Engine 81 is getting a solid workout this wildfire season.
The South Pasadena Fire Department’s main firefighting apparatus has been used in a steady stream of fires destroying massive amounts of acreage up and down the state in recent months.
Last Saturday afternoon, the local fire truck was dispatched to the El Dorado incident in Yucaipa with four personnel. The crew consisting of Captain Dan Dunn, Engineer Chris Szenczi, and Firefighter/Paramedics Jonathan Nugent and Luis Vasquez were assigned to structure protection and are teamed up with four other engines from Pasadena, Arcadia, Monrovia and Sierra Madre, according to South Pasadena Fire Chief Paul Riddle.
Authorities say a smoke generating pyrotechnic devise used at a gender reveal party started the El Dorado Fire, which has burned more that 7,050 acres. It began at approximately 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
If fending off the coronavirus isn’t enough, Californians have been faced with a series of dangerous wildfires in recent weeks. On Sunday, Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state emergency in San Bernardino County as a result of the El Dorado fire, along with four other counties due to the blazes.
As the Bobcat Fire erupted on Sunday, threatening Monrovia, Sierra Madre and Arcadia, the SPFD fire chief said crews are on standby and may be positioned to assist if needed. It erupted at about 12:30 p.m. and has scorched about 1,800 acres, according to fire officials.
A relief crew that was sent up to Central California last week was released from the incident last Thursday. “All of our “single resource “ assignments were also released from up north and returned safely to the City on Friday,” noted Riddle.
With the deployments to numerous wildfires, Riddle stressed there are adequate resources back in district to protect the City of South Pasadena. “We work closely with our partner agencies throughout LA County coordinating efforts,” he said.
Riddle said no injuries to any of South Pasadena firefighters have been reported, adding, “The morale remains high! I continue to be extremely proud and humbled by the efforts of all of our personnel! They are committed to meet these challenges and continue to selflessly provide amazing service to this community and the surrounding region.”