Brush Fire in Pacifica

On January 26, 2015 at 3:35 a.m., 23 Fire Companies, 3 CAL-Fire Hand Crews, 8 Chief Officers, 2 Fire Investigators, 1 Information Officer, 1 EMS Supervisor and 2 EMS Transport Units responded to a Brush Fire behind a residence at 1109 Fassler Avenue in the City of Pacifica.

The first arriving fire company reported heavy smoke and flames coming from the wildland area behind a home on Fassler Avenue.  The first arriving Chief Officer immediately requested additional resources and initiated evacuations, utilizing the Pacifica Police Department to handle the evacuations of homes within the direction of the moving brush fire.  Firefighters began as quickly as possible implementing hose lays along both flanks of the fire and additional fire companies were directed provide structure defense for homes threatened at the top, bottom and to the flanks of the fire. Due to the steepness, winds in the area and lack of day light firefighters had a very difficult task in getting hose lines around the fire, containing and suppressing the flames.

Over 80 homes and approximately 90 residents were evacuated and directed to re-locate and shelter at the Pacifica Community Center at 540 Crespi Drive.  At approximately 8 a.m., all of the evacuated residents were allowed to return to their homes and the Pacifica Community Center, which had approximately 55 residents sheltering within the community center was deactivated.  The community center/shelter had been opened and staffed by Pacifica Recreation Department, assisted by the American Red Cross and San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services representatives.

The fire was controlled in approximately four and a half hours and burned a total of 10 acres.  Firefighters will remain on scene for most of the day using hand tools and hose lines to complete line construction by separating the burned and unburned fuels and continuing to mop up hot spots.

There were no injuries to any residents or firefighters, however several firefighters were evaluated at the scene for exposure to poison oak.  Further, potential for major property damage or injury was avoided due to efforts and actions of public safety responders and residents were properly cared for by support personnel. Fortunately there was no damage to any homes or other property.  The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Fire Prevention Services Bureau.

The North County Fire Authority reminds all residents maintain clearance of vegetation a minimum of 30 feet away from homes.