Attend a free wildfire preparedness workshop hosted in partnership with the California Department of Insurance

Saturday, May 4 is Wildfire Preparedness Day and Santa Clara County Fire Department invites community members to a wildfire preparedness workshop from 10am to noon in Redwood Estates, Los Gatos.

“We’re pleased to offer community members this wildfire preparedness workshop on such a significant day,” said Santa Clara County Deputy Fire Chief Hector Estrada. “With fire season on the horizon, the time to prepare for wildfire is now and I hope the community will join us to learn how.”

This comprehensive wildfire preparedness workshop will provide an overview of evacuation planning and readiness, steps to make properties more fire resilient, and the County’s emergency notification systems.

The workshop will also cover the pressing issue of home insurance for county residents who reside in the WUI. Attendees will receive guidance on California Assembly Bill 38 and the buying and selling of homes in the WUI. A representative from the California Department of Insurance will also be present to assist homeowners who are struggling with insurance options.

The workshop will consist of three 30-minutes presentations with the following focus areas.

Ready, Set, Go

  • Making your home and property more fire resilient
  • Developing a wildfire action plan
  • How to respond to extreme fire conditions
  • Emergency notification systems

Evacuation Planning and Readiness

  • Know the escape routes from your neighborhood
  • Understanding evacuation terminology
  • Monitor conditions using trusted sources of information

Buying, Selling and Insuring a Home in the WUI

  • Overview of CA Assembly Bill 38
  • Scheduling a property inspection when selling a home in the WUI
  • Accessible home insurance in high-risk areas
  • Policy cost saving incentives
  • Creating a resilient California insurance market

For more information and to register for the wildfire workshop, visit sccfd.org. Additional wildfire workshops are planned May 8 in Los Altos Hills and May 14 in Saratoga both from 6-8pm.

SCCFD to begin wildfire mitigation project on Prospect Road

LOS GATOS, Calif. – Santa Clara County Fire Department (SCCFD), in partnership with the City of Saratoga, is providing notice of a wildfire mitigation project scheduled to begin April 10, 2024. The goals of this project are to create vertical and horizontal space between vegetation, remove dead materials, and prune trees overhanging this vital evacuation route. Work performed is intended to reduce risk related to fire and other disasters by providing a safer route for community members and first responders to move into and out of this community.

Work will be performed on Prospect Road between Maria Lane and Fremont Older Open Space Preserve. The Santa Clara County Fire Department Vasona Fire Fuels Crew will be working 9AM-4PM Tuesday-Thursday through April 18th. Drivers are urged to slow down and drive with extra caution in the work area.

Traffic Information

There will be a lane closure on part of Prospect Road (while work is performed) to make space for the crew and equipment. Traffic control will include signage and individuals directing traffic as needed.

This work is part of an effort SCCFD is undertaking to implement projects that promote wildfire safety and resilience for our community members.

On Monday, December 25, 2023, at approximately 4:50 a.m., Santa Clara County Fire Department (County Fire) responded to reports of smoke coming from a commercial structure located at 4600 El Camino Real in Los Altos. Following a 3-alarm fire response, consisting of approximately 60 first responders, the fire was declared under control at 1:53 p.m. The building was declared a complete loss and at risk of collapsing, leading the city of Los Altos Building Division to close a portion of eastbound El Camino Real between San Antonio Road and Sherwood Avenue.

Fire investigators immediately began work to determine the origin and cause of the fire. Although this remains an active investigation, the investigative work onsite concluded on Tuesday, January 30. On this date, County Fire released the site to the building owners, property managers, and the city of Los Altos to conclude the demolition process.

The debris removal began on Thursday, February 1, with shoring to follow, marking the final stages of the demolition process. This phase will continue over the next two weeks and requires the current road closure to remain in place.

Inquiries regarding the fire investigation should be directed to the County Fire Public Information Officer Matt Mokhtarian at publicinfo@sccfd.org.

Inquiries regarding the building demolition and road closure should be directed to the city of Los Altos Public Information Officer Sonia Lee at slee@sccfd.org.

January 12, 2024

Fire Contact: Erica Ray, Santa Clara County Fire Department, Information Specialist
Phone: 408-341-4444
Email: publicinfo@sccfd.org

City Contact: Sonia Lee, City of Los Altos, Public Information Officer
Phone: 650- 947-2611
Email: slee@losaltosca.gov

Update on demolition plans for 4600 El Camino Real

Santa Clara County Fire Department (County Fire) continues to collaborate with the City of Los Altos, California Department of Transportation, and business and property owners of 4600 El Camino Real.

