La Brea Containment Update

Mop up and clean up of 148 miles of fire line begin.

Over the next several days, firefighters will continue to mop up 500 feet inside the firelines and rehabilitate the suppression lines.

Although likely to decrease each day, some interior smoke and flare-ups are to be expected, consuming islands of unburned fuel mostly well inside the burned area.

Warmer and drier conditions can be expected over the fire area today and tonight. Tonight will be mostly clear with temperature in the lower elevations of 48 – 58 and 58 to 68 in the upper elevations.

Two weeks from the start of the La Brea Fire, and after long days of tough firefighting involving over 2,000 firefighters at its peak, the La Brea Fire was declared fully contained when firefighters completed the last section of fire line within the San Rafael Wilderness northeast of the Manzana Schoolhouse.

As the La Brea Fire neared containment, repair of fire suppression operations began on the over 148 miles of fire line that either directly contained the fire, or were built as a contingency.

Incident Command Team has 2 rehabilitation groups, Rehab #2 and Rehab #3. Equipment used to accomplish the work includes ‘dozers, excavators, graders, water tenders, and hand crews.

Incident managers must focus not only on containing the wildfire, but when they approach containment they must focus on bringing back costly equipment. On the La Brea Fire the list of equipment that must be brought home includes, hose, pump kits, generators, chainsaw kits, collapsible water tanks, besides the smaller items such as hose fittings, nozzles, etc.

To gather these items, firefighters have GPS the location of equipment and crews are sent out to retrieve l these items. Equipment must then cleaned, repaired, and organized to be ready for the next incident.

An emergency closure order remains in effect for portions of the Los Padres National Forest in and around the burned area. For more information visit here.

Resources: 29 Engines, 17 Crews, 4 Dozers, 56 Water Tenders, 5 Helicopters

Total Personnel: 878

Basic Information

Incident Type: Wildfire

Cause: Fire was started by a cooking fire at a marijuana drug trafficking operation.

Date of Origin: Saturday August 8, 2009 approximately 2:50pm

Location: 21 Miles east of Santa Maria

Incident Commander: Dana D’andrea

Current Situation

Size: 89,489 acres

Containment Date: Saturday, August 22, 2009, 6pm

Fuels Involved: Primarily Chaparral with areas of grass and timber.

Fire Behavior: There was very little fire activity over most of the fire today due to successful fire suppression activities. Isolated interior pockets or islands of fuels continued to smolder well within the interior of the fire perimeter.

Significant Events: Crews continue to mop up interior heat sources and suppression rehabilitation.


Planned Actions: Resources will continue to monitor heat sources, patrol, mop-up and suppression rehabilitation.

Growth Potential: High

Terrain Difficulty : Extreme

Remarks: Command of the La Brea Fire has transition to the command of California Central Coast Interagency Incident Command Team 7 with Dana D’Andrea commanding.


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