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November 17, 2008 Permalink

California wildfires (yet again)

Several wildfires raged throughout Southern California this weekend, in the hills surrounding Los Angeles, burning some 35,000 acres (55 sq mi) and destroying around 1,000 homes as California's Fire Season extends toward becoming a year-round condition. Dry Santa Ana winds of up to 70 mph drove flames and embers across valleys and into neighborhoods, in some cases burning only a few homes, in others, wiping out entire communities. Most of the fires are contained now - the causes still under investigation. Fortunately, few injuries and no deaths have been reported, as some 50,000 evacuees begin returning to their homes to assess the damage. (35 photos total)

A firefighting helicopter flies through a smoke-filled sky over the Pacific Ocean at sunset as firefighters try to gain control of the Tea Fire on November 14, 2008 in Montecito, California. Thirteen people were injured and more than 100 homes destroyed in the first few hours as evening Sundowner Winds reached 70 mph, pushing the wildfire into multi-million dollar ocean-view homes last night. (David McNew/Getty Images)
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873 comments so far...


Posted by gary November 17, 08 12:32 PM

Terrible... I was in SoCal last year during the fires... the air is so hard to breath. It stings in your lungs, and nose...

Posted by KJW November 17, 08 12:33 PM

The LA Times has some good coverage of this too: but no photo galleries like this. Amazing and scary.

Posted by adam bennett November 17, 08 12:35 PM

Second post!

Frightening yet great pictures

Posted by JC November 17, 08 12:36 PM

My heart goes to those who have either lost loved ones, sustained injuries, or lost belongings.

This is so sad.

Great pictures. They are a great attempt to provide a clear idea of how messy the situation is.

Posted by Mau November 17, 08 12:54 PM

Incredible! Once again, TBP manages to get much feeling into pictures. Bravo!

Posted by Magzime November 17, 08 12:57 PM

hmm, everybody has a that big house, a swimming pool and 3 cars there? this is a retaliation for the unfair wealth... I can't feel sorry for them.
if you think that I'm not right, just check this set:

anyway: nice pictures as usual.

Posted by minime November 17, 08 01:03 PM

And of course everyone will rebuild in the same spot. And then watch as their houses are burned down again. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Posted by Pete November 17, 08 01:04 PM

The beauty in disaster, horrible and amazing.

Posted by Jan November 17, 08 01:08 PM

Amazing photographs, as usual. I especially like #4.

Posted by Daniel November 17, 08 01:26 PM

I feel so sad..We never have a break anymore! Firefighter are the true heroes !!!!!
Sad for the wildlife and for people, who lost their homes!

Posted by sema November 17, 08 01:28 PM

#25 is just stunning.

Posted by idahogie November 17, 08 01:32 PM

#4 is actually just a screenshot of Fallout 3..

Posted by Sander November 17, 08 01:36 PM

Photo #5- The caption was very confusing to me until I realized that the whole background is ONE house and the green-lit building is a gate-house.

Posted by andiscandis November 17, 08 01:36 PM

I live in Ventura County, between LA and Santa Barbara—both featured here. Yesterday afternoon, the winds shifted and brought smoke from the south to cover most of the southwestern sky; as the sun set, it turned deep red. Before the sun went below the horizon it disappeared behind the smoke. Smoke's still in the air this morning.

Posted by Andy November 17, 08 01:56 PM

I don't have a tv, and I didn't realize how bad it was until I saw these images.


Posted by ab November 17, 08 02:03 PM

my poor home

Posted by Anonymous November 17, 08 02:08 PM

to andy i hope you are ok and everyone here is ok everyone is in my prayers here. from pam

Posted by samoy2e November 17, 08 02:13 PM

Is this something that people that live in these areas prepare for. Do they accept that every now and then there home will be burnt down and have to be rebuilt and plans in place for getting out of the area with cherished belongings and stuff.

Or does it come as a surprise catching people out and potential ruining lives?

Posted by Jon November 17, 08 02:19 PM

@minime: That's right, don't feel sympathy/empathy or even an ounce of pity for anyone that has more than you.

