By Mary O’KEEFE
The Brand Fire is at 90% containment, according to Chief Fish of the Glendale Fire Dept. as of Wednesday evening.
The fire will not be declared 100% contained until the area is wind tested, meaning that winds do not stir up any flames. That won’t happen for a few days, Fish said.
Two patrol trucks with a pump are now monitoring the fire area. That is in contrast to the almost 250 personnel who battled the blaze early on to contain it.
The fire that began on Sunday at about 1 p.m. in the Brand Park area was immediately responded to by GFD. By
3 p.m. the fire had burned 25 acres, and by the next morning it had covered 150 acres. Los Angeles County Fire Dept. was called in to assist.
There were three minor injuries to firefighters and no structures were threatened.
The concern on Monday morning was the heat after the fog and morning overcast moved away. The sun would heat up the already dry vegetation.
The firefighters were able to contain the fire and keep it from crossing over the Verdugo Mountain ridge and into the Whiting Woods area.
The Brand Fire is a reminder of how dry the vegetation is around Crescenta Valley and throughout California.
“We have never had such low fuel moisture as we are facing right now, at this time of year,” Fish said.
Years ago the fire season for Los Angeles County started in October; however, as the lack of precipitation continued, the vegetation dried up earlier and earlier until now fire season is all year long.
In January, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought state of emergency.
With the 4th of July weekend coming up, it is important to remember just how dry the area is and how everyone should be aware of his or her surroundings.
“We are in critical fire weather conditions,” said Capt. Kane of L.A. County Fire Dept. Station 82.
For firefighters that means extra staffing over the holiday weekends. For the public it means that precautions should be taken when out camping or hiking.
“Obviously there should be no open flames,” Kane said.
Fireworks are illegal in Glendale, La Cañada, Los Angeles and the unincorporated portion of Los Angeles County; however, it is important to note that fireworks outside of a professional venue can have catastrophic consequences.
It is not only fireworks that people need to be cautious when around dry vegetation – smoking and grills are also dangers.
“One flying ember can start an incident,” Kane said.
The abatement checks in the LACoFD area of La Cañada and La Crescenta are done and, according to Kane, residents have been cooperative.
Both Fish and Kane remind people if they see anything suspicious to call the authorities.