Monday, June 16, 2008

Engine burnover near Lincoln, California

Another engine burnover--this time it was two Placer County Fire Department brush engines on the Nicolaus fire near Lincoln, CA on June 11. Here is an excerpt from CalFire's "24-hour report" recently released:
On June 11, 2008 at 0949 hours, Placer County Fire units were dispatched to a vegetation fire at Nicolaus Road near Dowd Road, west of the City of Lincoln in Placer County. The fire occurred during a north wind event under a Red Flag Warning. BR 75, staffed with one Placer County Volunteer Firefighter, arrived first at scene reporting a wind driven five acre fire.

BR 75 drove down a dirt road paralleling the left flank of the fire. Engine 70 (E70) arrived and reported 7-10 acres with no structures threatened and assumed incident command (IC). BR 73 arrived next, staffed with one CAL FIRE Fire Apparatus Engineer and one Firefighter I. BR 73 followed BR 75 down the dirt road on the left flank. The right flank was inaccessible at this time.

Approximately seven minutes into the fire, E70 (IC) reported that units were being burned over. Appropriate EMS was requested.

The volunteer firefighter from BR 75 sought refuge on the leeward side of the apparatus. The fire intensity continued to increase and he retreated to safety, crossing a barbed wire fence, into a stubble field immediately to the east of the dirt road. He was met by apparatus and personnel from Lincoln Fire Department and escorted to ambulance personnel.

The CAL FIRE Firefighters from BR 73 tried to seek refuge in the cab, but were quickly overrun. They retreated through the flame front to the west, into the burn. Both of the firefighters walked north through the burn and exited where E70 was parked on Nicolaus Road.

All firefighters were treated and transported to UC Davis Medical Center. The volunteer firefighter from BR 75 received burns to the nose, was treated and released. The firefighters from BR 73 remain in the Burn Unit in stable condition with burns to the face and hands. They are expected to remain at UC Davis Medical Center for 7 to 10 days.

The Nicolaus Fire was contained at 1140 hours to 65 acres on June 11, 2008.

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