Author Topic: Anahiem, CA- Large Brush Fire 03-11-07  (Read 4829 times)

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Anahiem, CA- Large Brush Fire 03-11-07
« on: March 12, 2007, 01:16:43 AM »
Associated Press - (APTN)
Mar. 12, 2007. 03:40 AM EST
Authorities in Southern California are battling a wildfire that started around a stolen vehicle; the fire forced the evacuations of roughly 500 homes. (March 12)

Date: 03-11-07
Time: 0800-Ongoing
Location: Anaheim Hills- "Windy Ridge Fire"
Departments: Orange County Fire, CDF
Description: Brush fire over 2,000 acres with 500 homes evacuated. Orange County Fire and California Department of Forestry with over 800 firefighters operating.
Writer: Truck4

Associated Press 03-11-07

Authorities evacuated more than 500 homes as a fast-moving brush fire scorched 2,036 acres of parched hillside Sunday and charred at least three residences, Orange County fire officials said.

The 3-square mile fire threatened many other structures and the firefighters working to protect them throughout much of the day, Anaheim city spokesman John J. Nicoletti said. But slowing winds Sunday evening offered firefighters some promise of containing the fire, authorities said.

"This is a very dangerous firefight," said Orange County Fire Authority Chief Ed Fleming. "The terrain is quite rugged, with homes on top of ridges, and the fire picks up speed as it head up the hill."

Capt. Steve Miller of the Orange County Fire Authority said winds blowing up to 35 mph had made firefighting difficult for the more than 800 firefighters on the scene. Temperatures were in the 90s and humidity was at 5 percent. The fire was 10 percent contained by early Sunday evening.

"We are holding our own, but the fire is going to continue to make progress as long as fuel is in its way. It's not a good situation for us," Miller said.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries, he said.

Firefighters Sunday evening were focusing on protecting communities in Orange that appeared to be in the fire's path, he said.

Robert Canossi, who along with his wife and daughter were evacuated around noon, said the dry and wooded area made for frequent brush fires. Canossi has lived in the area since the 1970s.

"You get used to this, but this is the closest it's ever come" to so many houses, said Canossi, who waited for news on his house at a nearby elementary school.

The fire, stoked by hot dry winds and fueled by chaparral, spread south and west quickly in an unincorporated part of Orange County and threatened multimillion dollar homes here and in Orange ? about 35 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

The area, known as Anaheim Hills, has many large homes scattered across the hills along with denser gated communities.

The residents of Summit Point gated community felt safe enough to stay put and watch fire crews trudge around a canyon below. The smell of smoke hung heavy in the air.

Richard Steffy said he saw the fire out his window when he awoke Sunday morning.

"Boom, billows of smoke," he said. "It scared the hell out of me. It looked so close."

Fleeing fires has become a part of life for many residents.

Susan Snell, who has lived in Anaheim Hills for 23 years, followed a well-worn routine Sunday: She put her cat in a carrier, packed tax and insurance papers and photographs and found a good vantage point.

"It's freaky what you end up taking with you," she said as she watched television at the Anaheim Hills Community Center for updates.

Firefighters were aided by helicopters and planes dropping water and retardant on the flames, and police went door to door to warn residents to evacuate.

The area, like much of Southern California, is under a red flag alert, indicating a high fire danger. A prolonged drought has left the chaparral-covered hills highly combustible.

Round said the blaze, which ignited at around 8 a.m., may have been started by a vehicle fire on the southbound 241 Windy Ridge Toll Plaza.

« Last Edit: March 12, 2007, 12:03:46 PM by tbendick »

Anahiem, CA- Large Brush Fire 03-11-07
« on: March 12, 2007, 01:16:43 AM »