Amid Fireworks And Heat, Crews Battle Blazes Across Southland

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) – Hot, dry conditions and fireworks proved to a potent combination for brush fires, as hundreds of firefighters found themselves battling dozens of fires across the Southland overnight Tuesday.

The San Bernardino County Fire Department reported that as of 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, it had responded to 53 separate vegetation fires, several of which were related to fireworks.

In Santa Ana, several arrests were made for illegal fireworks.

“To me, it seems like what it would be like in a combat zone,” Santa Ana police Cpl. Gonzalo Garcia said. “You’re driving by and there’s bottle rockets and mortars going off around you. As you drive by they’re hitting your car. You can see that there are people aiming at each other.”

A fireworks-caused blaze broke out in a steep terrain in a small canyon in the 18000 block of West Braemore Road in Porter Ranch just after midnight. Los Angeles Fire Department crews made quick work of the fire, holding it to one-acre with help from water-dropping helicopters.

Firefighters were concerned due to the fact that there are homes on either side of the canyon.

“This is an example of why it’s illegal in the city of Los Angeles,” LAFD Battalion Chief Daniel Curry said. “Southern California, the vegetation here is made to burn. That’s how it reproduces itself. We have houses around here. A lot of people live in this area. And it would have been tragic if a house had burned down as a result of illegal fireworks.”

Crews were expected to remain at the scene well into Wednesday morning in order to monitor the area for hot spots.

LAFD crews also battled a vegetation fire caused by fireworks in the 13200 block of Bromich Street in Pacoima just after 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. That fire threatened several homes, but was knocked down without causing any damage.

A palm tree went up in flames at San Fernando Road and the 2 Freeway in Glassell Park.

A brush fire broke out in a hilly area near Browns Creek Park in Chatsworth at around 11:35 p.m. Tuesday. Air and ground crews were able to quickly knock down the blaze before it caused any damage to nearby homes.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

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