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 Griffith Park Fire Entrapment Griffith Park Fire Entrapment Firefighter Entrapment Griffith Park Fire Entrapment Griffith Park Fire Entrapment Griffith Park Fire Entrapment Griffith Park Fire Entrapment Griffith Park Fire Entrapment Griffith Park Fire Entrapment Griffith Park Fire Entrapment Griffith Park Fire Entrapment Griffith Park Fire Entrapment Griffith Park Fire Entrapment Griffith Park Fire Entrapment 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. Griffith Park Fire Entrapment 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. Griffith Park Fire Entrapment 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 ?