Tragic to see, so much loss for so many. My thoughts and prayers go out to those who have lost, and those who fight the fires. Thanks again for the moving photos.

Posted by timaroo November 17, 08 02:20 PM

great houses pwned!...

Posted by draxlerk November 17, 08 02:21 PM

i hope the Hollywood community steps up and helps!

Posted by Becca November 17, 08 02:37 PM

Every Year they have fires, and every year the dunbasses go back for more, what idiots. only americans can be so stupid

Posted by John November 17, 08 02:37 PM

minime wrote :
hmm, everybody has a that big house, a swimming pool and 3 cars there? this is a retaliation for the unfair wealth... I can't feel sorry for them.
if you think that I'm not right, just check this set:
anyway: nice pictures as usual.

Yes, I was talking with the wind the other day, and it was like, 'we are gonna git those smug californians. I've seen their bank accounts.' Also, it wasn't all large houses with swimming pools, trailer parks were hit, everyone from the rich to the poor are feeling this. I hope you are helping out all those in crisis and not just sitting bravely behind your keyboard in a diuretic fashion. Have you really been that numbed by society? People used to live in that ash, a semblance of home, no matter the materials, it was home. I hope that you don't have to go through such turmoil, so you can keep up with your hotlinks and your holier-than-thou attitude.

Posted by humber humbert November 17, 08 02:39 PM

be careful, brave firefighters!

Posted by graeme November 17, 08 02:41 PM

minime - I have to agree with you buddy

Posted by Gary.UK November 17, 08 02:46 PM

To minime - uh, NO, we are not all rich. I live with my seven other family members in two bedrooms and we are barely making ends meet. So shut up about things you have absolutely no idea about!

Posted by okay November 17, 08 03:16 PM

Amazing how everything can be destroyed so quickly. there are just those things in nature that cannot be controlled. My prayers are with all.

Posted by Angie November 17, 08 03:20 PM

All the best to the fire-fighters doing their utmost to save people's homes.

I agree with post #10, there is something especially mesmerising about picture #4, almost apocalyptic, right time right place for the photographer I suppose...

Posted by Hywel, Wales, UK November 17, 08 03:23 PM

Our hearts to go out to all of those life that have been touched by this disaster.

Posted by Raul November 17, 08 03:25 PM

#27 and #35 - just wow, amazing.

Posted by Anonymous November 17, 08 03:28 PM

@John: "Every Year they have fires, and every year the dunbasses go back for more, what idiots. only americans can be so stupid."
Yeah, because natural disasters ONLY happen in America.
:::rolls his eyes at John's ignorance:::

Why do people feel the need to be so sanctimonious?

Posted by haydesigner November 17, 08 03:32 PM

Who ever said that they can't feel sorry for these people because they all have big homes, swimming pools & three cars obviously missed picture #4 of the mobile home park with only ashes as remains.

Don't be so ignorant and stupid. Some people work really hard for what they have and you shouldn't be so quick to judge people. Tradegy is tradegy at any level. Have a heart, these people have family and pets, as well as feelings too.

Posted by Jill November 17, 08 03:39 PM

sorry for this disaster , admirable effort of fire-fighters , and extra amazing pictures!

Posted by Vahid-Iran November 17, 08 04:28 PM

It's such a shame that these beautiful pictures come with such a heavy price; be safe brave firefighters.

Posted by Bruce November 17, 08 04:39 PM

All of this can be replaced. Lives cannot.

Please stop censoring my comments. Is it really that offensive to you that I am saying this?

Posted by Hax Or November 17, 08 04:56 PM

Had trouble seeing the pictures with the tears in my eyes.

Posted by TOM Prease November 17, 08 04:59 PM

The people who are affected didn't have this coming to them. There are many things we can control, mother nature is not one of them.

