Firefighter Entrapment

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					Firefighter Entrapment

  Griffith Park Fire
  May 2007



  Douglas L. Barry
  Fire Chief


  Los Angeles Fire Department
Griffith Park Fire Entrapment

              Background

 Colonel Griffith J. Griffith donated 3,015
 acres to City of LA in 1896
 City agreed to never develop land inside
 of Griffith Park
 Donated money to build Greek Theatre
 and Observatory
Griffith Park Fire Entrapment
  Considered the “Central Park of L.A.
  2nd largest urban park in California
  Fire History
     1933 47 acres 29 killed
     1961 814 acres no deaths, 8 homes burned
     2007 817 acres no deaths 1 home burned
Griffith Park Fire Entrapment
Griffith Park Fire Entrapment

Griffith Park Features
  Hollywood Sign
  Greek Theatre
  53 miles of hiking
  trails
  Merry-Go-Round
  Travel Town
  Railroad Museum
Griffith Park Fire Entrapment
               Demographics

  Population 48,715 (zip code 90027 only)
  Population Density (people per sq mile)
  6018.26
  Housing Units 22,977
  Median Household Income $31,820
  Median Home Value $780,000
Griffith Park Fire Entrapment
           Suppression Features

  Park Rangers
  Hydrant systems
  2 Water Tankers
  3 Water filling Helispots (Mc Comb,
  Mt. Lee, Mt. Hollywood)
  100,000 gallon drafting pit
  Civilian Patrols
Griffith Park Fire Entrapment
        Surrounding Resources

 Fire Stations 27, 35, 42, 50, 52, 55, 56,
 76, 82, 86
 3 Truck Companies, 10 Engine
 Companies,
 9 ALS Ambulances, 5 BLS Ambulances,
 2 Brush Patrols, 3 Battalion Command
 Teams
 76 initial responders
Griffith Park Fire Entrapment
           Incident Information
 Date: Tuesday May 8, 2007
 Time of Alarm: 1320 hours
 LAFD Incident # 0648
 Dispatch Location: Intersection of Vermont
 and Hillhurst Avenues
 Weather: 100 degrees, 3 percent humidity
 Winds: Southwest between 5-15 mph
 817 acres burned, 1 structure damaged
 Cause: careless smoking
Griffith Park Fire Entrapment
FIRST ON SCENE FIRE OFFICER INITIAL
              REPORT:
 5-7 acre topography driven fire
 Medium to Heavy grass and brush
 Steep, rugged terrain
 Large mushroom column bending eastward
 *Provided park block and hydrant number
 Verbalized a staging area for incoming
 companies
 Requested additional resources including
 helicopters
Griffith Park Fire Entrapment
         Incident Command Established

 Griffith Park IC
 Command Post – Greek Theatre
 Apparatus Staging – Greek Theatre
 Fire Divide into 2 Branches and 8 Divisions
 Resources over the 4 day operational period:
    154 LAFD Fire Companies, 27 Chief Officer
     command teams
    4 LAFD Helicopters, 10 Arson units, 14 Rescue
     Ambulances and 300 outside fire personnel
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Griffith Park Fire Entrapment
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            Assisting Agencies

 Recreation and Parks Department
 Animal Regulations
 Los Angeles Zoo
 Department of Water and Power
 LA County Fire Department
 Region I mutual aid units
 Cal Fire & OES Resources
 California Department of Forestry
 And others
Griffith Park Fire Entrapment
  Assisting Agencies (continued)
 Building and Safety
 American Red Cross
 Southern California Gas Company
 Society of The Prevention of Cruelty to
 Animals
 District of Environmental Services
 At&t Phone Company
 LA Unified School District
 Department of Transportation
                            FOOT BRIDG



               FIRE ORIGN




COMMAND POST
Friffith Park Fire Entrapment
 Light Force 35 - Rapid Crew Withdrawal

LF-35 assigned to Division “Z”
Water supply from hydrant and LCES established
LF 35 began operations to support Camp Crew
Water drop called for 3 times in 10 minutes
Changing fire conditions forced Camp Crew to
retreat to Safe Zone
Fire spotted below LF 35
LF 35 forced to retreat to Safe Zone
Water Drop on fire located below LF 35
        SOUTHWEST ASPECT

               FS 35 PERSONNEL




DIV A        DIV Z
                       SOUTH




 VISTA DEL VALLE     FOOTBRIDGE




AREA OF OPERATIONS
E35, E235, E6, E13
Griffith Park Fire Entrapment
   Engine 76 – Apparatus Entrapment

