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Fire-Related Aspects of the Northridge Earthquake.

pdf icon Fire-Related Aspects of the Northridge Earthquake. (26338 K)
Scawthorn, C.; Cowell, A. D.; Borden, F.

NIST GCR 98-743; 164 p. March 1998.


National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD

Available from:

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earthquakes; fire data; fire departments; fire investigations; ignition source; water supply


Data collection and analyses relevant to fires following the Mw 6.7 Northridge Earthquake on January 17, 1994 were performed with the support of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. In the period 4:31 AM (i.e., time of main shock) to midnight, there were approximately 110 earthquake related fires. Incident data is compiled in a database termed FFNRE (Fires Following the NorthRidge Earthquake), which is provided in hardcopy form and magnetic media (diskette), as well as being available on the Internet (at Fire department operations are detailed at five selected fire incidents. Analyses, and comparison with the 1971 San Fernando and 1995 Hanshin (Kobe) earthquakes, identified a number of ignition factors and provides important observations, lessons and avenues for future research (regarding ignition sources, fire service operations, and utility performance) towards mitigation of this problem.