Posted by medaholic November 17, 08 05:07 PM

Would a newpaper ever print: Florida hit by a hurricane, (yet again) The MidWest Hit by Tornadoes (yet again) Dorchester Hit By Murder (yet again)

Posted by Tim November 17, 08 05:16 PM


Posted by ROSIE TRUJILLO November 17, 08 05:50 PM

I live in the San Fernando Valley - just south of the Sylmar fire and not too far north of the Orange County fires. This is the worst I've seen in the few years I've lived here. It seems that we have wild fires here every year - "Fire season" is as common to native Southern Californians as snow is to New Englanders in the winter.

Posted by Matt November 17, 08 05:58 PM

I am one of those smug Californians and I wanted to remind the cynics in the crowd that there are natural disasters everywhere in the world, there are man made disasters everywhere in the world and there are disasters that are combinations of both. Out here, west of the west, we recognize that stuff happens. We also like to think that if one has to have a disaster, this is a better place than most to have one.

Great photos!!

Posted by JT November 17, 08 05:59 PM

I live 6 miles from the Brea/Yorba Linda fire and the firefighters did an AMAZING job of keeping the fire away from hundreds of additional homes. Their efforts stopped the flames just short (sometimes only a block away) from so many homes. Thank you to all the firefighters!! I'd rather smell smoke in my apartment and see ash on the ground any day than see my apartment as a pile of ash on the ground!

Posted by Smoky air - not a problem November 17, 08 06:00 PM

minime: grow up. The majority of homes lost over the last few days were in trailer parks. These people are devastated.

hax (36): absolutely. Stuff can be replaced.

I lost my house in the Painted Cave fire here in Santa Barbara in 1990. 500+ homes were lost. Largest single fire loss until the Oakland fires later that year.

Amazing pictures........

Posted by Paul in Santa Barbara November 17, 08 06:12 PM

I do not understand because not to exist prevention programs therefore it always happens.
The people must charge the government instead of sponsoring wars more than

Posted by Gilbert November 17, 08 06:29 PM

In my opinion, there is a great deal of frustration with people who tempt fate by living in areas where natural disasters occur frequently. Where is the common sense or zoning ordinances that would help minimize the destruction. Don't want your house to burn, don't live on a hillside that is filled with dry brush for fuel. Don't want your house destroyed by a flood, live more than 50 feet from the gulf coastline.

It's not necessarily the owners fault, cities should set proper zoning and development standards. But, if they did that, the house prices would be greater or developers would move to the next town that didn't care about appropriate safety standards. Chase the money!

Posted by Kurt November 17, 08 06:53 PM

Great photos,
I live in Garden Grove California, just a couple of miles to some of the fires. On early Saturday afternoon, it looked like it was late at night with the sun covered by all the smoke. That night, the moon was an eerie blood red due to the reflection of the fires. Even though our house was buttoned up, its still smelled like smoke inside by evening time. On Sunday the wind shifted in my area and it looked like it never happened. My prayers to those affected by the fires plus to all the fire fighters.

Posted by raul briseno November 17, 08 06:59 PM

Thank you for making this horrific disaster real to me in a way that the front page of my physical copy of the Globe did not. The courage it takes not to run away, to instead walk towards flames higher than one's head and fight them back to protect people and people's livelihood is truly commendable. I salute the firefighters, and all the quiet heroes who are helping those who have lost homes and/or loved ones.

#20 (the 'fire whirl') and #27 (the 'ember'storm) especially make me think that such fires are like combinations of several different natural disasters, a 'flood,' a tornado, and a storm of fire all rolled into one. Hard to grasp the scale and power of it all.

Posted by JHN November 17, 08 07:06 PM

What does Ethiopia have to do with homes burning in So Cal? Yeah that is what I thought. I am sure you are doing a lot to help out in either of those tragedies. Like sitting behind your keyboard.

If you really feel that way about California, just know that when 9/11 happened we felt horrible for the people in the affected areas (NY, DC, PA) and people even tried to help out in any way they can. We certainly weren't laughing about it or felt like it was some retribution for wealth. We also had quite a bit of refugees from Hurrican Katrina being helped out in our state.

