Strong response, weather, helped during Nov. 11 Middle Fire

Photo courtesy of Delilah Hart Delilah Hart was giving a tour on Thursday, Nov. 11, as the fire burned in Cape Canyon, Catalina Island.

No one was injured or killed during the Veterans Day fire now called the Middle Fire. According to the head of the Avalon Fire Department, about 18 and 1/2 acres were burned.

According to social media, beachgoers in Newport Beach could see the smoke rising from the Island.

Both city and county Fire Departments responded.

The county responded with water drops; transported personnel and heavy equipment operators from the mainland. Three LACoFD helicopters participated, per LACoFireAirOPs twitter.

During this week’s City Council meeting, Capt. Joseph Badali said weather was with the Island that day. Mayor Anni Marshall said much the same thing during a recent phone interview.

Avalon Fire Department Chief Michael Alegria told the council that that it was caused birds on wires.

On the phone, Marshall said it was two ravens. According to her, one was incinerated and fell off the wire; the other was apparently found hanging off the wire.

“We sent out seven firefighters,” Alegria said.

While firefighters responded to the blaze, Alegria had to cover the city itself.

He had three firefighters and a reseve firefighter attending training in Long Beach. A Baywatch boat took them to the Island to provide additional fire personnel.

Councilmember Lisa Lavell offered “kudos” to the firefighters.

She said some family members and friends got together to make signs to put up for the firefighters when they returned. “They finished the fire before we finished the signs,” Lavelle said.

“We were really both equally proud and thankful,” Lavelle said.

Councilmember Cinde MacGugan-Cassidy gave a shoutout to firefighters for their work and to the Catalina Island Conservancy for keeping businesses informed during the crisis. “We appreciate the way we are communicating these days,” she said.

Cassidy said it was really inspiring to see how well everyone works together for the benefit of Catalina Island