Firefighters quickly contain Glendale fire, remain vigilant overnight

May 03, 2013|By Jason Wells, Joe Piasecki and Veronica Rocha
  • A fireman from Glendale Station 25 runs with hose to connect to a hydrant on Harvey Avenue to battle a brush fire that erupted along the road which was part of a bigger fire in the Glenoaks and Chevy Chase canyons in Glendale on Friday, May 3, 2013. Hundreds of homes were evacuated.
A fireman from Glendale Station 25 runs with hose to connect… (Tim Berger / Staff…)

Hundreds of firefighters, combined with a massive air attack, were able to contain a fast-moving brush fire in Glendale Friday just hours after it was reported.

With the aid of several water-dropping helicopters, more than 200 firefighters were able to prevent the roughly 75-acre blaze from damaging any structures. No civilians were reported injured despite television footage that showed people fleeing flames whipping from nearby sidewalks.

Two firefighters suffered from heat exhaustion.

PHOTOS: Glenoaks and Chevy Chase canyons burn in brush fire

Glendale Fire Chief Harold Scoggins attributed the outcome to an “aggressive and coordinated attack between the helicopters, hand crews and engine companies providing structural protection up and down the canyon.”

The fire was reported shortly after 2 p.m. near the Glendale (2) and Ventura (134) freeways. From its ignition point, wind-spread embers started flare-ups in Glenoaks and Chevy Chase canyons. Within minutes, the flames started tearing through tinder-dry brush, prompting evacuations of hundreds of homes and Glenoaks Elementary School.


One of the streets affected by the evacuation orders was Solway Street, where Vera Souma, 37, owns a home.

The home’s tenants called her husband as the fire took hold to let him know they were safe.

“As long as our tenants are out, we’re fine,” Souma said.

Others watched nervously as helicopters flew back and forth making water-drops and hand crews worked to put out hot spots.

VIDEO: Brush fire burns through Chevy Chase Canyon

Chris Dy, 21, said his Lilac Lane home was “really, really close to the fire,” but located across the hill so his family didn’t plan to evacuate.

“We’re just hosing down the grass,” he said.

Though firefighters from Glendale, Burbank, Pasadena, Los Angeles city and county and the U.S. Forest Service were able to stop the spread of the fire within a couple hours, evacuation orders remained in place into the evening as they worked to put out hotspots.

Several families were using an evacuation center set up at the Adult Recreation Center on Broadway.

“All the hillside was on fire, it was horrifying,” said Caroline Blackburn, who lives on the 2300 block of Chevy Chase Drive.

After getting stuck in traffic, she was able to retrieve her dogs after catching a ride with a stranger who was within the evacuation zone.

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