 Part of TF 1033 assigned to Division “R”
 Operating on dirt road, camp crew support
 Spot fires forced evacuation to Safe Zone
 E-76 unable to gain traction in soft dirt
 E-76 crew used wagon battery and attached
 nozzles to gates to protect rig
 E-76 crew evacuated to Safe Zone
 Apparatus driven out 2 hours later
 No damage to rig, no injuries to personnel
                       SOUTH




 VISTA DEL VALLE     FOOTBRIDGE




AREA OF OPERATIONS
E35, E235, E6, E13
Griffith Park Fire Entrapment
     Engine 6 - Personnel Entrapment

 E-6 part of TF 1031 assigned to Division “Z”
 E-6 parked on mid-slope road with unburned
 brush below them
 Spot fire forced crew into cab
 Fire curtains deployed, no SCBA’s, no fire
 shelters
 E-82 used wagon battery to protect E-6
 Fire burned out due to lack of fuel
 No damage to E-6 or injuries to personnel
                       SOUTH




 VISTA DEL VALLE     FOOTBRIDGE




AREA OF OPERATIONS
E35, E235, E6, E13
Griffith Park Fire Entrapment
   Engine 13 - Personnel Entrapment

 E-13 part of TF 1031 assigned to Division “Z”
 E-13 established 2 ½” supply line
 Fire conditions forced E-13 crew inside cab
 Fire Curtains were deployed
 E-13 sustained burn damage to pump, air
 brake lines and 2 ½” supply line
 No E-13 crew members were injured
 Re-assigned to Division “A”, later in the fire
                       SOUTH




 VISTA DEL VALLE     FOOTBRIDGE




AREA OF OPERATIONS
E35, E235, E6, E13
Griffith Park Fire Entrapment
   Division “R” (“Y”) Supervisor

 Directed E-76 to support LAC Camp
 Crew with progressive hose lay
 Div “R” directed E-76 to leave area
 when fire hit trigger point
 LCES was in place in Div “R”
 Inadequate oversight of E-76’s area of
 operation
Griffith Park Fire Entrapment
       Division “Z” Supervisor

 Assigned to what was initially the Hot
 Flank
 Companies not working off same map
 of park
 Companies did not know point of fire
 origin
 Companies unsure of fire direction
Griffith Park Fire Entrapment
          Lessons Learned
 Fire was not anchored
 Personnel underestimated potential fire
 spread and behavior
 Situational Awareness of I/C not
 present
 Proper division of fire essential
 Conduct risk versus gain assessment
 Experienced air recon vital
 Air resources are vital
Griffith Park Fire Entrapment
        Safety Issues for Review

 LCES – Lookouts, Communication, Escape
 Routes and Safety Zones
 10 Standard Firefighting Orders
 18 Situational Watch outs
Griffith Park Fire Entrapment
       Standard Firefighting Orders

1. Keep informed on fire weather conditions
    and forecasts.
2. Know what your fire is doing at all times.
3.* Base all actions on current and expected
    behavior of the fire.
4. Identify escape routes and safety zones and
    make them known.
5. Post lookouts when there is possible
    danger.
Griffith Park Fire Entrapment
        Standard Firefighting Orders
6. Be alert. Keep calm. Think clearly. Act
    decisively.
7.* Maintain prompt communications with your
    forces, your supervisor, and adjoining
    forces.
8. Give clear instructions and insure they are
    understood.
9.* Maintain control of your forces at all times.
10.* Fight fire aggressively, having provided for
    safety first.
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          18 Watchouts Situations

1.* Fire not scouted and sized up.
2. In country not seen in daylight.
3. Safety zones and escape routes not
    identified.
4.* Unfamiliar with weather and local factors
    influencing fire behavior.
5. Uninformed on strategy, tactics, and
    hazards.
6. Instructions and assignments not clear.
Griffith Park Fire Entrapment
          18 Watchouts Situations

7. No communication link with
    crewmembers/supervisors.
8.* Constructing line without safe anchor point.
9.* Building fireline downhill with fire below.
10.* Attempting frontal assault on fire.
11.* Unburned fuel between you and the fire.
12. Cannot see main fire, not in contact with
    anyone who can.
Griffith Park Fire Entrapment
         18 Watchouts Situations

13. On a hillside where rolling material can
    ignite fuel below.
14. Weather is getting hotter and drier.
15.* Wind increases and/or changes direction.
16.* Getting frequent spot fires across line.
17. Terrain and fuels make escape to safety
    zones difficult.
18. Taking a nap near the fire line.
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            Recovery Phase
 “Return to its pre-disaster state”
 3-phase recovery plan
 Phase 1- completed (debris removal, clean-
 up, assessments) $350,000
 Phase 2- currently underway (mitigation and
 erosion control) $3.7 million
 Phase 3- consists of 3 elements (vegetation,
 infrastructure and structural) costs
 undetermined
QUESTIONS ?