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October 28, 2006

Esperanza Fire: Ten Tanker On Duty

If you were watching Fox News or L.A. local TV this morning or last night you saw the DC-10 Supertanker doing its thing over the Esperanza Fire. With the tragic loss of fire personnel on this incident I expect this weapon and the 747 Supertanker based at Evergreen in Marana to become part of the initial attack scene in the future.

Michael Archer of Firebomber Publications says it better than anyone.

October 26, 2006

San Bernandino Forest Service Engine #57

Laguna Hotshots blog posts the identity of the engine involved in the Esperanza Fire tragedy as Forest Service E-57 of the San Bernadino National Forest.

No one else has confirmed this but I have a feeling these guys got the news quick.

Esperanza Update: Fourth Firefighter Dies

As a fourth firefighter dies from injuries MyFoxLA reports the State is offering a reward of $100,000. for information leading to the arrest of the arsonist who started the blaze.

" Three firefighters died at the scene and two were hospitalized in critical condition. One of those two died several hours later. The other had burns over 95 percent of his body, Boss said.

The last time four firefighters died battling a blaze was July 10, 2001, fighting a fire in a remote canyon in Washington's Okanogan National Forest. The four became trapped by flames on a dusty dead-end road.

Thursday's deaths brought to 19 the number of California firefighters killed in the line of duty over the past year, according to statistics kept by California Professional Firefighters, a lobbying organization.

One other firefighter in the burned-out fire engine was critically injured..."

Esperanza Fire Claims Three Firefighters

CBS2 reports three firefighters died in supression efforts on the Esperanza Fire in Riverside County today.
These brave firefighters died protecting someone's home. My deepest condolences to the families of these heroes.
I understand from watching local L.A. news reports that the fire command pulled engine crews from the fire lines.
KCAL9 News reporting from the scene showed footage shot by a freelance photographer of a CDF Battalion Chief driving through a wall of flames responding to the call of the injured fire crew.

October 23, 2006

How Messed Up Is France?

From Fox News.

"National police reported 2,458 cases of violence against officers in the first six months of the year, on pace to top the 4,246 cases recorded for all of 2005 and the 3,842 in 2004. Firefighters and rescue workers have also been targeted — and some now receive police escorts in such areas."

They call it a permanent "intifada" against the police and apparently the fire service as well.

October 22, 2006

Reluctant Heroes?

(From an Aussie friend of mine)

Taneatua Maori rural township volunteer fire company
One dark night in the township Whakatane, a fire started inside the local chemical plant and in a blink of an eye it exploded into massive flames. The alarm went out to all the fire departments for miles around.

When the volunteer fire fighters appeared on the scene, the chemical company president rushed to the fireman in charge and said, "All our secret formulas are in the vault in the centre of the plant. They must be saved. I will give $50,000 to the fire department that brings them out intact."

But the roaring flames held the fire-fighters off. Soon more fire departments had to be called in as the situation became desperate. As the firemen arrived, the president shouted out that the offer was now $100,000 to the fire station who could bring out the company's secret files. But still the fire companies could not get through.

From the distance, a lone siren was heard as another fire truck came into sight. It was the nearby Taneatua Maori rural township volunteer fire company, composed mainly of Maoris over the age of 65.

To everyone's amazement, that little run-down fire engine roared right past all the newer, sleek engines that were parked outside the plant. Without even slowing down it drove straight into the middle of the inferno. Outside, the other firemen watched as the Maori old timers jumped off right in the middle of the fire and fought it back on all sides. It was a performance and effort never seen before. Within a short time, the old timers had extinguished the fire and had saved the secret formulas.

The grateful chemical company president announced that for such a superhuman feat he was upping the reward to $200,000 and walked over to personally thank each of the brave fire fighters.

The local TV station caught the thank you on film and asked their chief "What are you going to do with all that money?"

"Well," said Hohepa, the 70-year-old fire chief, "The first thing we gonna do is fix the brakes on that f**king truck!!"