Fires Burn in Brea, Yorba Linda and Corona on Hot & Windy Saturday November 15th

Seen From Citron Rd - 12:45 p.m.

Seen From Avocado Crest Rd - 2:15 p.m.

Thanks to City Staff Who Came In To Man A Command Center and Patrol the City

*** At 6:30 p.m. Channel 2 News reported the fire had jumped the 57 Freeway and is headed for La Habra Heights. Hopefully, it dies out before that.*** (It did)

OC Register confirms:

Brea fire jumps 57 freeway
November 15th, 2008, 7:10 pm · Post a Comment · posted by Candice Shih, Staff Writer
The Brea fire has jumped the 57 freeway, from east to west, in the area between Lambert Road and Tonner Canyon Road (near Brea Boulevard and Brea Canyon Road).
Firefighters are working on these new spot fires so they don’t spread, according to Register reporter Cindy McNatt.

Fires burned across Southern California, including neighboring and nearby Brea, Yorba Linda and Corona.

The 57 Freeway was closed between Imperial Highway and the 60 Freeway.

The 91 Freeway was closed at Green River Rd in Yorba Linda.

Diverted traffic found its way to Harbor blvd and Hacienda Rd.

Hacienda North of Canada Sombre Bumper to Bumper All Day

The closing of the 57 Freeway caused traffic to divert to the nearest north-south roadways, Harbor Blvd and Hacienda Rd.

Hacienda was bumper to bumper for much of the afternoon and night. Some residents were concerned that emergency vehicles would be hampered if a speedy response were needed to other parts of the Heights.

This incident, once again, highlights the need for a traffic control plan.

Engines 71 & 73 were called out of the City to assist.

Fires Day 2 - November 16th

Sunrise November 16 2008
Noon 11/16 -Smoke Plume Lifted and started dropping Ash
Large Pieces of Light and Black Ash Fell
View From Avocado Crest 11/16 - Compare to Above

Vehicle Likely Cause of Fires

A November 19th Orange County Register Article points to a Vehicle as the source of the fire's ignition:

"It appeared that a hot catalytic converter on a car traveling on the 91 freeway may have started the fire"

Cause of Fires Spreading

In a Los Angeles Times article about the November 15, 2008 fires in Yorba Linda, Palm Trees were identified as a major cause of fires spreading:

"Michael Boyle, a battalion chief with the Orange County Fire Authority, came upon a Yorba Linda resident who had stayed Saturday to defend his home. Boyle saw wood patio furniture scattered about the backyard.

"I told him to throw it in the swimming pool, and he did," he said. "A few hours later the house was still standing."

Boyle and other firefighters pointed to another culprit: palm trees.

With their lattice of dead and dry material, they light up instantly and unleash blazing debris like an arc welder.

"Many times I saw people wetting down their roofs," Boyle said. "Don't waste your time on the roofs; point your hose at the palm fronds over there."

One firefighter said he spent the good part of a day pulling fallen, burning palm fronds away from garage doors.

On Ridge Park Drive in Yorba Linda, Michael Landig watched palm trees carry the fire from property to property.

"The neighbors' palm trees were just exploding," he said, "and we were running and getting ladders and getting hoses and putting out the palm trees. That was the first thing that caught in every instance." (See also the page on Palm Trees here)

Most preventable fires are started by cigarettes and vehicles.

Hacienda Rd was not closed to reduce the Fire Danger. Most City Staff came in on their day off though, and Public Works checked the City for fallen limbs and other hazards.

Harbor Blvd was La Habra Heights contribution to regional traffic, and Hacienda is for local traffic.

If residents do not stand firm to reduce traffic on Hacienda, pressure will once again mount to straighten and widen it into a highway as occurred in the late 1990s.