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Fires steer clear of area

Blazes burn from Santa Clarita to San Diego, but Burbank remains largely unaffected by winds.

October 24, 2007|By Chris Wiebe

BURBANK — As Santa Ana winds stoked wildfires this week, Burbank and Glendale have largely steered clear of the havoc breaking out across Southern California.

“All things are quiet in Glendale, but everywhere else is burning away,” Glendale Fire Capt. Tom Propst said.

But that doesn’t mean the area was not affected in some way by the chaos surrounding it.

Burbank sent all five of its engine companies, a battalion chief and a water tender to help contain the blazes that have charred thousands of acres in Southern California, Burbank Fire Capt. Ron Bell said.

Burbank pressed all of its reserve units into action, including people who were on their day off, to ensure Burbank is safe should a fire erupt in the immediate area, Bell said.

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“We’re fully manned and fully stocked,” Bell said.

And, because of the poor air quality caused by the fires, outdoor sports activities at local public schools were canceled Tuesday, said Jay Gudzin, assistant principal of activities and athletics at Burroughs High School.Seasonal strong winds have spared Glendale so far, with only a few reports of wind-related damage, Public Works Director Steve Zurn said.

There was a report of a downed tree limb on Grandview Avenue, which damaged a vehicle, but other fallen limbs in town have not caused damage, he said. The city also lost three small trees, he said.

“The calls were pretty minor this weekend and this morning, and we’re hoping that’s the extent of it,” he said.

Glendale Water & Power reported no outages, but fallen palm strands caused isolated service disruptions at four homes — on Shirley Jean Street and Piedmont, Pennsylvania and Maryland avenues, city spokeswoman Vicki Gardner said.

But firefighters are not taking the relatively mild conditions for granted and are canvassing the city to keep an eye out for potential flare-ups, Propst said.

“We’re mainly showing a presence,” he said. “In case something breaks out, at least we can hopefully visually see it quickly. But it’s really very calm here, just like a regular, normal day.”

With fires elsewhere in the region — including Malibu, Canyon Country, Santa Clarita and elsewhere in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and San Diego counties — the Glendale Fire Department is being tapped to help fight large-scale blazes, he said.

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