Director of Campus Safety Rick Tanksley sent a campus-wide email alerting the campus to a brush fire on Mount Fiji 1:55 p.m. Oct. 24. According to the email, the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) had extinguished the fire and it posed no threat to campus.
At 2:29 p.m., Occidental’s campus alert system informed the campus that the brush fire on Mount Fiji had been extinguished and LAFD was dropping water on the area as a precaution.
According to a preliminary LAFD Alert, the fire was approximately one acre and moving slowly uphill with light wind in light to medium brush. A later update said that 72 firefighters were actively fighting the then 1.5-acre slow-moving brush fire and that wind remained light.
According to a third LAFD update, the fire crews in Eagle Rock called a knockdown after a swift and aggressive attack on the fire approximately 46 minutes after being dispatched. Limited access to water and low power lines posed challenges for extinguishing the fire. According to the update, firefighters guarded the perimeter of Eagle Rock Junior and Senior High School, yet no evacuation was necessary. There were no reported injuries.
Campus Safety officer Sergeant Charles Willis said the fire started at approximately 1:20 p.m. near the Yosemite Recreation Center before moving onto campus on Mount Fiji. According to Willis, Facilities cleared brush on Mount Fiji over the summer to prevent the potential for fires.
According LAFD Incidence Commander Mark McCracken, these types of fires are typical given the conditions at this time of the year.
“This is brush fire season and with the warm weather and low humidity you are definitely gonna see more fires,” McCracken said.
Mount Fiji was the destination of another brush fire just under two years ago on Dec. 15, 2017.