Crews quickly suppress wind-driven vegetation fire
Dec. 7, 2017 – Redlands Firefighters were among 50 firefighters including crews from Cal Fire, San Bernardino County, Highland and San Manuel and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Air Rescue 306 that quickly contained a vegetation fire in the Santa Ana River wash near Orange Street Thursday morning.
The blaze was reported at about 11 a.m. Crews rapidly deployed hose and a Cal Fire bulldozer cut a fire line around the perimeter of the blaze, helping contain the fire to five acres.
Challenging weather conditions, including 20 mph winds, single digit humidity and unseasonably warm temperatures combined to create dangerous fire conditions, with the potential of the fire to grow rapidly and threaten homes overlooking the river wash on Riverview Drive if not for the aggressive firefighting efforts.
Crews were also hampered by the limited ground and air resources readily available. San Bernardino County Fire deployed a hand crew, providing ground forces necessary to make sure all hot spots were snuffed out.
The cause of the incident remains under investigation.
Fire crews observed an arcing power line during the incident which started a second fire directly adjacent to the main fire. This momentarily threatened the crew’s flank where the fire had been initially contained. Firefighters were able to quickly suppress the spot fire and Southern California Edison shut down power until conditions improved.
Units remained on scene for more than four hours to ensure the suppression efforts were successful. Orange Street was closed for about three hours during the incident.