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Hiker Rescued Near O’Melveny Park In Granada Hills

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LAFD HelicopterLAFD Helicopter

A hiker was rescued near O’Melveny Park in Granada Hills Saturday morning. 

The incident was reported just after 9:30 a.m. near the 13000 block of Jolette Avenue, according to Margaret Stewart, spokesperson for the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD). 

A 29-year-old female hiker sustained a possible lower extremity fracture, Stewart said. 

LAFD Air Operations personnel hoisted the hiker from the trail and transported them to a local hospital, according to fire officials. 

The condition of the victim is unknown.

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Public Safety

Flex Alert Issued For Two Days In California Amid Triple-Digit Heatwave

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Power Outage Flex Alert

A Flex Alert has been issued for the entire state of California on Thursday and Friday as a triple-digit heatwave continues to impact the Southland. 

The California Independent System Operator (ISO), with extreme, heat forecast for much of California and the Southwest, has issued a statewide Flex Alert to encourage electricity conservation on June 17 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. to reduce stress on the grid and avoid power outages.

Thursday evening, officials extended the Flex Alert to Friday, with the same hours in effect, according to Cal ISO.

When past Flex Alerts have been called, consumers have answered the call and cut back their electricity use. Those actions have helped California avoid or limit power outages that can, if conditions persist or worsen, become necessary when demand for electricity outstrips capacity.

Before a Flex Alert is in effect, residents can take specific steps to manage their electricity usage to maintain comfort during days that conservation is needed.

Specifically, consumers can pre-cool their home and use major appliances, like your dishwasher, and clothes washer and dryer before the timeframe. 

From 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, when the statewide Flex Alert is in effect, consumers should set their thermostat to 78 degrees or higher, if health permits, and avoid the use of major appliances and turn off all unnecessary lights

While Flex Alerts are normally 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., the hours of conservation for this event are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. due to operational needs. The statewide call for conservation is critical because when temperatures hit triple digits across a wide geographic area, no state has enough energy available to meet all the heightened demand, primarily due to air conditioning use.

For the next several days, much of California and the Southwest are expected to see triple-digit heat with above normal temperatures spread more broadly across much of the Western United States. And like California, other Western states – including Arizona and New Mexico – are experiencing similar stressful grid conditions due to the extreme heat.

Under such conditions, evening is the most difficult time of day for grid operations, especially in persistent hot weather when evening temperatures stay warm, because demand for electricity remains high as solar energy diminishes.

If demand still outstrips supply after Flex Alerts and other measures are taken, the ISO could again order utilities to begin rotating power outages, or “rolling blackouts,” that would extend available power supplies and guard against longer and more extensive disruptions while protecting high-voltage transmission lines from damage.

Note: This story has been updated to reflect the extension of the Flex Alert until Friday, June 18.

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Public Safety

Detectives Investigating Body Found In Canyon Country Wash

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Crime Police Tape

Homicide detectives are investigating a body discovered under a bridge Tuesday in the Santa Clara River wash in Canyon Country.

Just after 5 p.m. Tuesday, a body was found under an overpass near Camp Plenty Road and Soledad Canyon Road, according to Deputy Eric Ortiz, with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD).

The victim was pronounced deceased at the scene, Ortiz said.

Detectives are still investigating the cause of death, according to Sheriff’s officials.

The identity of the victim has not been released, pending notification of next of kin by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office.

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.

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‘World’s Largest’ Firefighting Helicopters Arrive In SoCal To Combat Wildfires From The Air

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Edison Chinook Helicopter LA County Fire
Photo Courtesy of the Orange County Fire Authority

The “world’s largest” retardant-dropping helicopters have arrived in Southern California to fight wildfires from the air, just in time for the first major heatwave of the summer.

The Quick Reaction Force (QRF) program is set to launch Tuesday to increase its aerial firefighting resources for the Los Angeles County Fire Department (LACoFD), Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) and Ventura County Fire Department (VCFD).

The QRF program, made possible with nearly $18 million in funding from Southern California Edison, provides the agencies with two Boeing Chinook helitankers (CH47s), which are considered the world’s largest fire suppression, retardant-dropping helicopters.

Each of the CH47s is equipped to carry 3,000 gallons and fly both during the day and night.

“We’re having a challenge in most departments as it relates to fully staffing firefighters,” said L.A. County Fire Chief Daryl Osby. “There’s a shortage of crews that are boots to the ground to help our firefighters put out these wildfires, so the fact that we’re bringing in these copters is a plus, a significant plus.”

The QRF program is set to partner with Coulson Aviation for up to 180 days to combine helitankers, or helicopters equipped with tanks for carrying fire retardant, and a mobile retardant base to assist firefighters combating wildfires during the current fire season.

The aerial firefighting resources are set to be pre-assembled in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura Counties for use by the three Southern California agencies.

The helitankers would add to the L.A. County Fire Department’s current air operations fleet.

The fleet currently includes five Sikorsky S70 Firehawks, five Bell 412 helicopters and a seasonal contract with the Government of Quebec for the 90-day lease of two CL-415 SuperScoopers expected to arrive in early September.

“This is a groundbreaking collaboration as it relates to providing public safety,” said Osby. “I just can’t tell you as it pertains to our ability to provide life safety services to our citizens here in Southern California, how this program is going to significantly impact our ability to execute our mission as it relates to wildfires.”

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