Light winds and aggressive firefighting prevented a late night brush fire from rampaging through the Sepulveda Pass.
At midnight on June 10, 2020 the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a reported brush fire at 1300 N Sepulveda Blvd. Seeing acres of fire and knowing the potential, the first arriving companies immediately requested additional resources.
While LAFD helicopters blanketed the steep, rugged hillside with water drops, firefighters loaded up with hose-filled backpacks and started making their way up the difficult terrain. Los Angeles County Fire Department joined the air assault while their hand crews and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MCRA) assisted with cutting fire lines.
The tremendous combined effort successfully halted the blaze from any further progress by 2:45AM. By 8AM, firefighters had hand lines in place around 25% of the burn area. The fire lived within the 2017 burn scar from the Skirball Fire, resulting in a ‘dirty burn’. When burned and unburned/partially burned vegetation is within the area of the fire scar, it is called a dirty burn. This type of fire requires extensive overhaul to mop up all hot spots because the embers can reignite the unburned vegetation.
The 199 LAFD personnel, operating under the command of Deputy Chief Armando Hogan, achieved a knockdown of the fire at 4:00AM, containing it to less than 50 acres. Their dedicated efforts ensured no homes were damaged and no residents had to evacuate. Only two firefighters sustained minor injuries and returned to the fire line after being evaluated.
Crews continued their work throughout the remainder of the day and into the night, overhauling and conducting fire watch to ensure the area remains static and all residents were safe.