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CAL FIRE - Station 175
eVolo Skyscraper Competition

The State of California has seen devastating losses in the past few years due to wildfires. On average, there are around 7,874 fires in California every year, which require shocking 590 million dollars to fight.  Wildfires burn 1,223,831 acres yearly on average, which ends up destroying about 1,274 structures. Around 103 Californian’s have lost their lives to fires in 2018. This isn’t anything new to the Golden State, however, each year brings unpredictable costs, amounts of acres burned, and death tolls, so it is crucial to  start addressing this issue with architecture. One of the main reasons California suffers  so greatly is that the fire stations aren’t equipped to battle  massive fires. Inefficiency is causing the inability to put out fires before they spread and burn vast amounts of lands. 

This project is focused on bringing efficiency to CAL FIRE, and more ability to control and monitor wildfires. The methodology of this project can be applicable  to vast areas of California to fight wildfires, however, this proposal is stationed in the Angeles National Forest specifically. The famous Bobcat Fire which started in September 2020 is still active, and has destroyed nearly 170   homes and structures. The cause of the Bobcat Fire is yet to be known since it’s extremely difficult to monitor the forest from the outside. There are 174 fire stations in Los Angeles County, most of which are not well equipped to put out fires such as the Bobcat Fire. Monitoring about 500,000 acres of land, this project is to reduce the fire suppression cost in millions yearly.

 

Rather than sending firemen from the city, it is much more efficient to have a station within the forest. Station 175 is set to be at the heart of Angeles National Forest, having an access to Angeles Crest Highway. The 17-floor tall  tower not only functions as a fire station, but also includes a medical facility to shelter the injured people and animals, and a radar facility to study and monitor the fire. There are two helipads attached to the tower for  helicopter parking. Station 175 has  a railway system to speed up the process of fire suppression. The railways will span across the Angeles National Forest in four different directions and will have four wagons to deliver water supply for helicopters. Having the project built in the forest itself will have a risk of being surrounded by fires, so the station will have rotating water sprinklers to keep fires away from getting inside the property.

The cost of fire suppression is too high, and that’s not considering hundreds of people and animals that have lost their lives,   property damages that have cost billions, and thousands of homes and businesses that have been destroyed. One in four Californians live in high-risk fire hazard areas, which means more preparations have to be made to ensure a safer living every   year. The State of California often needs Out-of-State aid to tackle the fires. All fire stations that rescue people and  animals, rely on separate medical entities that may or may not have space for emergency patients due to the health crisis of the modern age. Station 175 proposes an addition of a medical facility into the project to make a sustainable and efficient battle against fires.   Helicopters are always on their own to find water sources to put out fires, which slows down the process and results in costly   expenses to maintain the helicopters. This project intends on providing constant water supply all across the forest where the needs might be. The water containers  will  be  supplied with  water from the San Gabriel Reservoir. The planned location of Station 175 will be a vulnerable area to the project and is expected to have poor air quality during wildfires. To prevent contamination of the air in the interior, the exterior walls  have thicknesses up to 2 feet. Main materials to be used are concrete, brick and steel with the goal of having a fire-proof project.

May 2021

Solo Competition Entry

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