Fire in pine tree treehouse in residential ridgeside of canyon – put out in record time
Quick Response from MFD prevents potential disaster
Just as the Monrovia Fire and Rescue entry was set to enter the city’s annual Holiday Parade, the engine pulled out of the parade line up. There was a brush fire in the Cloverleaf/Ridgeside residential area.
A brush fire in Monrovia’s foothills immediately results in a Brush Fire response call from Verdugo Dispatch with 5 engines (including those from Monrovia, Arcadia, L.A. County Fire and Angeles National Forest (ANF) as well as two commanders and two hand crews from Los Angeles County,
Even with these resources, Monrovia Battalion Chief Jeremy Sanchez upon arriving at the scene, called for a second alarm based on the potential threat from the embers flying from the pine tree engulfed in flames. Shortly thereafter, with the quick response from the assisting units, Sanchez cancelled the second alarm thereby releasing the additional personnel requested. One additional engine did respond to the scene, but was immediately released.
According to Sanchez, the fire started in brush near a large pine tree. It quickly spread to a large pine tree with a tree house. The tree and tree house were quickly engulfed in flames.
“We were concerned that the embers from the pine tree could spread the fire to adjacent structures.” Sanchez said, “We were lucky that other structures were not involved.”
Sanchez explained that embers could spread the fire quickly to other areas, adding those battling this fire were lucky in that the area was not impacted by the Santa Ana winds that have fueled other local fires. This area around this fire in an area, that at the area was not experiencing those winds at the time.
Other than the tree house, that was destroyed, a small storage shed was damaged, but no homes were damaged. “We are not sure of the extent of the damage to the small storage unit that was involved,” Sanchez explained.
The personnel scheduled to be in the parade were not part of the initial response to the fire. They returned to Station 101 and responded to the fire scene with the city’s water tender and its command vehicle.
Monrovia Fire Chief Brad Dover praised Sanchez from his quick response and command of the fire: “His immediate assessment of the fire and call for the second alarm recognized the potential danger in the situation. Then when the fire responded to the quick reaction, Chief Sanchez released that call for additional assistance and personnel just as fast.”
Dover also noted that good relationships with other local agencies aided this situation. “Within the last year we worked have worked out the immediate response to brush fires,” Dover said. “We have worked out good relationships with Arcadia Fire, LA County Fire (that serves in Duarte) and with the ANF. We were lucky the wind did not work against us as it did in other areas.”
It should be noted that Monrovia Fire and Rescue already has 11 members of the Department working on those other fires, 2 engine companies and a Chief Fabrizzio are at the Thomas Fire in Ventura County with two other members of the Department assisting in San Diego County.