A swift response from local fire crews and relentless air attack made quick work of a vegetation fire in Valley Springs last Friday.
The vegetation fire behind Valley Springs Elementary School was dispatched with multiple calls at 2:45 p.m. on Friday, August 9, 2019. The first arriving units reported a fire in the grass moving into the brush and trees, with approximately an acre and a half involved with a slow rate of spread.
Air Attack 440 arrived and assumed the attack with tankers 82 and 83 arriving shortly thereafter.
Both tankers made retardant drops on the fire. The tankers returned to Columbia to load with retardant. Copter 404 arrived and landed to attach their bucket and drop the fly crew. Copter 404 made several water drops on the fire. The tankers were put on a “load and hold” at Columbia and ultimately were released from the incident. After copter 404 made a couple of more drops on the fire, they were also released from the incident.
The next arriving units were positioned to stop the forward progress of the fire. Dozer 4442 arrived shortly after the first arriving units and began cutting a line around the fire. While the dozer was cutting a line around the fire, the camp crews arrived and began working on the areas that the dozer couldn’t cut a line on. With the dozer completing a line at the head of the fire, they were able to get the forward progress of the fire stopped.
Once forward progress was stopped, the firefighters concentrated on hot spots within the containment lines. This proved to be a very stubborn fire within the containment lines. The incident Commander estimated it took about three hours to complete mop up.
Dispatched to this incident were CAL FIRE TCU and AEU engines, Calaveras Consolidated Fire Protection District, Air Attack 440, Air Tankers 82 and 83, Copter 404, Water Tenders from Cal Co 141, 143, Water Tender from San Andreas Fire Protection District 169 (Cancelled in route), Camp Crews Vallecito 1, 5, Pine Grove 3, and Dozer 4442.
A flair up to this fire was dispatched at 9:45 p.m. as the Ball field Incident. Engine 4451 was first on scene with a report of a small glow on top of the hill. At 9:53 p.m. it was reported as a flair up within the containment lines of the Springs Incident and to cancel the response.