photo by Mike Myers
On Sunday, March 5th, 2017 at 11 A.M. the La Habra Heights front line 2008 KME fire engine was involved in a non-injury, solo vehicle accident in the 500 block of East Rd. in La Habra Heights. 

During the accident the engine dropped off the right side of the roadway, landing on both axles and sliding along the edge of the pavement like a skateboarder on a rail. The Engine came to rest on the downhill slope, nearly rolling over and down the 50', 30 degree embankment

The vehicle came to rest with the left front and rear wheels barely in contact with the roadway.  

Photo by Mike Myers

Upon coming to rest, the Firefighters were able to exit on the uphill side of the apparatus while the Captain, fearing that crawling over the center console would cause the vehicle to roll down the hill, elected to exit the vehicle on the downhill side.

No injuries were sustained. L.A. County Dispatch was notified, as was the La Habra Heights Fire Chief  and Assistant Chief. Both responded emergency to the incident to provide incident command and ensure the safety of department personnel and apparatus. 

Photo by Mike Myers

L.A. County Fire responded their USAR and Heavy Rescue 103 to the incident to provide technical expertise in the recovery of the apparatus.

Two heavy rescue Tow Trucks were requested. In concert, one tow truck connected cables to the rear wheels on each side while the other connected to the front. 

The vehicle was literally hoisted into the air to bring in upright and back onto the roadway. It took approximately 4 hours to safely stabilize and recover the apparatus.

Upon recovery, a preliminary safety check was performed which revealed minimal damage. The Engine was driven back to quarters, placed out of service, and is undergoing suspension and minor body damage repairs.
Photo by Mike Myers

The cause of the accident occurred due to several factors  including a narrow, winding road with lane widths of approximately 9 feet, a blind corner with both opposing drivers hugging the center line due to the narrow lane width, the Fire Engine driver moving slightly to the right to avoid a potential accident, the rear dual wheels cheating the corner to the passenger side due to the length of the Engine, and a sharp drop off at the edge of the fog line and pavement.

Please read the Preliminary Green Sheet Report .

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Hacienda Rd. Closed until 3:00 p.m. on January 5, 2017

Hacienda Rd. between Whittier Blvd. and West Rd. in La Habra Heights will be closed until 3:00 p.m. on January 5, 2017, due to an accident. Please use Harbor Blvd and Colima Road to avoid delays.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

December 27, 2016 at 6:00 PM. Hacienda Rd Closed at skyline

Hacienda Rd. in La Habra Heights will be closed starting at 6 PM at Skyline Dr. for several hours due to wires down across the roadway in several locations. Please use Harbor Blvd and Colima Road to avoid delays.

La Habra Heights Fire Assists L.A. County Fire on Rollover Traffic Accident

On December 26, 2016, the La Habra Heights Fire Department responded as part of automatic aid with Los Angeles County Fire to the intersection of Whittier Blvd and Beach Blvd on a single vehicle roll over traffic collision. Upon arrival firefighters discovered one vehicle which rolled over into the gas station parking lot, landing on it's roof. The car sustained significant damage to the passenger side and all airbags were deployed.

The driver was out of the vehicle on arrival and had suffered a fractured ankle. La Habra Heights Firefighters assisted with patient care and loading. The patient was transported to a local hospital by private ambulance with L.A. County paramedics. A tow truck flipped the vehicle back onto it's wheels for removal.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Close Your Door At Night To Help The Fire Fight!

Preventing the spread of a fire throughout the house, especially at night will give you and your family the best chance of escaping unharmed. Keeping your bedroom door closed at night and closing doors when escaping a fire in your home will help prevent the spread of fire and buy the Firefighters some additional time to protect your home.

The La Habra Heights Fire Department encourages you to follow the advice of the fire safety professionals at the Firefighter Safety Research Institute