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Schwarzenegger: State lost two heroes when firefighters died in Angeles National Forest

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was in Los Angeles this morning to announce a $75-million green-jobs training program, said California lost two heroes when a pair of firefighters died while battling a wildfire in the Angeles National Forest.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families and their friends. Every Californian is grateful for their bravery and for their great service,’’ Schwarzenegger said, praising the scores of other firefighters still in the San Gabriel Mountains. “Of course, they are my great heroes."

With eight major fires burning across the state, Schwarzenegger said he had declared a state of emergency in four counties, including Los Angeles County. He urged residents to heed all evacuation orders, saying those who decide to stay in their homes are putting their lives at risk.

“Fires are burning from the north, the northern border of California, all the way south, and from the Pacific Ocean all the way to the Sierra Nevada," he said. "There are fires everywhere."

At the same event at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said the city has four strike teams battling the fires, which spread across L.A.'s northern boundaries Sunday.

Fire Chief Millage Peaks has suspended the department’s cost-cutting program, which idled fire engines and ambulances citywide on a rotating basis and reduced the number of firefighters on duty by 87. The actions began this month as a result of city budget cuts.

Villaraigosa said every action is being taken to “ensure every resource is available to fight this fire and protect those at risk.’’

As a precaution, police officers evacuated 200 residents on Riverwood Drive near Big Tujunga Canyon Road and Alpine Village east of Big Tujunga Canyon Road, Villaraigosa said.

-- Phil Willon at Los Angeles City Hall

Comments () | Archives (20)


these fires are out of control..people need evacuate when they are told...but not only are the fires hazardous...but so is the air quality from all the smoke and ash...STAY INDOORS AT ALL COST!!!!!!

Have funds for the families of the firefighters been established? Please post any information about how we can help.

Bob, what a brilliant statement. I dont think anyone to date has thought of the same thing.

That's too bad about the deaths of those two Fire Fighters... unfortunately it's a hazardous job and there is risk. I don't think any kind of fund should be established though since I'm sure they already have hazard great coverage, along with life insurance. Should we establish a fund when "Joe Nobody" dies from any given Peril? That's a Fire Fighters Job!! And it does come woth a risk!! They should'nt be treated any better or worse than any other Human.

I'd like to respond to the comments made by edward! How about giving you some fire department turnout equipment, shovel, and helmet. How about you go and dig out there for a while. Better yet, why don't you be the one to deliver the notification to their next of kin and see how the widow and orphans react to the news you deliver to them. If it was you're house, wife or life they were trying to save, you might have a different outlook on life. Don't be so shallow.

Of course all firefighters and police deserve to have a fund set up for the family they are leaving behind. These people put their lives on the line to save our asses every day. They deserve the respect and help from all of us. If it were not for his brave men and women we would be in major trouble. They know the job has a risk and they still take the chance for all of us. They are saving thousands of lives and homes every day. I wish them luck in fighting all these fires and I am very grateful for all this brave men and women. You should be to.

This is very sad for the firefighters, their families and friends with the fire department.

There is an unfortunate move by many terrible people to now take away the pay and pensions for firefighters and other public employees. I would encourage all California citizens to be against these fringe groups such as Pension Tsunami and John Moorlach who do not support brave firefighters, police officers and public works employees throughout California.

Good job Rick. You said it all better than me.

Also if you go to LAFD.ORG you should be able to find a link regarding a fund for each family. Here is a link. Hope it works.


my nephew was hospitalized fighting the wildwood fire.he got out and started up on the oak glen fire.for such a young man he has a lot of heart like the rest of these guys.thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims,safe return home.

Edward, I think that on a good day you might aspire to self-centered jerk. There is always one writer on every blog that wants to complain about what fire-fighters earn. These people take an oath to protect us. They do so and sometimes pay the ultimate price. I have a son up there somewhere that I have not heard from for six straight days. Not only is he probably pushed to incredible levels of exhaustion, he is in danger and he is breathing crap that will no doubt shorten his life So it got get my attention when they reported two deaths because I know it will mean a fire-fighters funeral at a later point with real, live spouses (or girlfriends/boyfriends) , children, dads, moms, uncles, aunts, so on. I am not sure what your job is but if you had to do it for six days, you'd expect compensation, if it involved potential death, you would want more too. Don't be fooled by the fact that they love their jobs, its still a great risk.

