A few minutes after the drill we were going about business as usual in the station and the tones went off, Station 51, brush fire. Of course by this point we had all changed out of our wildland gear.
We quickly donned our gear again and tore out of the station in our type IV engine. We were the closest units to the fire but we were now racing three different departments to get first on scene.
Type 4 brush engine
As we turned North onto the street that leads to the freeway we could see the ominous "header" off to our right. Traffic on the freeway was heavy so we skirted our way along the center divider chirping the siren at drivers along the way.
When we reached our exit we turned towards the smoke. After a few minutes of winding up the road we rounded a corner and saw the fire. We knew what we were dealing with. Light flashy fuels and wind. The fire had a moderate rate of spread.
After getting through the barbed wire fence we drove "into the black" to start our attack. I jumped out of the type 4 engine and started up the pump. After making sure I had enough pump pressure I grabbed the real line and started my mobile attack.Just then the wind shifted and started blowing the flames towards another crew that didn't have water flowing. My captain quickly pulled forward and I jumped right into the smoke. The flames were dancing all around me and I could immediately tell which parts of my skin were exposed.
Once the wind calmed down we really started to knock back the fire. We did was is called a mobile attack. The firefighter walks with the hose to one side and slightly in front of the engine and puts out the fire while the driver follows him. This time I was leading the attack in the type IV engine and I had two type III engines following. This allowed me to move swiftly and just knock down the majority of the fire while the crews behind me would make sure it was completely extinguished and that it wouldn't spread any further.
Type III fire engine.
Once the the fire had been completely encircled the fire crews went through and put out the "smokers" or hot spots. We were very fortunate to stop this one at about 20 acres. It appeared to have been started by a windmill.