Photos & Incident Descriptions

Some incidents that LPVFR responds to will be documented here. Not every incident will appear; in fact most won't. Medical aid calls and vehicle accidents always have significant privacy concerns and they are unlikely to be described here as a result. Major incidents, fires and a few other things will be documented if they are relevant, but even in those cases actual addresses and locations generally won't be given in detail.

Photos by Kelli Nicholson

In the late hours of August 30th, and the early hours of August 31st, a major fire destroyed the Loma Prieta Community Center and various nearby rooms in the area adjacent to the gym at Loma Prieta school. The gym was relatively undamaged, however. Over 100,000 gallons of water were used putting this fire out, and 55 fire fighters from a large number of agencies worked together to extinguish the blaze.

 A large storm driven by an atmospheric river of equatorial moisture caused high winds and heavy rains in our response area.

These photos show just a few of the incidents that LPVFR and County Fire responded to in the area. Pictures were all tweeted out by LPVFR or published on 95033talk.

Tree down on Summit between Mountain Charlie and OSCH. Photo: Alex Leman

Mudslide on OSCH. Photo from 95033talk, (Rebecca Smith?)

Tree down on Soquel San Jose. Photo: Sanjay Khandelwal

Tree and wires down on Glenwood Drive. Photo: Alex Leman

An entire house was lost to a structure fire this morning. The first engine from Burrell station was on scene just a few minutes after the initial dispatch, but the house was already fully involved. Firefighters concentrated on keeping the fire from spreading into the wildland and let the fire burn itself out. Traffic was reduced to one way on Summit Road for hours during the incident, and the Burrell engine was back in quarters at about 3:18pm, nearly 12 hours after the fire was reported. LPVFR sent members in four apparatus: E3621, E3522, R3661, and WT3651. Other engines came from Santa Clara County Fire, Scotts Valley Fire, and Central Fire. CHP and sheriffs also responded. There is a Santa Cruz Sentinel article about this fire. About 19,000 gallons of water were used putting out this fire.

Picture and video below courtesy of a neighbor at the scene. Click on images for a larger version.

Pictures and video below courtesy of Jay Kilby. Click on images for a larger version.

Initial dispatch was for a 20 foot long brush fire on a hillside. A battalion chief arrived on scene at 12:12am and the first engine arrived 4 minutes later. Shortly thereafter the fire was declared both contained and controlled, and other incoming engines were canceled. Based on the radio traffic, this was part of a series of incidents in that area by someone known to the fire department. The Prevention Officer - the fire department's law enforcement specialist - was called to the scene. Details about things like this don't go over the radio, so no additional information is available from that source.

Update: later in the day the community was informed on a local neighborhood email list that an arrest was made related to this fire.

Cal Fire has released the safety stand-down on all S-2T aircraft. Tankers are flying again as quickly as pilots return and aircraft are inspected.

A Cal Fire S-2T tanker based in Hollister CA crashed today while fighting the Dog Rock Fire near Yosemite National Park. Pilot Geoffrey "Craig" Hunt died in the crash. The entire fleet of S-2T tanker aircraft is grounded on a safety stand down for an unknown length of time while the crash is analyzed. The tanker in question - 81 - was a regular site over our homes in the Santa Cruz Mountains, responding to fires in our area. Our thoughts go out to the family and coworkers of the pilot.

Reports of smoke on Old Japanese, Cresci, and other roads in the area. Fire found on Cresci road. Tree into power lines. Here's a log of the highlights from the radio traffic:

An image taken at the scene of the Cresci Fire:

Report of a vehicle accident with fire in the vegetation on highway 9 near Heather Heights drive, just north of 35. Full wildland response sent from Santa Clara Cal Fire along with the Stevens Creek volunteers and mutual aid from Santa Cruz Cal Fire. (No aircraft as it was after dark.) Fire contained at 12:52 and incoming resources were canceled. It was about 1/2 acre in size.

A trailer on fire - possibly threatening the wildland - in the area of Soquel San Jose and Hester Creek. A full wildland response was sent: 5 Cal Fire engines, battalion chief, and everything the VFD could bring. (No aircraft as it was after dark.) The first engine on scene reported a 27' trailer, on third fully involved, venting through the roof, but no extension into the wildland. They made an interior fire attack - meaning they got inside the trailer with hoses - and stopped it. In the end 3 Cal Fire engines, 1 volunteer engine, and the volunteer water tender were on scene to handle the incident. The cause of the fire is under investigation.