We were able to start burning this week. The coordination has been tricky, but we got out first burn piles done on the North side fuel break. Hopefully the rest will be finished on Saturday. After that, piles to the Northeast and South will be tackled. We are looking to use these opportunities for not only fuel reduction, but for hands on training.
Today, we had a car fire on Painted Cave Rd. Fully involved engine compartment.
Thankfully, we had our second patrol truck in the area and was able to quickly extinguish it before it created a bigger problem. (Pictures to follow). Heartfelt condolences to the neighbor who lost their vehicle. It was a pointed example of the benefit of having a few strategically place patrol trucks on the mountain. Our truck showed up within minutes of the call going out. San Marcos Pass VFD showed up, just as it was being put out. Station 13 showed up about 30 minutes after the call went out.
This is a valuable reminder. If you experience a fire with your vehicle - the first inclination is to pull off to the side of the road. With car fires, and especially engine fires, flames drip down from the engine compartment to the ground below. Even if there is green, that will quickly dry out. It is best to stay on the asphalt, regardless of traffic. The fumes from vehicle fires are extremely toxic.
The National Fire Protection Association Council recommends following these steps if you're driving and a fire starts:
Signal, and immediately move to the closest safe place to stop, whether that's a side lane or a median.
Stop the car and turn off the ignition.
Get every person out of the car, and don't allow anyone to go back to retrieve personal items.
Move far from the burning vehicle to avoid the flames and toxic fumes—at least 100 feet—and also keep bystanders back.
Alert oncoming traffic if possible.
It's generally not recommended that you try to put out the fire yourself. Opening the hood or car doors increases the air supply and may accelerate the fire.