Although a little cold, Edward has a point. Any firefighter worth his mettle would have taken precautions to protect his family in the event of an unforseen disaster. One can only hope that the coverage from both work and personal insurances is comparable to what their family will need in their absence. A prvate fund would add further assistance to the family, to be sure, but it seems more likely to be something to assuage the guilt of those not so harshly affected by this disaster. Why not donate to the families of every single lost military member as well? Why the "call to arms" immediacy in this case? If charitable donations free one's conscience then by all means spend away, but remember that losing a loved one is not tantamount to winning the lottery.

Edward: I am the wife of a firefighter and I find your comments disturbing and disrespectful to other firefighter families and to me. Firefighters are not just any "Joe Nobody" they are everyday heroes, as are our police. I can tell you that it is scary to know that your loved one is out there fighting fires to try and save others lives, even if they do not appreciate it, like you. They are aware of the risks and do it anyway, which I am sure is more than you would. Perhaps if it was your house on fire your family in danger you would feel differently.

I can't stand it when people killed in the line of duty are eulogized as heroes when they are killed. A hero is an ordinary person doing extraordinary things. Or in the case of cops and firefighters, going above and beyond the call of duty qualifies, not driving off a cliff by accident. Sorry. Schwarzenegger's hyperbole doesn't make it fact. Victims of a car accident are NOT heroes.

My condolences to the families.

As I recall most county firefighters are very well paid. Forest service not so much. Firefighters could be considered heroes as they actually help people.

Police are mostly parasites on society who spend most of their day giving out traffic tickets to people driving safely to generate revenue. If a policeman dies its usually for sticking his ass out in traffic to write those tickets. If they spent more time fighting real crime with actual victims the would be respected.

I'm a teacher. If I keel over grading papers are you going to donate to my family??

"Apparently taking action to protect the camp facilities and personnel."

Making hero's out of every public servant performing their duties is a sign of becoming a fascist state.

For all we know these two unfortunate souls lost control of their vehicle while fleeing from the fire. They deserve our condolences but not the stature of super hero's.

Regarding the person making the remark about putting the "fire out now", you are out of touch with reality, these fires have been years in the making and now nature is finally taking it's course.

Wow! This has really turned into some conversation regarding "heroes", hasn't it?? Edward really started a war here. But I do think he has a valid point, along with the comments from the other readers.
Bottom line people, they, as civil servents (fire fighters or cops) are doing their job by putting their lives on the line, which as we have seen many times, may result in death. That's their job! .
Melaine has a point, should we donate to her family and consider her a "hero" if she dies in the "line of duty" grading papers?
Why aren't we giving this kind of attention to all our war heroes who die everyday? Come on people, I know many of you have friends and family fighting the fires, but they should not be considered heroes for doing their jobs. Should we consider the Cal Trans worker getting hit by a car a hero for doing his job? As Xenu has stated, a true hero is any individual going above and beyod the call of duty! These fire fighters are just doing their job. And if anybody (fire fighter or not) has a problem with that, GO LOOK FOR ANOTHER JOB! Trust me, there are lots of other people out there willing to "put their lives on the line" doing what these fire fighters are doing, for less pay!

While I feel sorry for the loss of anyone and their families, there are men and women that die everyday in Afganistan and Iraq and never get a mention in the paper. They are merly forgten. These americans have a far harsher life style than you can imagine.

I'd like to respond to the comments posted by Shannon and "Looking for balance": I really don't think that Edward means any disrespect to fire fighters in general. I don't think it's fair calling him a jerk, when a valid point is being made.
Of course you two being the mother and spouse of a fire fighter are going to be extra sensitive to any comments posted by others.
But let me ask you a question? Aren't Fire fighters supposed to Fight fires? I know it's your spouse and son out there, but keep in mind, they signed up and trained for the job!! Nobody put a gun to their heads and forced them to take a job that can endanger their lives. Just as our military are endangering their lives each and every single day in a foreign country. They signed up for that job too. Why should a fallen fire fighter be treated any different than a fallen dentist, carpenter, school teacher, dog trainer..... get the point?


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