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Laguna firefighters battling blazes

As their own community waits nervously to see which way the fire winds blow, Laguna Beach firefighters have been battling fires in various areas since a blaze broke out Sunday in Malibu.  

Fire Cpt. Dan Stefano said that the Office of Emergency Services Engine 313, a state fire apparatus, originally sent to Malibu, has been reassigned to the San Diego fire, along with crew members Capt. Chris Kent, Engineer Jeff Priest and Firefighter Dan Conroy. 

Engine 302 has been assigned to the Santiago fire in Orange County since Sunday, crewed by Stefano, Engineer Carl Klass, and Firefighter Julio Pacheco, and relieved Tuesday by Capt. Bob Scruggs, Engineer Chip Gilmore, and Firefighter Adam Schulenburg.

Engine 3 has been working the Santiago fire since Monday, with Capt. Gary Ganger, Engineer Knox Tiernan, and Firefighters Tom Burdik and Dirk Flores. 


The department has increased its staffing to exceed normal levels at each of the city’s four fire stations, and additional patrols are working throughout the city on fire watch, Stefano said.

 If the fire spreads to Laguna Beach and residents must evacuate, the police department will notify the community through a “reverse 911" system that has been in place for some time, Sgt. Jason Kravetz said. The same system has been used with success in San Diego. The system only works with land lines, Kravetz said.

The National Weather Service expects that Red Flag fire hazard conditions will end by 6 p.m. today.