Sunday, October 5, 2014

Red Car Property Adjacent: Transformer Below Lake View Ave Sparks Fire

Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 4, 2014.  While walking through the canyon toward Corralitas Drive, I heard what sounded like firecrackers up on the hillside.  (Click on photos to enlarge.) 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, That explains the flurry of texts & emails I'd just received about the power outage.  I wondered what my neighbor was taking photos of.  As soon as I heard the firecracker like sound, I rushed through the canyon, phone in one hand; camera in the other.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 4, 2014.  While I'm called 911 waiting for LAFD to pick up, I shot photos with my camera in my other hand.  I tried to explain to LAFD dispatch that fire was spreading downslope & the brush clearance had not been done on the slope below.  

Worth noting: the slope above the power lines belongs to the Lake View homeowners.  The downslope side is Red Car Property.  Brush has not been cleared on most of the slope. 
Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 4, 2014.  Neighbors on both sides of Red Car Canyon reported hearing a large explosion (some near the transformer, saw the flash of light), then the firecracker like sound I heard.  Indeed, upon reviewing the photos from my camera, you can see the down power lines leading to the fire.

Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 4, 2014.  I got the first text at 9:08 AM that the power was out.  I reached the fire by 9:18 AM.   LAFD was extinguishing flames by 9:23 AM.  Considering this was the first really dry heatwave we've had this fall, we caught a lucky break in there was no wind at all Saturday morning. 

Photo: Diane Edwardson October 4, 2014.  The power lines went down in an area where there was a huge dense succulent patch that slowed the fire's progress.  The bright green plant at the center of the fire  (earlier photos) is not grass but a type of African Pencil Plant. Those Agaves the fireman is spraying with water are another good fire resistant plant.  Let's hear it for drought tolerant, fire resistant defensive landscaping!

For additional fire photos &  reports: The Eastsider