By Mary O’KEEFE
U.S. Forest Service and Los Angeles County Fire Dept. responded to a small fire in a campground near Newcomb’s Ranch in the Angeles National Forest on Monday.
A call from people at the campground came into the U.S. Forest Service fire station at 7:06 a.m., said Nathan Judy, U.S. Forest Service spokesman.
“It was in a very small space [affecting] a 20-foot by 20-foot area of the campground,” Judy said.
Although the fire is still under investigation, it appeared it started as an “escaped campfire” meaning somehow fire left the metal ring provided at the campgrounds.
“Right now only campfires inside the designated campfire [area] with provided metal rings are allowed,” Judy said. “If people aren’t paying attention, the fire can [escape] the ring and start a grass fire.”
This is what appeared to have happened in this case
The fire was knocked down quickly, according to Judy.
L.A. County Fire air support also assisted with one water drop, Judy added.
Both Judy and Capt. Josh Binder, LACoFD Station 82, remind people that ANF as well as all of Southern California is dry and to be careful when they are in campgrounds. Fire safety, the drought and dry vegetation are subjects that are constantly being promoted by all fire departments.
“We are currently going through brush inspections in the wildlife urban interface,” Binder said.
The inspections occur annually. Firefighters make certain there is defensible space around properties. The fire department will at first give warnings to residents who do not clear their brush; however, if residents refuse or do not clear the area then there can be fines levied.
Binder advised residents to visit the LA County Fire website at www.fire.lacounty.gov for information not only on abatement (brush clearance) but information on what to do in case of a fire.
“We have Ready, Set, Go,” Binder said. That is a program detailing how people can be prepared for fires and how to prepare for evacuations if and when necessary.
“If there is a fire in your area (and evacuation is suggested) we would rather you evacuate your area [and not] wait until it is too late,” Binder said.
For information on the ANF go to www.fs.gov/angeles.