Murrieta City Council thanks fire community for coordinated effort in Liberty fire

MURRIETA – Smoke was visible from a vegetation fire in the Los Alamos area approximately 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, by Los Alamos and Liberty roads. Thanks to the rapid response of the Murrieta Fire & Rescue, Cal Fire and a long list of supporting agencies and citizens who jumped in to assist, Dec. 9, the Liberty Fire reached 100 percent containment and was held to approximately 300 acres. Over 3,462 inbound phone calls were received through the city’s dispatch center over a 48-hour period from concerned citizens.

“Thanks, in part, to the strong relationships that our fire department has fostered over the past few years with our surrounding agencies, the response was quick and very impressive,” Mayor Jon Ingram said. “To see those huge planes sweeping low over the hogbacks holding the fire away from homes was awe inspiring.”

The quick response also meant that no injuries were reported and, although tragic to the homeowner, only one structure and six outbuildings were lost. Response crews totaled over 300 firefighters from Murrieta, Cal-Fire and Riverside County, Hemet, Pechanga, Palm Springs, Riverside City, Corona, US Forest Service and teams from as far away as Arizona, Colorado and even Australia. Forty law enforcement officers from Murrieta and Riverside County quickly evacuated homes in the fire’s path, while the Riverside County Emergency Management Department supported city staff manning the city’s Emergency Operation Center.

Citizens also were invaluable in assisting the moving of large animals and helping neighbors evacuate.

“Murrieta is a special place with amazing employees and citizens,” Ingram said. “As we grieve for those who have lost their homes and lives in the numerous fires throughout California, we are thankful that we were spared such a devastating result. We cannot say thank you enough.”

Murrieta City Council

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