People do not constantly have their homes burned down and rebuilt. First of all, So Cal is a very large area with lots of hilly terrain that has lots of dry brush. There are homes that have been there for 30-50 years that are burned down. For example, the town I live in had homes destroyed a few years ago but those homes were over 40 years old. I'm not sure why but this seems to be becoming a worse problem every year.

In San Diego last year, complete subdivision were lost. It is not like these homes were out in the sticks. They were suburban areas where the fire spread so fast thre was nothing the fire dept could do. They couldn't respond fast enough. That is what happened this year.

Now Minime, get your ass to Ethiopia and start feeding those people.

Posted by Bill November 17, 08 07:12 PM

I feel so sorry for all people who lost their lives, families, loved ones, and their belongs. Once again, Boston. com has provided us with realistic photos that will make us think of our firefighter heros. I just want to thank anyone who reads my comment that is a firefighter. Thank you.

Posted by Patrice Bergeron's #1 Fan November 17, 08 07:17 PM

I'm a Boston transplant living in Orange County. Last years fires here burned more acreage and spewed more smoke but the ones this past weekend hit densely populated areas. we dodged a major bullet because the winds died Saturday night if they had kept up it would have been as bad or worse than the Oakland hills fires.

Posted by PT November 17, 08 07:32 PM

Wow, just amazing scenes.

Posted by Mark November 17, 08 07:33 PM

These people need Prayers and emergency shelter awhile after this. This is the flames of hell roaring at hurricane speed. Note that only metal is left in the ruins. There's no talk about how much global warming is being produced by all and any of these wild fires. It's more *per hour* then all the cars on the road in the world in a year. AND there's no mention of the *Toxic fumes* that are being released into the atmosphere, since all these houses are covered with vinyl siding. All the internal walls and floors have rugs and possessions in them which release toxic gases as they are totally consumed and burned in the high wind of the inferno flames. Burnable external building materials should not be allowed in a wildfire territory.

Posted by Fready November 17, 08 08:21 PM

I live in California and have seen lots of fire pictures over the years but these are some of the best I"ve ever seen. Great job.

Posted by J. Murray November 17, 08 08:35 PM

Thanks for the photos. Always top-notch!

I wouldn't have imagine such fires are so close to home. I miss covering this kind of thing when I was a hard news shooter, but I'm certainly sorry to see it happen to anyone.

Posted by Eric November 17, 08 09:00 PM

Jeez, I feel like my screen is going to melt looking at at some of these.

Posted by Chris November 17, 08 09:41 PM

Great pictures. It really shows the force of fires. As sad as it is when fire trikes, mostly by some dumb human cause, it is beyond my comprehensions that the people and the law does not require to cut the grass and underbrush in every area where their are houses, and dry conditions exist much of the year.
But of course the rich insure their homes and hope to esacape the fire with their lifes, while firefighters risk theirs, and the public foots the rest of the bill.

Posted by Konrad Benz November 17, 08 10:58 PM

7,8, and 25 are the closest I've ever imagined to what Hell itself might look like.

Posted by sj November 17, 08 11:23 PM

Dear "Minime" ,

I bet you were a bully in high school. Your comment parallels a lyrical sucker punch. Perhaps the same will happen to you one day and hopefully you will regret what you've posted here. The truth is, you're just jealous..

Posted by Minimeisabully November 17, 08 11:43 PM

As someone who was in all of the above fires, I know a few things that might be helpful here.

First, it may seem obvious to some but not all the fire victims are “smug” owners of a “big house, a swimming pool and 3 cars”.

The people of the nearly 500 homes in the Oakridge mobile home park (seen in #4, #6, #11, #31, and #33) that went up in flames the other night are not rich.

Many, if not most, of them are senior citizens living on modest incomes. At least one is 96 and wheelchair-bound. Many seniors lost absolutely everything when 70-mile-per-hour winds blew the fire though the park in the dark of night giving little time for many to save anything but their lives.

One firefighter said that he knew that they had done all they could when his tires exploded as he was leaving. It amazes many that no bodies have been found in the ruins.

