Monday, April 27, 2009

Human Error Contributed to Freeway Complex Fire

Article in KTLA news on 25 April 2009

Human error, in addition to adverse weather conditions and poor brush clearing, resulted a Freeway Complex Fire, that burned thousands of homes through six cities and four counties. Costs are estimated at $150 million, although no one was seriously injured.

A report issued by Orange County Fire Authority revealed that actions taken by four Corona firefighters trapped in flames at the beginning of the fire last November may have delayed the response to the firestorm.

Other firefighters ordered to report to Yorba Linda to stand guard defied orders and went to save the Corona crew, which may have allowed the fire to spread faster into Orange County.

Radio confusion delayed a request for air tankers. One fire chief asked for them whilst another did not. This meant they were not ordered for over an hour.

Different fire departments were using different radio frequencies and so could not communicate directly.

Andy Brazier

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