Reports on Recent Fires

By: Mayor Madison Davis, City of Brisbane, madisondavis@ci.brisbane.ca.us, 415-706-5276

On October 10th at 10:50am multiple agencies responded to Brisbane after a vegetation fire broke out on San Bruno Mountain. Those agencies include North County Fire Authority, CAL FIRE, South San Francisco Fire, San Bruno Fire, 2 CAL FIRE hand crews, 2 air tankers, 1 helicopter, 6 chief officers, 2 fire investigators, and 1 information officer. The first arriving chief officer observed the fire moving
uphill, called for additional resources, and initiated voluntary evacuation warnings. Due to the location of the fire, aircraft served as a primary resource to prevent the fire’s spread. Fire apparatuses were also utilized including our new wildland E681 engine, the first ground unit at the scene. This vehicle allowed for water to arrive at the scene rapidly and freed up other fire companies to prepare for structure defense of homes in the fire’s path. Thankfully, no homes were threatened nor was there any property damage as the fire moved uphill and agencies acted quickly to get it under control. The fire was contained in 30 minutes, burning 11 acres. Two engines remained at the scene through the night conducting protocols and eliminating remaining hot spots. No residents or firefighters suffered any injuries from the incident and CAL FIRE is still investigating the cause.
North County Fire Authority reminds residents to clear vegetation within 30 feet of a home and covers other tips to prepare for a wildfire with their “Ready-Set-Go” information at northcountyfire.org. The city also encourages all residents to sign up for SMC Alerts by texting “94005” to 888-777. I want to thank all the agencies that responded to Brisbane so quickly and our residents who notified neighbors and posted updates to social media. These situations, while unfortunate, demonstrate how strong and united our community can be, and for that I am so appreciative.
A few days after Brisbane experienced its own fire, a substantial fire broke out on October 15th at the NuStar Energy fuel storage in Crockett. As Brisbane is home to the Kinder Morgan Tank farm located on Tunnel Ave, many are concerned about a situation like NuStar happening here. According to North County Fire Authority, there are some important differences between Kinder Morgan and NuStar. For one, Kinder Morgan does not store ethanol in the quantity that the NuStar facility does, which is more combustible than gasoline, diesel, or jet fuel. In addition, the Kinder Morgan facility is far smaller and is supplied via an underground pipeline compared to NuStar which is connected to an oil refinery. Pipelines are regarded as the safest way to transport high volumes of gas and hazardous liquids. In response to this incident, Brisbane has created an FAQ site relative to the Kinder Morgan facility so the community can access information regarding their operations and inspection schedules (www.brisbaneca.org/kinder-morgan-faqs). North County Fire Authority has also developed a response procedure in the event a similar circumstance occurs here. The city council will also evaluate what a disaster like this could mean for our city, especially future residents at the Baylands and will work with UPC with these concerns in mind as we plan that development.
With all of these incidents, along with multiple recent earthquakes, it’s important to have conversations with your family about your plan for a disaster. What supplies or resources will you need? What important documents or items do you need to remember to take with you? What about your pets? What supplies do you need to remember to pack for them? Do you have a meet up spot in case your family is separated? How will you communicate if phone lines don’t work? Do you have important phone numbers written down and someone out of the area you can communicate with if those in the area are unreachable? While we all hope to never face this type of crisis, we must be prepared regardless.
To close out this article, here’s this month’s Brisbane Fun Fact: At one time Brisbane belonged to a massive rancho comprised of three different valleys with three different names, Canada de Guadalupe, being the valley that contained Brisbane. Jacob Leese, the first grantee of this rancho, built San Francisco’s first substantial structure near what is now Grant and Clay, a house, in what was at that time in an area called “Yerba Buena.”
If you have a question, concern, compliment, or feedback I invite you to email me at madisondavis@brisbaneca.org, give me a call at 415-706-5276, or visit me during my monthly office hours at City Hall.