The fact is that the dream of owning even a two-bedroom house with no garage is only a dream for many otherwise middle-class, single income wage earners here. Housing is far more affordable across most of the rest of the nation. That’s why some people live in mobile home parks.

I should also point of that the massive firestorms that are becoming more common are not the norm. Many factors are at play – generations of complete fire-suppression in chaparral habitat which is ecologically reliant upon a cycle of fire and re-growth has created unnaturally thick vegetation that fuels more intense wildfires; an expanding population has to live somewhere; and of course there are also some who do have the money to buy flammable view homes on a lots that should have remained wilderness – but more importantly, we have been in a drought that, except for one winter, has been desiccating the native brush for some nine years now.

Wildfires no longer burn just a few homes built ridiculously close to 20-foot-tall chaparral brush with no defensible space but now hop across entire neighborhoods and burn houses blocks away.

Also, it is worth noting that many of those rich people do have oversized homes and “McMansions” also own many of our culture’s irreplaceable pieces of art and artifacts so the losses are not limited to those people alone.

As for image #5, the word “house” is a typo and should have read “houses”. It’s actually a regular housing development near the homes in images #8 and #18, and #20.

I can also tell you that image #4, the sunrise behind the smoldering ruins, was not altered. That’s the way it looked in the camera and that’s they way it was in real life. What it doesn’t show is the irritating smell of the toxic smoke of burning paints, plastics and various chemicals in the building materials, the blast of heat radiating from the ruins, and the eye-stabbing particles of wind-blown ash and dirt.

I can’t think of any place that is safe from fires, tornados, ice storms, hurricanes, terror attacks, tsunamis, or meteors. In fact, most of the nation outside of California does not even have any real earthquake construction codes even though possibly the biggest quake in our nation’s history was in the Midwest and changed the course of the Mississippi River.

I think we should be more compassionate toward people living through all disasters and not be (dare I use the word) “smug” about where we each live.

Posted by eye4 November 17, 08 11:46 PM

Maybe I'm just ignorant, but wtf. Why is the forest so close to the god damn house if you live in a high probability area. I just can't feel pity, cause this seems so damn stupid;). You ever heard of a god damn fire trap?

Posted by Esben Stien November 17, 08 11:54 PM

That is so scary. We complain about all the wet weather we have in England, but I would rather have wet than hot any day! So sorry for the people who have lost their homes, and all the poor wildlife and trees and the world in general!

Posted by Jacqui McCormick November 18, 08 02:16 AM

these homes should have fire sprinklers on the roof and surrounding areas of the house, you could use a gasoline pump to get the water from swimming pools and send it in galvanized pipe and brass rain bird heads,

Posted by lzandscaper November 18, 08 02:37 AM

Wow, these were great pics. This showed how horrific this was and how brave the firemen were and I'm very glad that I haven't heard about anybody dying from this...I was especially concerned about the elderly in the mobile home park because of disabilities, arthritis and such that would make it harder for anyone to escape.

Okay, I know CA has had some doozies of fires and yes, these things make us more prone to fires such as draught, not clearing brush, insect/fungus infestation which weakens/kills the vegetation and having plants like eucaliptus, but has anyone heard about: AGENDA 21 (the plan to move most people into concentrated areas of the US and leave most of the US without humans and that this is connected to the UNITED NATIONS ? Or Weather Manipulation with the Tesla-based technology of HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program)? ...Like I said, I know we get some doozies, but "Hurricane-strength" wind I don't think normally occurrs even with the Santa Ana strong winds. I'm also suspicous of the summer 08 CA fire that triggered off over 2500 fires burning simultaneously through CA.

I know this AGENDA 21 and the UN and Weather Wars/Manipulation/HAARP sound crazy, but just hit the internet and check it out.