Demolition plans have been postponed until further notice. All parties are committed to providing advanced notice to allow time for media outlets to plan for coverage of the dismantling.

Questions can be referred to the contacts listed above.

January 9, 2024

Fire Contact: Erica Ray, Santa Clara County Fire Department, Information Specialist
Phone: 408-341-4444
Email: publicinfo@sccfd.org

City of Los Altos Contact: Sonia Lee, City of Los Altos, Public Information Officer
Phone: 650- 947-2611
Email: slee@losaltosca.gov


Fire investigation update for the Christmas Day Los Altos commercial structure fire

Santa Clara County Fire Department (County Fire) arson investigators immediately began their investigative process following the 3-alarm fire at 4600 El Camino Real in Los Altos on December 25, 2023.

Fire investigators continue to work in collaboration with the City of Los Altos Building Division and several private insurance agencies to complete a thorough fire investigation that meets the needs of all parties. Due to fire damage, the building has been declared unsafe and at risk of collapse. As a result, eastbound El Camino Real between San Antonio Road and Sherwood Avenue has remained closed and fire investigators have not been able to access the interior of the building to safely complete the investigative process.

The City of Los Altos has approved the partial demolition of the front part of the building nearest El Camino Real to proceed. This will allow the fire investigation to continue and provide for the safe reopening of the closed segment of El Camino Real. Demolition is anticipated to begin on Wednesday, January 10, 2024. The demolition process will be completed systematically to preserve the integrity of the site as much as possible as the investigative process continues.

A portion, if not all the closed section of El Camino Real, is anticipated to reopen as early as Thursday, January 11, 2024. As additional newsworthy updates become available, County Fire will continue to share more information.

Questions can be referred to County Fire’s Information and Public Affairs Office at 408-341-4444 or publicinfo@sccfd.org.

January 2, 2024

 

Contact: Erica Ray, Santa Clara County Fire Department, Information Specialist
Phone: 408-341-4444
Email: publicinfo@sccfd.org


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Fire investigation to determine cause of Christmas Day fire in Los Altos ongoing

On Monday, December 25, 2023, at approximately 4:50 a.m., Santa Clara County Fire Department (County Fire) responded to reports of smoke coming from a commercial structure located at 4600 El Camino Real in Los Altos. A full first structure fire response was immediately dispatched, consisting of three fire engines, one fire truck, one rescue company, one hazardous materials unit, one breathing support unit, two battalion chiefs, and one incident support/safety officer. Included in this initial dispatch was one fire engine from Mountain View Fire Department with the rest of the resources consisting of County Fire personnel.

Upon arrival, firefighters found heavy smoke coming from the first floor of a two-story, 20,000 square foot commercial building. As the fire progressed, a second alarm was called at 5:10 a.m. consisting of an additional two fire engines, one fire truck, one rescue company, and one battalion chief. Firefighters initially began with an aggressive offensive interior fire attack, entering the building to both fight the fire and confirm there were no individuals inside in need of rescue.

A third alarm was called at 5:22 a.m. with Mountain View Fire Department and Palo Alto Fire Department sending resources to fulfill the balance of the response. Once fire extended to the roof of the structure, firefighters were pulled from the interior of the building due to the risk of the roof collapsing. The firefight continued from the exterior of the building until it was declared under control at 1:53 p.m.

In total, there were approximately 60 first responders on the firegrounds at the height of the incident. Thankfully, there were no injuries to civilians or first responders.

Due to the continued risk of the building collapsing, eastbound El Camino Real between San Antonio Road and Sherwood Avenue will remain closed at the direction of the City of Los Altos Building Division, until the building owner can arrange for it to be demolished.

As of this morning, the fire investigation is ongoing. County Fire is working with the City of Los Altos, building owner, tenants, and insurance companies to ensure a safe and thorough investigation. Our team is working diligently to determine the cause of the fire while prioritizing public safety and the coordination necessary with external partners for the safe and expeditious reopening of eastbound El Camino Real. Updates will continue to be released as they become available.

Questions can be referred to County Fire’s Information and Public Affairs Office at 408-341-4444 or publicinfo@sccfd.org.

Learn more about our Firefighter/Engineer Recruitment at this live webinar

Santa Clara County Fire Department is hiring entry-level Firefighter/Engineers! Join us for a live webinar to learn more about our Department, our Firefighter/Engineer hiring process, and minimum qualifications for the position. You will also have an opportunity to ask questions of our current firefighters.

JOIN US

Wednesday, October 11, 2023 – 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Zoom: http://qrs.ly/ktf5rdr  (password: SCCFD)
Phone: 669-444-9171  (meeting ID: 899 3470 2645)

We hope to see you there!