14,000-acre Southern California 'Crown Fire' at 82% containment, evacuation orders lifted
Sunday, August 1, 2010
California since 2:32 pm (2232 UTC) Thursday was at 82% containment Saturday evening, according to the .— The Crown Fire that has burned through 13,980 acres in the of
On Friday high winds caused the fire to jump theand spread into the city of . Over 2,000 residents of , Ana Verde, and Rancho Vista were given mandatory evacuation orders. The sky was blanketed with thick orange and falling ash, making the air hard to breathe.
State Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger arrived in Palmdale on Friday to survey the burned areas. "We were very fortunate to not have fires for quite some time because the air temperature was cool and we didn't have the experiencing of dry weather and all the winds and so on, but all of a sudden the fire season kicked in as if, 'Here we are,'" Schwarzenegger said during a press conference. "But we are ready and we have luckily distributed resources all over the state of California, so we are ready at any given time."
The fire has so far destroyed one house and three mobile homes, damaging the roof of another and burning car garages, horse stables, and other outbuildings. Most of the more seriously threatened homes were constructed recently from, with walls coated in , and fire-resistant plants in the yards. Although some roads are still closed to all traffic, all existing evacuation orders were lifted late Friday night and 500 residents of Rancho Vista were told to "shelter in place" until further notice. Despite the absence of mandatory evacuation orders, over 2,000 houses, 60 commercial buildings, and 100 outbuildings are still under threat.
Throughout the night, fire crews have been battling the wildfire, assisted by cooler temperatures and lighter-than-expected winds which have enabled them to establish containment lines. "Crews went out [Friday] night and did some great work trying to complete more lines and also trying to take care of what we call 'cat eyes' which are embers within the perimeter of the fire, so there will be much more work being done there today," said LACFD Captain Roland Sprewell. "But of course we're not going to rest on our laurels today...we're going to be vigilantly watching the winds, especially in the ridge and down in the valleys."
At the height of the fire, 1,700 firefighters from all over California were battling the flames, although as of 12:00 pm Saturday afternoon, it has been reduced to around 1,350 personnel. 16 fire camp crew have also assisted. 250 fire engines and four bulldozers have been used. In the air, 4supertankers, 1 tanker, and 6 modified helicopters known as "Firehawks" have been dropping water and red slurry. The also increased its presence in the Antelope Valley by bringing in response teams from stations outside the AV. This afternoon, the deployment has been scaled back to three teams as the fire stabilizes and further evacuation orders become unlikely.
Three firefighters have been injured battling the fire, although all injuries are minor. One sheriff deputy was also hospitalized for smoke inhalation but has since been released.
- "Crown fire forces residents in Southern California to evacuate homes" — Wikinews, July 30, 2010
- Associated Press. "Air Tanker Drops Fire Retardant, Slows Crown Fire" — , July 31, 2010
- Darsha Philips, Carlos Granda, Rob Hayes and Amy Powell. "Crown Fire dims; crews still wary of wind" — , July 31, 2010
- Ann Simmons. "Firefighters battling Crown fire hope for light winds and cooler temperatures" — , July 31, 2010
- Jane Yamamoto, Liz Habib, Associated Press. "Air Tankers Help Slow Wildfire's Spread" — , July 31, 2010
- John Adams. "Weather Cooperating as Crown Fire Moves Toward Containment" — , July 31, 2010
- "Crown Fire 62% Contained, No Structures Threatened" — , July 31, 2010
- Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department. "CROWN FIRE - Comprehensive update, road closures, and important website links." — , July 31, 2010