Just because the "Falsimedia" isn't talking about this, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Posted by Roxan November 18, 08 03:43 AM

Oh, I forgot to add that yes, I am aware of other causes of fires as well such as careless cigarette smokers, arsonists and human stupidity as well. How many times do we see blackened areas near the freeway because someone tossed their cigarette out or flicked their ashes out the window? I used to live in San Clemente and somebody decided to do some welding near tinder-dry grass and set the whole ridge on fire. It was a doozy. Also, about 25 years or so ago, in the Santa Cruz mountains around July, some kids decided to play with fireworks and scorched a huge area up to Summit Road. That area took a long time to recover and this happened just because of some stupid kids and their fireworks.


Posted by Roxan November 18, 08 03:55 AM

What eye4 says is true. Also, our long drought and global warming have extended our July-to-October fire season to year-round. And when you get wind gusts of up to 70 mph, guess what, burning embers are going to set houses on fire up to a mile from that dry hillside. And the burning embers from THOSE homes can travel another mile away in several directions due to the erratic winds. And so on and so on. And that is how so many cities caught on fire in just a few hours from one fire that started miles away in Corona. Maybe some of you judgmental posters should learn the facts and try a little compassion for all those people without homes now.

Posted by OCCitizen November 18, 08 03:57 AM

First off, thank you for helping convey the emotions that are going on in southern california right now. While beautiful, these photos still show just how tragic this has become.

Secondly, I live in southern california. In fact, I live in Diamond Bar, which is one of the cities mentioned in one of the photo captions. And I am pretty offended by others who think that we "deserve" this, or have no sympathy for the lives that have been shattered by this tragedy.

To those such as minime and others, where do you live? Is it in the northwest, where they have blizzards? or the south, where they have hurricanes? how about the midwest, where there are tornadoes? or is it the northeast, who get both hurricanes and blizzards?

Fact is, natural disasters can happen anywhere, at any time. Trust me, if there were an area in the world with no natural disasters, I'm sure people would be flooding in. But there isn't, so we live where we can.

I'm appalled that some of you have no sympathy. I truly hope that nothing should ever happen to you guys, and if heaven forbid something did, then I'd also hope that there was someone who cared enough to help.

Are we all rich and wealthy? Obviously not. I live in Diamond Bar, a city with million dollar homes, and i live in crappy apartment trying to make ends meet. Are we all stubborn because we're just going to rebuild? I hope not. I think its called starting over. If my apartment had burned down, I wouldn't be able to do that. I doubt many of the displaced in the mobile home complex will be able to either.

Sorry if this got long, but I think we deserve more than your apathy.

And to the firefighters who saved my home over the weekend, no words can express my gratefulness for all you've done and accomplished. I hope someday I'll be able to repay you all.

Posted by tim November 18, 08 04:13 AM

mimime you are a very sick individual. I do hope someday you are forced out of your home and it is destroyed before your very eyes. I happen to know people from the trailer park and all i've met I'm sure are all have a better soul than you could ever have. You simply have warped mind.

Posted by Topcat November 18, 08 04:18 AM

Thank you for this views

Posted by SHUAIB November 18, 08 04:19 AM

The windshield of the car in pic # 12.

Wow. Great photos of a terrible situation, my sympathies to all that have lost homes and praise God no fatalities at this stage!

I live in NSW, Australia and the area I live in also experiences fires like this every few years so I know the feeling of these people well.


Posted by Dez! November 18, 08 04:38 AM

Also, #20, 28 and 35 are AWESOME photos in the truest meaning of the word.


Posted by Dez! November 18, 08 04:41 AM

We need to stop praising the photographs and think about the people who have lost thier homes and belongings. Its a serious situation. We need to pray to Almighty God and ask for forgiveness of all the sins that we all have done (including me). And we need to commit to god that those sins will not be repeated. We should try to help those people in whatever way we can. Let the govt. do whatever they want, and i agree that the hollywood community should step up and come forward in this noble cause. This will be an example of true America and the democracy. Like there is no greater relationship that of a fellow american.

