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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Did You Guys Know That There is a Fire Down On the Grade?!

About ten in the morning we were in the apparatus bay when a car pulled up. The driver asked, "Did you guys know that here is a fire down on the grade?" This was repeated by three other drivers. It took a lot of self control not to say something like, "Yeah, we know. We're just waiting so it can get a little bigger." We finally asked the last driver if he had called 911. He said no.

We got dressed and started responding. At this point we called dispatch to inform them that we had multiple reports of a fire on the Morongo Grade and that we would like some help. As we went down the grade we began to see smoke...a good sign. As we rounded one of the corners we saw the fire. It was a small spot fire on the side of the road. There was a CHP unit and a marine unit on scene setting up cones to block off the slow lane. Since the fire was in Riverside county we called Paris (the Riverside county fire dispatch) and asked if they had anyone responding. Turns out that both San Bernardino and Riverside counties had half the world responding.

We were first on scene followed very closely by engine 36 from Riverside county. Eric grabbed the line with Anthony and attacked the right side of the fire. I helped the firefighter from 36 attack the left side. Within a few minutes we had the fire contained. The Battalion Chief from Riverside decided that we had done enough by putting the fire out and released us (with an unprecedented thank you) so we could go back to our own area. We got to play and then we didn't have to do mop up. My kind of fire.

The view as we were leaving.

Crews starting mop up.

The engine in the foreground marks how far the fire spread.

Additional crews for mop up.

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