On Monday, June 10, at 3:08PM, Milpitas Communications received word of a fire in the Ed Levin County Park. Milpitas Fire sent out two chief officers and three engines, which were accompanied by personnel from Cal Fire and the Spring Valley Volunteer Fire Department, along with about 25 additional units from varied County agencies.
The area of the fire ended up being in unincorporated Santa Clara County, just outside of Ed Levin Park, leading Cal Fire to assume command.
The Calaveras Fire is now 90% contained, and Cal Fire expects full containment to occur by tomorrow morning.
As of now, its cause is unknown.
Said Milpitas Fire Chief Brian Sherrard, “This incident serves as a good reminder to always maintain a defensible space around structures. Keeping trees, shrubs, and weeds controlled helps to slow fire progression.”
In the hot summer months, dry trees, shrubs, and weeds are particularly susceptible to fire, and can intensify and accelerate its spread.
Also, just 18 minutes before receiving word of the Calaveras Fire, the Milpitas Fire Department received word of another fire at a residence on Sunrise in the Pines neighborhood. This occurred at 2:52PM.
“Two occupants who were home at the time saw the fire in the early stages, and evacuated and called,” said Enforcement Officer Eric Emmanuele.
The fire had started in the home’s backyard, and firefighters were able to extinguish it quickly. The cause was determined to be spontaneous combustion — a result of remnants from plant trimmings and fruit placed in a plastic garbage can out in the sun. “And because it was a warm day, all the elements came together perfectly for spontaneous combustion to occur,” Emmanuele explained. “That’s what happens with a protein-base fuel source that self-heats. The heat couldn’t escape and it stayed in there and kept heating itself. It eventually started smoldering and then caught fire…”
Between the two fires, there was no time to hesitate.
Once the residential fire was put out, as the Calaveras Fire call came through, some Milpitas Fire Department personnel had to leave the Pines fire and head straight to the hills to continue working.
With fire season now underway, Milpitas Emergency Services Coordinator Toni-Lynn Charlop urged city residents to sign up for emergency phone and text alerts through a service called AlertSCC. As Charlop wrote in an email to The Milpitas Beat:
“AlertSCC is the Santa Clara County, and Milpitas Dispatch, emergency alert notification system. Registration is easy, and you can register up to five locations in Santa Clara County — for example, your house in Milpitas, mom’s house in Campbell, job in San Jose, and childcare in Saratoga. If any of these locations have an emergency, you will get an alert via your cell phone or email. I highly recommend folks register for text alerts and phone calls.
“We do not sell the information, no telemarketing calls, and the only folks who have access to use the system are the County Dispatch and Milpitas Dispatch. Even they do not have access to the phone numbers but rather just the ability to target individuals that registered for that area’s alerts.”
You can sign up for AlertSCC here.
Photo Credit: Jospeh Ehardt