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The original item was published from 11/17/2023 3:00:52 PM to 11/17/2023 3:01:05 PM.

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Posted on: November 16, 2023

[ARCHIVED] 11/16/23 Tustin Hangar Incident Update

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Information Hotline:     714-426-2444

            Hours: 6:00am – 8:00pm

            Email: hangarincident@tustinca.org

            Incident Website: https://tustinca.org 

            Start Date: Tuesday, November 7, 2023


LOCATION: Warner Avenue / Legacy Road, Tustin:  Former Marine Corps Air Station


CURRENT SITUATION:  The hanger now has approximately 30-50 feet of the western facing wall still standing. Drone flights conducted this morning revealed no heavy smoke or flare ups at the hangar site.  The City of Tustin, U.S. Navy, Air Quality Management District (AQMD), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have deployed air monitoring and sampling units throughout the area, in about a 1.5 mile radius.  Since monitoring began, all particulate matter (the pollutant most associated with smoke from fires) data at community sites are well below any level of concern.  The asbestos sampling data received to date are also well below any levels of concern. The air monitoring team will provide updates on sampling results as they become available.  These air monitoring units (AMUs) transmit information in real time to our partner agencies with the EPA and AQMD and Navy. This monitoring will continue before, during, and after the eventual deconstruction and cleanup of the hangar site.

 

DECONSTRUCTION OF THE HANGAR:  Details of the hangar’s deconstruction continue to be developed, and the public will be informed when they are finalized.  The large concrete columns located on each side of the hangar doors are not included in the deconstruction plan. Please check our Hangar Incident site located at https://tustinca.org. regularly for additional information and updates.

 

DEBRIS DETECTION & CLEANUP:  Workers are continuing their street-by-street detection and cleanup of hangar debris.   Based on information received by our teams on the ground, and online reporting on the portal, the mitigation teams are systematically working their way through the neighborhoods.  Although we are working through the neighborhoods as quickly as possible, completion of this task will take several days.  We ask for your patience as we need to ensure the coverage of the surrounding areas are complete.

 

WEATHER:  More rain is expected later this week, with forecasts predicting the main bands of showers to arrive late Friday night to early Saturday morning.  This is not expected to impact any detection or cleanup processes in the community.  As the system draws closer, more accurate forecasting for the rain will be available.

 

CALL CENTER & WEBSITE:  The City of Tustin’s call center continues to operate daily from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. To assist community members with information and answers to questions pertaining to the hanger incident. The number is (714) 426-2444.  Although we try to anticipate every question our callers may have, sometimes a few of them require some research to find an appropriate answer.  If that is the case, call takers will copy down your information and question, returning a phone call to you later with a response as soon as we can. 

  

ASBESTOS / SMOKE PRECAUTIONS:  Asbestos has been identified in the debris related to the Tustin Hangar Fire Incident. The geography of impacted areas are still being identified and are dynamic in nature.  If you believe your neighborhood has been impacted by fire debris, please review and follow the actions noted below.

Reducing your exposure at home:    

  • Keep windows and doors closed   
  • Remove shoes before entering the home   
  • Turn on indoor air purifiers   
  • Do Not run air conditioning units, HVAC systems, swamp coolers and whole house fans to minimize drawing outside air in.   
  • If you have a pet, minimize outdoor activity 

Reducing your exposure outdoors:

  • Avoid touching debris.  
  • If your skin, eyes or mouth inadvertently come into contact with debris, wash thoroughly as soon as you can.   
  • Limit or avoid activities that will displace debris related to the fire.  Avoid sweeping, landscaping, leaf blowing, mowing, gardening.    
  • Avoid outdoor activities and minimize contact with yard furniture and play equipment until advised otherwise. 
  • Avoid temporarily closed areas (parks, schools). 
  • If you must go outdoors in the immediate area, P100 respirators offer greater protection than well fitted N95 masks.  
  • Seek medical attention if you have any medical concerns. 

PARK CLOSURES: Some parks have reopened after debris testing, while others are still closed.   Please follow the following link for up-to-date park closure information.

https://www.tustinca.org/715/Parks-Information

 

SCHOOL CLOSURES:   Schools continue to be tested for debris.  Please use the following link for up-to-date information on school closure status:

https://www.tustin.k12.ca.us/tustin-hangar-fire/school-status 

 

HISTORY OF THE INCIDENT: On the morning of November 7th, the Orange County Fire Authority responded to a report of a well-established fire inside one of the former Marine Corps Air Station hangars located near the intersection of Warner Avenue and Legacy Road.   The attack on the fire was hampered by the height of the hangar (17 stories tall).  The OCFA attempted helicopter water drops.  Unfortunately, the drops could not access void spaces & seat of the fire.  This makes an aerial fire attack an unviable option.  As the fire has slowly consumed the hanger, the entire structure has also become extremely unstable, risking the safety of firefighters.  Therefore, a decision was made to place fire resources in a defensive posture and allow the fire to burn, while preventing fire spread to other buildings or property on the incident site.  Since the hangar is such a large structure, this fire continues to smolder, and on occasion, flare up.  This is expected fire behavior, and there is no threat of spread to surrounding structures.  As the Fire Chief stated during the first press conference at this incident, the safest and most operationally sound method of extinguishing this fire is to let it burn itself out.

 

Future updates from this incident will be released daily that will include updated information based on new intel from the incident.

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                           

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