Friday, July 7, 2017

Possible Fireworks Spark 2 Acre Brush Fire in La Habra Heights

On July 4th, 2017, at 10 p.m. Los Angeles County and La Habra Heights Firefighters were dispatched to a reported brush fire near Fullerton Rd and Harbor Blvd just South of Pathfinder Rd in Rowland Heights.
Upon Arrival, Firefighters found a brush fire, burning uphill in heavy brush, on the east side of the 2200 block of Fullerton Rd. in La Habra Heights.  Several structures on Oak Ranch Rd were immediately threatened by the approaching fire.

Approximately 150 Los Angeles County and La Habra Heights Firefighters aided by water dropping helicopters conducted a coordinated, aggressive attack on the fire and were able to contain the fire to approximately 2 acres. Firefighters remained on the scene throughout the night, extinguishing flare ups and hot spots.

Firefighters spent the majority of July 5th in near 100 degree heat overhauling the entire fire area to completely extinguish any remaining fire and embers. No structures were damaged and no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation, however illegal fireworks have not been ruled out.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Tree Takes Down Wires and Power Poles Sparking Grass Fire in La Habra Heights

On June 20, 2017 La Habra Heights Firefighters responded to a reported grass fire with electrical wires down in the 300 block of East Rd. Upon arrival, Firefighters found a large tree that had fallen across the road landing on power lines and communication cables.
The weight of the tree snapped 2 power poles, brought down power and communications cables, and caused a small grass fire on the east side of the road

Firefighters quickly knocked down the fire and contained it to a 50' X 50' area of recently cleared dried grass. A private contractor removed the tree and So. Cal. Edison replace several power poles to restore power to the area. East Rd. remained closed until late into the night.

Fire Causes Major Damage to Home in La Habra Heights

On May 7th, 2017 at 12:35 p.m.  La Habra Heights  Firefighters supported by Firefighters from Los Angeles County Fire, Vernon, and Santa Fe Springs were dispatched to a reported structure fire on Dorothea Rd. in La Habra Heights. 
Upon E771’s arrival, firefighters discovered heavy smoke showing from the property and immediately laid a supply line from a nearby fire hydrant. Heavy smoke and fire was visible through the first and second story roof of a 5000 sq. ft. 2-story home. Firefighters made entry through the front door to discover heavy smoke on the first floor. As the firefighters progressed up the stairway they encountered near zero visibility and discovered fire showing in one room to the right of the stairs.

 The Firefighters observed that the fire had burned through the floor from the single story attic portion of the rear section of the house.
The attic of both the one story portion of the home and the second story portion were fully involved in fire.

During the firefight, while firefighters were inside the structure, there were two partial roof collapses. The Incident Commander accounted for all firefighters and ordered firefighting operations into a defensive mode.
It took 50 Firefighters 90 minutes to get a knockdown on the fire. Firefighters spent the next 5 hours overhauling the structure and extinguishing all of the hot spots. Due to the extensive damage to the roof, the entire roof and tiles had to be removed. The fire was confined to the both attic's and one room causing extensive damage to the roof structure. There were no injuries and all companies were released from the fire. La Habra Heights Firefighters remained on scene throughout the night to extinguish any hot spot and prevent a rekindle.

The cause is under investigation by LASD Arson Detectives, however the preliminary finding indicates a possible electrical issue in the 1st floor attic and there is no indication of arson.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Small Brush Fire Contained in La Habra Heights

On June 2, 2017 La Habra Heights Firefighters and the Los Angeles County Fire Department responded to a reported brush fire on Hacienda Rd. just South of Skyline Rd. in La Habra Heights. Firefighters discovered two small spot fires burning uphill in light brush. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and contained them to an area of approximately 100' X 100'.

Firefighters were able to quickly contain the fire due to the property owner having recently cleared the dried grass and brush on the steep hillside. The cause of the fire was undetermined.

The La Habra Heights Fire Department recently transitioned to the Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Center for processing 911 calls and dispatching La Habra Heights fire and EMS resources. This transition has reduced response times and improved the communication and coordination of local fire companies when working together.

Both agencies continue to work together to improve public safety in the communities of La Habra Heights, La Habra, Whittier, and Hacienda Heights through our automatic and mutual aide agreements.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

2017 Multi-Agency Wildland Fire Training in La Habra Heights

On May 23rd, 24th, 25th, and 26th  of 2017, The La Habra Heights Fire Department hosted the 2017 Multi-Agency wildland fire training in La Habra Heights. The topography of La Habra Heights with heavy brush and intermix of homes makes it ideal for local Firefighters t gain valuable training for wildfires. 

Over the course of four days, over 250 local Firefighters from La Habra Heights, Los Angeles County Fire Department, Brea, Fullerton, Compton, Vernon, Downey, and Santa Fe Springs received valuable classroom as well as field training from experts in Wildland Firefighting. 

Over 40 Engine Companies and more than a dozen Chief Officers from these agencies practiced firefighting operations together, many for the first time.

Most of those attending had never driven through the Heights or been exposed to the difficulties of fighting a wildfire in La Habra Heights.
Chief Officers and Captains who will be tasked with working together to command wildfires had an opportunity to discuss Incident Command, radio communications, and agency challenges. Having Command Staff from different agencies develop relationships before the battle starts improves the operation success during the firefight.

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 for Air Operations and 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.