2017-01-05 / Front Page

Agoura fire, no problem

RAPID RESPONSE— At top, a look south down Patrick Henry Place at the smoke from a Dec. 29 fire that burned five acres and threatened homes in Liberty Canyon. Above, a fire vehicle becomes stuck in muddy soil due to the December rain, but crews found an alternate route to gain access to the blaze. The top and bottom photos are courtesy of Liberty Canyon resident Paul Maples. RAPID RESPONSE— At top, a look south down Patrick Henry Place at the smoke from a Dec. 29 fire that burned five acres and threatened homes in Liberty Canyon. Above, a fire vehicle becomes stuck in muddy soil due to the December rain, but crews found an alternate route to gain access to the blaze. The top and bottom photos are courtesy of Liberty Canyon resident Paul Maples. Firefighters worked quickly to extinguish a blaze that started shortly before noon on Dec. 29 when a metallic party balloon reportedly struck a power line along a trailhead leading to Malibu Creek State Park just south of Liberty Canyon in Agoura Hills.

The fire briefly threatened homes on Patrick Henry Place and Park Vista Drive.

Saturated soil from earlier rainfall made it difficult for fire trucks to access the burn area through a primary fire road, but effective helicopter water drops and the quick work of ground crews who used an alternate staging area on a nearby ranch road to hook up their water hoses allowed first responders to gain the upper hand within an hour. The fire consumed just under 5 acres.


SYLVIE BELMOND/Acorn Newspapers SYLVIE BELMOND/Acorn Newspapers A brief power outage at Liberty Canyon points to the errant balloon as the likely cause of the blaze. Aileen Flores, a government affairs representative for Southern California Edison, said 924 power outages in the SCE area were caused by wayward metallic balloons in 2015.

Sylvie Belmond


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