A member of the Unified Incident Command Team briefs fire crews.

John Goodman

A member of the Unified Incident Command Team briefs fire crews.

Gap Fire Evening Update

Fire Crews Continue to Work Hard Near Trout Club

This evening’s six o’clock briefing indicated that although containment of the Gap Fire-which still stands at 9,542 burned acres-is going well, there are still a few problem areas. A small controlled burn was executed today just above the rocks at the Winchester Canyon Gun Club Pistol Range, said fire incident command officials. Fire crews were also hard at work in the area near the San Marcos Trout Club, where it was reported that temperatures topped 100 degrees. The northern front of the fire, which skirts West Camino Cielo Road, has also been an area that officials are watching with some concern. Engine companies continue to provide structure protection for residences in Winchester and Ellwood Canyons.

Meteorologist Rich Thompson reported that winds are expected to be fairly weak this evening and throughout the night-blowing from a northerly direction at 5 miles per hour with occasional 15 mile per hour gusts. The main messages the incident command team had for their crews was to stay hydrated and drive very carefully-avoiding pulling larger trucks onto the northbound freeway on ramp at Las Positas Road-as well as maintaining vigilance towards the fire. “Think about the elements of the error chain,” said United Incident Commander Bob Bell. “They are ignorance, complacency, and distraction.”

In the logistical realm of the operation, the Incident Command post is expected to be fully moved from the Earl Warren Showgrounds to the parking lot at Dos Pueblos High School by tomorrow morning. Also, the communication team is working with Exxon Mobil to get a radio repeater device installed on Platform Hondo-southwest of Goleta in the Santa Barbara Channel-to improve communications between fire divisions, said Byron van Alstein, one of the team’s staff members.

No major injuries have been reported, although three fire fighters experienced minor injuries today-one for an allergic reaction to a bee sting, one for heat exhaustion, and another when he slipped on a steep slope and twisted his hand. All three are expected to be back on duty in a few days.

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