Engine 81 is back in action.
The South Pasadena fire truck, disabled for a short time after used heavily in fighting California wildfires the past four months, has returned to the fire lines.
The engine was dispatched this week, along with SPFD Division Chief Szenczi as the Strike Team Leader, to the Blue Ridge Fire in Orange County. The truck was burned and taken out of service during one of its recent assignments, causing a hose, emergency lighting and equipment on board to melt.
The Blue Ridge Fire, burning near the Orange County communities of Yorba Linda and Chino Hills, has burned more than 14,000 acres and as of Wednesday morning is 16 percent contained with 10 homes damaged. Nearly 30,000 people are under mandatory evacuation. No injuries have been reported.
The crew, including Captain Dan Dunn, Engineer Justin Furtado, Firefighter Paramedic Adam Tregenza and Firefighter Luis Vasquez, has been assigned to structure protection in Chino Hills.
The nearby Siverado Fire, burning near Irvine, has scorched 13,300 acres as of Wednesday morning, is 25 percent contained while 70,000 homes have been evacuated. No houses have been damaged.
Officials say five firefighters have been injured, including two in critical condition.
High winds earlier in the week, especially on Monday, made it difficult for containment, noted South Pasadena Fire Chief Paul Riddle.
“It serves as a good reminder that wind driven fires are extremely dangerous and move extremely fast,” he said. “Every household in high risk fire zones should be prepared to be able to evacuate their homes in five minutes or less. This means having a plan and identifying which belongings they would want to take with them.”