Edison Work Sparks Fire

Upper Fairview Residents Briefly Threatened

While horses gaze in the foreground, fire fighters work to contain this fire that appears to have been started by Edison power line work.
Ray Ford

THE BASICS
Fire Reported at 1:09pm; first engines on scene six minutes later; first water dropped on the fire at 2:09pm; eleven fire engines (County, City and Forest Service); two Battalion Chiefs; two water-dropping county helicopters.

Containment time: 35 minutes; acreage burned – 1 acre.

POWER LINE SPARKS FIRE
Residents on upper Fairview Road were threatened briefly with the prospects of wildfire raging through their community when sparks from work being done to replace aging wooden power lines with metal towers apparently ignited the nearby brush. The fire started shortly before 2pm on Sunday but thanks to quick response from City, County and Forest Service engine crews as well as water dropping helicopters, the fire was contained less than an hour later.

A bit of needed rest for the crew after the fire has been contained. This spot notes what fire officials believe was the starting point of the fire.
Ray Ford

The fire was blamed by nearby residents on work being done to replace aging wooden poles with metal ones. “There are down power lines in the area where the fire started,” County Fire PIO Eli Iskow told news reporters. “However, we haven’t yet confirmed that this was what caused the fire.”

One nearby resident reported that work was being done by Edison crews on Sunday. Robin Cederlof, who lives near the end of Fairview Road and just below where the fire started was one of the first to report it. “I smelled the smoke and wondered if one of my neighbors was having a bar-be-que,” she remembers, “but when I moved over to look out my kitchen window I could see the smoke up the hill.”

Within minutes after she had called 911 she could hear the sound of the fire engines and not too long after the sound of the helicopters coming with the needed water. “I can’t believe Edison was up there working on a Sunday when it’s been so dry and windy. Did they even have an idea of what to do if a fire started?”

Close up shows the area around the pole and the burned out carcass of the transformer.
Ray Ford

Though just a small fire, it has left residents wondering why the work couldn’t have been put off until the fire danger has lessened. “I can’t even have a wood fire in my fireplace until we get enough rain,” another resident fumed. “Yet Edison can work near live lines with little or no brush clearance around them. That’s not right.”

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