An LA County Fire Department helicopter sits in an empty lot on East 28th Street and Walnut Avenue at 10:30am on Thursday, June 24. Curious about the aircraft, Jim Gonzalez, a 27-year resident of Signal Hill who was walking his dogs, snapped the photo because he said he had never seen a helicopter land there before.
According to Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Inspector Frederick Stowers, the landing was a scheduled wild land training exercise. “They are training for brush fire season,” Stowers said. “During the training, the firefighters learn the sequence of events leading up to getting water into the helicopter.” Recently, three LAFD helicopters were used to squelch a brush fire that sprang up on Monday, June 28, adjacent to the northbound lanes of the San Diego (405) freeway just north of Skirball Center Drive. According to the LAFD’s blog, the three helicopters’ swift response prevented nearby homes from being affected by the spreading flames, which covered half an acre.