Bay Area/ San Jose/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 11, 2024
San Jose Firefighters Tackle Blaze in East Hills, Boost Staffing in Response to Increased Fire ActivitySource: San José Fire Department

Firefighters in San Jose were called to action as a fire erupted in the hills east of the city on Monday. The San Jose Fire Department swiftly engaged the situation with a second-alarm response on Higuera Road, focusing their efforts on a blaze that threatened several outbuildings. According to the San José Fire Department, the affected structures were not residences but rather outbuildings, which included a garage containing numerous vehicles.

During the urgency, Sunita Singh, a resident, saw the imminent danger, and as she recounted, per NBC Bay Area, “Suddenly I see in the back of my property, it was black smoke out of there, and I immediately vacated my property and ran down”. Despite the challenges presented by the incident, the firefighting teams managed to get the blaze under control by 6:18 p.m., with one individual necessitating transportation to a hospital.

With rising temperatures posing a continued threat, the effectiveness of firefighters hinges on their preparedness and the strength of interagency collaboration. Chelsea Burkett of Cal Fire underscored the importance of adapting to the climate conditions, saying in an NBC Bay Area report, “Making sure that our firefighters are training and are acclimated to the weather is very key”. Cal Fire Santa Clara, which provides coverage for the South Bay and parts of Alameda and Contra Costa counties, has been on high alert dealing with a substantial increase in fire activity, including recent fires such as the 14,000-acre Corral Fire and another in Pittsburg just the day before.

Prompted by the current trend in fire incidents and weather patterns, Cal Fire has announced plans to bolster its staffing levels this week. “It's based on whatever incidents that we’re having, we’ve seen quite an increase in fire activity recently, but it’s also based on weather forecasts and what we’re looking at going forward,” Burkett described her outlook, in the anticipation of continuing challenges, as per NBC Bay Area. The commitment to readiness and the emphasis on collaboration are critical as the fire season intensifies in the region.