On a warm, fall afternoon, the San Jose Fire Dept. called for Fire Associates at approximately 2:25 P.M. A grass fire was burning up slope on Clayton Rd., near the intersection with Mt. Hamilton Rd. In a rare, two-unit response, John Whiteside came to the incident with Fire Support Unit 2 while Don Gilbert responded with Fire Support Unit 3. Don happened to be at Len Williams' warehouse doing some mechanical work on FSU-3 at the time of the call. With the equivalent of 3 alarms of SJS equipment coming to the scene, and a dual response with Cal Fire, it made sense to have two support units on scene.
Operations were quickly established at both the top and bottom of the hillside. While fire lines were established to knock down the head of the fire, Cal Fire air tankers made drops on the left and right flanks of the fire to keep it from spreading. Don Gilbert and John Whitaker responded to the top of the hill to take care of fire crews there, while John Whiteside and George Hoyt established a Rehab site at the origination point of the fire to support the IC and firefighters doing mop-up work there.
- John's photos can be viewed at: Tier 3 Grass Fire
- A SJ Mercury News article can be read at: Firefighters Contain Blaze