Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Neverland Ranch wildfire - seen from a fire fighter's perspective

This and the following pictures are all taken by a fire fighter, who was among the first to respond to the call from Neverland Ranch on August 25, 2006.

According to a member of the Neverland Ranch staff the fire started as a brush fire in an area where the brush was particularly thick. However, because the lawns and grasses were maintained and cut short - and very moist because of being watered regularly - the fire didnt spread after it jumped from the backyard, to the theater area and then up into the hills.

Article from Lompoc Record:

Neverland Ranch fire burns 40 acres
Luis Gomez/Staff Writer Lompoc Record
August 27, 2006 12:00 am

Fire investigators were unable to determine the cause of the blaze that burned about 40 acres of brush and trees at pop star Michael Jackson/s Neverland Ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley Friday afternoon.
At least 100 firefighters were able to keep flames at least 200 yards away from structures and an amusement park on the 2,700-acre property, said Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. Keith Cullom.
Reports of smoke coming from the ranch about 2:20 p.m. turned out to be a fire that began on the west side of the ranch at 5225 Figueroa Mountain Road, north of Los Olivos, and crossed over to the east side, Cullom said.

Firefighters contained the blaze an hour later using three hand crews, 10 engines, four bulldozers and air support equipment such as helicopters, Cullom said.
Two air tankers were initially called but were canceled once ground crews arrived.
There was no need of evacuation, said Cullom, who added that ranch employees maintained all animals in their gated areas. Cattle at the ranch did not need to be herded away either.
Other exotic animals including giraffes were monitored by ranch staff in case they needed to be evacuated, he said.

The ranch, which has a mansion, a zoo, and an amusement park with bumper cars and a merry-go-round and Ferris wheel, has been at the center of controversy over the years since Jackson bought it in 1988.
It was where Jackson, 47, held numerous parties for children and where he was accused of molesting children.

Although several of his employees were tending the ranch at the time of the fire, Jackson was nowhere to be found since he was last reportedly living outside the country after his acquittal in June 2005.