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Playing with Rain and Fire
Fire Hawk and a Chinook double-dipping at 69 Bravo Helistop
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Playing with Rain and Fire 

Fire Hawk and a Chinook double-dipping at 69 Bravo Helistop

Pacific Coast Highway and Tuna Canyon were shut down for hours on January 21, while firefighters worked to contain a fastmoving brush fire in steep terrain. (see spectacular photo on following page.) The fire is thought to have ignited at a homeless encampment. It spread rapidly up a steep embankment in thick vegetation that burned despite recent heavy rainfall. The Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Fire Hawk and Chinook helicopters, together with an LA City Fire Department helicopter, used the resources at helistop 69 Bravo to swiftly drop more than 18 loads of water—approximately 16,500 gallons—on the blaze in less than an hour. The road closure remained in place while ground crews mopped up and made sure all hot spots were fully extinguished. Rapid air response is credited with preventing this incident from becoming a major one. It’s a reminder that even in the rainy season wildfire is a constant concern for everyone in the wildland interface.

The January 21 fire spread rapidly up a steep embankment in thick vegetation that burned despite recent heavy rainfall. Photo courtesy of Acting Assistant Chief Drew Smith

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