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Oakland Fire Department Changes Tactics to Avoid Repeat of October Disaster

August 08, 1992|Associated Press

OAKLAND — The Oakland Fire Department, which was criticized for its handling of the catastrophic Oakland Hills fire last Oct. 20, has changed the way it responds to urban wildfires, a new report shows.

The report released Thursday responds to criticisms leveled by the state Office of Emergency Services, which faulted the department for not extinguishing a grass fire Oct. 19 that rekindled into one of the costliest fires in U.S. history.

Changes outlined in the report include moving three to six more fire engines to hillside fire stations on high-hazard days and increasing the level of response to a first alarm in brush areas when fire hazards are high. The report also called for a new mutual aid agreement with Berkeley under which each city automatically dispatches at least two engines to the other city's hill fires.

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