The Ongoing Brushfire in Burbank


As reported on CNN, frazzled residents of the Los Angeles suburbs affected by the most recent brushfire were relieved to hear a Los Angeles fire Department spokesman announced that there was “no active fire left.” But Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas also warned residents that the fire that has so far burned approximately 7000 acres could easily be rekindled by the winds. Currently, it is the worst fire the Burbank area has seen since 1961.

By late Monday, the smoldering cinders at the La Tuna fire near Burbank was reported to be 30% contained, with fire department officials projecting that this containment number would gradually increase. The difficult terrain in the Burbank area – as well as the weather conditions – made containing the fire difficult. Of course, residents of Southern California are no strangers to out-of-control brushfires.

Fire department officials battling with the blaze in the foothills of Los Angeles indicated that crews were attempting to create a fire break by removing all of the brush and other potential fuel in a line around the fire. Of course, high winds in the area can sometimes cause fires to jump fire breaks, so residents need to remain alert.
One of the most important highways in the area, Interstate 210, was finally reopened yesterday after being closed on Friday. For the safety of crews still fighting the fire, the fire department wants residents to be aware that many of these crews will be working along the edge of the highway.

Weather for Monday was helpful for the firefighters, with lower temperatures, lower winds and slightly higher humidity. Tuesday looks even more favorable. Still, Chief Terrazas anticipates that the La Tuna fire will increase slightly in size over the next few days.

In addition to the wind problems firefighters faced over the weekend, they also had a “drone incursion” that interfered with operations. Firefighting helicopters and firefighting tanker planes can’t safely operate when drones are nearby.
The drone in question was eventually captured by law enforcement, who are planning to arrest the owner for interfering with their operations and endangering their crews. As pointed out by chief Terrazas.

"If a drone is in the air, we cannot fly," Terrazas said. "A drone hitting a rotor blade can bring down a helicopter."