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The original item was published from 11/18/2023 5:55:00 PM to 11/19/2023 7:25:34 PM.

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Posted on: November 17, 2023

[ARCHIVED] 11/17/23 Tustin Hangar Incident Update

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

 

ALL UPDATED INCIDENT INFORMATION IN BLUE FONT

 

CURRENT SITUATION:  The hangar currently has approximately 30-50 feet of the western-facing wall  standing. The City of Tustin, U.S. Navy, Air Quality Management District (AQMD), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have deployed fifty-one (51) air monitoring and sampling units throughout the area, in about a 3.5 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, AQMD, and Navy. This monitoring will continue before, during, and after the eventual deconstruction and cleanup of the hangar site.

 

DELAYERING OF THE HANGAR:  Details of the hangar’s delayering continue to be developed. As soon as the plans are finalized, they will be made available for the public to view on the Hangar Incident website at https://www.tustinca.org

 

DEBRIS DETECTION AND CLEANUP: The debris detection and cleanup efforts continue progressing as expected. Crews are moving as fast as they can to detect debris originating from the hangar and then safely collecting it for disposal. This is a systematic and coordinated effort and we ask for your continued patience.  

 

WEATHER: Rain is expected to continue over the weekend, with forecasts predicting the showers to begin Friday evening. The storm drains in the affected areas have been closed in an effort to prevent hangar debris from entering the main waterways. Although rain does not affect the work being conducted in the area, lightning activity creates a dangerous situation for the workers. If lightning is observed, following our emergency operations and safety policies of our contractors and local, state, and federal partners, a cease of operations may be determined for the safety of our workers. 

 CALL CENTER AND WEBSITE: The City of Tustin’s website contains the most up-to-date information regarding the Hangar Incident. We encourage the community to visit the website https://www.tustinca.org before using the call center as a lot of the questions can be answered on the website. If more information is needed, the community may call 714-426-2444, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily.  

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, and 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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