Sunday, May 17, 2015

San Jose Firefighters Respond to Communications Hill for Vegetation Fire

Photo By John Whitaker
Three things in life are certain:  1) you're born, 2) you die, and 3) there will be a vegetation fire every year on Communications Hill.
At 9:51 PM on Sunday, May 17, Fire Associates members were paged to assist San Jose firefighters as a fire was quickly spreading through the very dry vegetation on Communications Hill. The fire was burning at the end of Communications Hill Blvd., near its intersection with Monte Vista Drive. 
Engine 26 firefighters were the first to arrive and found a grass fire quickly spreading through the tall vegetation. It was not long before a Tier 2 level fire was declared. Fortunately, Sunday was the first day of activation for the department's brush patrol units and they were quickly put to work. Their quick work was able to hold the blaze to an estimated 5 acres.
John Whiteside responded for Fire Associates, bringing Fire Support Unit 2 to the scene. He was met at the fire by FASCV members Mike Garcia, John Whitaker, and Ken Needham (guest). Cold water, Gatorade, and Clif Bars were provided to all the fire crews as they returned off the hill to the Command Center. They were all very tired as the firefighting effort on steep terrain in the dark proved to be very exhausting.
After most of these crews were served, the IC asked FASCV members if they could relocate to the Chateau La Salle mobile home park to provide rehab service for the three engine companies who had been dispatched to that location for structure protection. After leaving a couple of cases of drinks and Clif Bars with the IC, FSU-2 was quickly packed up and moved to the new location at the head of the fire. Fire crews there were very grateful for the help as they had not only been providing protection for half a dozen mobile homes, but had also been on the hill stopping the fire's spread.
At approximately 12:30AM, FSU-2 was released from service and returned to quarters.
The first fire on Communications Hill was under control, but sometime during the summer, we'll be back -- that's for certain!
-- Report submitted by John Whitaker