Saturday, May 4, 2013

Ventura County Springs Fire — 30 Percent Contained

According to Christine Mai-Duc, "At this point, #SpringsFire is at 28,000 acres, 30% contained. Firefighters focusing most on Potrero road area."

Also at the Ventura County Star, "Day 3: Springs fire now 30% contained."

And from today's Los Angeles Times front-page, "Destructive 1993 blaze led to new firefighting strategy":
Scott Dettorre was a young firefighter in 1993 when the infamous Green Meadow wildfire swept through, leaving a path of destruction from Ventura County to Malibu.

The fire, which destroyed 53 homes and consumed 44,000 acres, caught firefighters unprepared and prompted officials to rethink the way they fight blazes driven by fierce Santa Ana winds.

This week, Dettorre helped lead the battle against the Springs fire, which like the devastating 1993 blaze covered a wide swath of the county. Dettorre, now a captain, said crews fought the blaze much differently this time.

It's a game plan that as of Friday evening was showing signs of success. Although the fire licked against several subdivisions and hillside estates, it has largely remained confined to rugged wildlands and agricultural zones.

"With this fire, having experienced Green Meadow, our commanding officers realized much sooner that we were not going to get ahead of this fire," he said Friday. "Consequently, we were able to put plans in place to minimize damage to a much greater extent. It is the lessons of Green Meadow that is allowing us to do what we are doing out here."

The fire, which had burned more than 28,000 acres by Friday evening, ignited Thursday morning amid historically dry conditions and strong Santa Ana winds considered unusual for May.

Fire officials quickly determined that the leading edge of the fire was too dangerous to confront head-on.

"It became apparent very quickly that this fire was going to overwhelm us," Dettorre said. "Instead of us being able to outflank the fire, the fire was outflanking us and putting all of the fire personnel in grave danger."
More at the top link. Check back for updates.