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From the Field: Wildland fire burns nearly 200 acres in South San Jose

Date: 2014-07-02
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Photos by Craig AllynRose/ [unless noted]

On Monday, June 30, 2014, at 1340 PM, 9-1-1 calls began to flood the San Jose Fire Department Communications Center with reports of a vegetation fire in the Santa Teresa Hills above Curie Drive on the city’s south side, threatening homes and a county park.

As firefighters began to arrive in the area additional resources were requested, including a full response from CAL FIRE. With fire spreading quickly in the tinder dry vegetation a call went out for more firefighters eventually making this blaze a four-alarm incident. Initial estimates place the size of the fire at nearly 200 acres with containment achieved by 1917 hours.

A CAL-FIRE hand crew ascends through the burned-out area to conduct mop-up operations on hot spots 

Despite blistering early summer heat, firefighters were able to corral the fire saving numerous homes. Two firefighters suffered heat related injuries and were transported to an area hospital for treatment.

In the midst of the four-alarm wildfire, another blaze broke out six miles away at the Los Lagos public golf course off Tuers Road, which tasked further SJFD and allied resources, but was held away from homes and contained to just six acres.

Right: SJFD and CalFIRE commanders operate together at a unifiied command post.  Below: CAL FIRE Helicopter 106 performs a precision water drop to snuff out active fire on one of the perimeters.

The large wildland fire response from the San Jose Fire Department was supplemented by numerous resources assembled as strike teams or task forces from other Santa Clara County agencies, including the cities of Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Moffett Field, and Santa Clara County Fire, as well as a large contingent from CAL FIRE, which through a threat-zone mutujal aid agreement provided eight engines, two dozers, helitac crew, two air tankers, and hand crews.

Below: The view from dispatch.  These white boards supplement the computer workstations and permit quick and room-wide visible updates for resource management as the incident escalates and when resources are released.  (Photo via SJFD Comms.)

San Jose Fire dispatchers had their hands full coordinating the two fires and their large amount of mutual aid resources, as well as an additional amount of fire engines from outside the city called in to backfill vacated firehouses and respond to incoming emergency calls.



For more images by Craig Allyn Rose, see



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