Saturday, September 4, 2010

September 2, 2010 -- Tier 2 Grass Fire in San Jose

At approximately 3:00 P.M. on Thursday, Sept. 2, Fire Associates responded to a Tier 2 grass fire in San Jose's east foothills. Burning near the intersection of Clayton Rd. and Fall Ave., the fire quickly raced up a hillside and was threatening homes in it's path. John Whiteside responded in Support Unit 2 and was met on scene by FASCV members George Hoyt and John Whitaker.

San Jose Fire sent a full Tier 2 response for structure protection and asked for Cal Fire assistance. Since temperatures were well above 90 degrees, Cal Fire was at a high response level and sent multiple type-3 engines as well 2 air tankers and Copter 106. The heavy air support was credited as keeping the burned are at only 7.5 acres on a day when the potential for much more was very high.

Support Unit 2 set up at the command post near Clayton Rd. and Marten Ave. From here, FASCV could function as a central area for rehab and rehydration, while Med 30 delivered bottled water and Gatorade on the perimeter of the fire. All San Jose units were instructed to pass through Rehab to rehydrate before going back into service. This rehab plan meant that at the height of the fire, FASCV did not have much "business". But, as things wound down, the Rehab area got very busy.

Complicating maters, was that this was also the day of FASCV's September Monthly Meeting in Mountain View. John Whitaker left the scene early so that he could get to the meeting on time. Cal Fire had asked FASCV to stay until its conclusion to service their handcrews. So, John Whiteside remained on scene to provide service, but he was able to make the meeting by traveling to Mountain View in the support unit. Since Support Unit 1 was already going to be "on display" for the Mountain View firefighters, that meant that they got a double-dose of Fire Associates' vehicles.