It was a busy day for ECCFPD yesterday as crews were hopping from incident to incident which East County dodged a bullet in Brentwood and Oakley. With an assist from Contra Costa County Fire, damages were minor and these should be considered great saves!
Yesterday was a taste of what we can expect the rest of the fire season as our guys did a fabulous job preventing more damage from occurring as both major incidents overlapped from one another which limited resources. Our guys did awesome!
Yesterday was a perfect example of why the four-station hybrid model that was being pushed last minute would have been a disaster as more than likely three homes may have been lost. It’s time to put that to rest and move forward as I could imagine a 2-man crew showing up to both fires and not being able to do much until that second engine arrives.
The truth is both calls were fairly routine when East County was fully staffed and would have been addressed immediately without the risk of turning into a bigger incident. But as response times have doubled, small incidents turn into much larger ones which effect more people. This is the cause for more media attention.
Our engines were able to prevent more damage by being able to work immediately. Here is a recap of the two major incidents with engines as far away as Pittsburg responding.
Sandmound Boulevard, Unincorporated Oakley
At one point during this incident, crews were battling three different structures on fire.
7:26 PM while units were still on the fire on Simms Road, ECCFPD received a report of a vegetation fire at 5575 Sandmound Boulevard in Oakley. Engine 93, Engine 59, along with the Battalion chief started to respond. A large black smoke cloud was observed through most of East County which upgraded the call to a structure fire.
Engine 59 arrived about 7:37 PM and found several boats on fire in the backyard of the residence and the report of two houses with roof fires. A second alarm was requested for additional resources. About 7:58 PM all three fires were placed under control and the second alarm units were canceled.
Total resources on scene were three engines, two water tenders and to chief officers from East Contra Costa. Contra Costa County fire resources were two engines on scene with a Battalion chief. The five additional engines from the second alarm were canceled prior to arriving on scene.
Damages include a garage containing approximately 8 crew boats, fences, riding lawn mowers, two trees, BBQ, and a spa. Two adjacent home roofs had minor damage with a cause to be suspected fireworks.
Engines on scene include: E193, E159, E188,5100, 5111, BC5, BC8 with a total of 16 firefighters on scene with no fire hydrants within the immediate area.
Crews did not clear the scene until about 10:05 last night.
A couple of notes:
Station 93 in Oakley is a total distance of 5.5-miles to Sandmound Blvd., in Oakley with an estimated time traveled of 14-minutes for a non-emergency vehicle.
Station 52 in Brentwood is a total distance of 12-miles to Sandmound Blvd., in Oakley with an estimated time traveled of 25-minutes for a non-emergency vehicle.
CONFIRE backup I believe came from Pittsburg which for estimates sake I’ll say 17-miles estimated time traveled of 26-minutes for a non-emergency vehicle (note: dealing with Highway 4 traffic.
Sims Road, Unincorporated Brentwood
Around 4:18 PM, ECCFPD received a report of a vegetation fire behind the houses on Simms Road and Brentwood Boulevard. The first arriving engine arrived about 4:26 PM and found the fast-moving vegetation fire running behind the houses. The fire was under control by 5:02pm with a total of seven fire engines, three water tenders, and three chief officers.
The incident has no hydrants in the area with damages to sheds, cars, fences, and debris were lost by the fire but no homes were damaged.
Engines on scene include: E193, E159, E181, Q183, 5100, 5111, BC5 and BC8