September 6, 2009


I started the Labor Day weekend with a shift up at the Black Mountain Fire Lookout. While I didn't get any smokes, the weather is changing and we could get some thunderstorms. While moisture helps the existing fires, we get lots of new starts when lightning strikes the dry fuel. This thunderhead appeared in less than 15 minutes on Saturday, and within two hours, it covered the mountain.

Early this week, we lost one of our Lookouts to the Station Fire. The Vetter Mountain Lookout was destroyed after standing its post since 1935.

Finally, I wanted to thank the ground troops for their hard work in the fires. The pilots and the tankers get all the attention on the news, but it is these ground fighters that get the job done. Two of these brave firefighters made the ultimate sacrifice. 47-year-old Captain Tedmund "Ted" Hall, and 35-year-old firefighter Specialist Arnaldo "Arnie" Quinones, Los Angeles County firefighters were killed when their vehicle went over the side of the road while fighting the Station Fire.