Posted by John November 18, 08 04:49 AM

viva usa . usa is in my heart . usa i love you viva

Posted by valen November 18, 08 05:18 AM

My heart goes out to anyone one who has lost their home. I have read through many of these posts and don't understand how people can brush this off and make fun of others' misfortune. This tragedy is not karma for all of the unfair wealth in the world either. No matter how rich or poor anyone is, no one deserves to have all of their mementos and things that they hold near to them go up in smoke. A house can be rebuilt...but what about the only picture of a baby's first foot steps or a video of their first words. I encourage people to really think about what they write on here. No matter how rich of an area this could happen in, it is still a tradegy and is no doubt heart breaking for anyone that it effects.

Posted by nds November 18, 08 05:58 AM


Posted by Peter November 18, 08 06:49 AM


Posted by ZOROLO November 18, 08 06:56 AM

I am not american so maybe I don't understand the way you feel, but there's no need to blame Minime, even if I think he should have said it in another way.
What I want to say is that when your path crosses such disasters as your country does these days, never forget what happens everyday out of your country and why it is happening... I guess no one needs three cars or a swimming pool, that's only disgusting me.
Anyway, I'm sorry for people who lost friends or family, but I don't care about f*cking 4x4.
Beautiful pictures, as always.

Posted by Guillaume November 18, 08 07:51 AM

minime is an ass. Recognize overpopulation.

Posted by Anonymous November 18, 08 09:09 AM

why they continue to biuld up in the mountain ? and get insurance coverage ?
Are all the rest people paying for it to their living high ?
What is the difference people continue to build along the hurricane prone coast line and force government to insure them ? many times over the same disastrous outcome ?

Posted by bill chen November 18, 08 09:49 AM

Pic #4 : Fallout 3
Pic #15 : Terminator 2
Pic #19 : Transformers
Pic #22 : Backdraft

Much respect to all the fire crews out there.

Posted by Gerb November 18, 08 09:51 AM

Absolutely professional photos...

Is not that ironic... the government spend millions of bucks to develop machines that have the ability to burn thousands of homes, but they are not able to protect them from a slightly bigger fire...

Posted by Ayac November 18, 08 09:53 AM

Picture #31 Mesmerizing, satanic, but magnificent photo. And it's impossible to comprehend the magnitude of the terrible devastation. The terror is incomprehensible too, unless one has actually been a victim of fire. I hope everyone has someone to care for them - as a senior, I can share what must now be their dreadful fear of the future.

Posted by annie morgan November 18, 08 10:25 AM

Everyone lay off minime - can't you see he is relishing in the attention? He has so little in his life. Sitting behind his little computer with his little mind and his little.......well, you know what I mean. If he had a job, he might make enough money to one day have a house & pool & one car. But for now, he must sit in anonymity & inflate his ego with emissives that only purport his ignorance and class level. If his little one room apartment went up in flames, alas, what would he lose? His collection of Star Wars figurines, his Knight Rider lunchbox & pershaps a few old Playboy Magazines - hardly enough for us to wish him badly.

Posted by Anonymous November 18, 08 10:29 AM

The Boston Globe photographers take some of the best photos that I have ever seen of wildfires- and I have been fighting wildland fires for over 30 years.
With regard to the socio-economic class of those who own these burning homes-mother nature is not very descriminating when it comes to homes- fuel is fuel-
wildfire doesn't care about anyone's annual income.
What's strange is to see that year after year-nothing changes. Human behavior stays the same-even when the environment is shouting at us to adapt or die.

Posted by Mike Benefield November 18, 08 10:57 AM

That might be so. But to listen to someone who's views differ for the rest can be, at times, refreshing if not enlightening. There are little tragedies which preserve their status uppon comparison with other misfortunate circumstances.
Despite the fact that these pictures have their beauty in them, they simply reflect a manifestation of nature. But to go as far as considering this a tragedy? (Like most of the comments) Or not at all, (Like a minority present)
Well, no lives have been lost, only land and material goods so one has the right to argue that this is somewhat of a frivolous matter.

Wouldn't I be somewhat right here to say that the tragedy here is the fact that people see the loss of material goods as a real tragedy? Those who define themselves by what they own.

Posted by Procrustes November 18, 08 11:14 AM

As I sit here looking at these incredible images, I take the comfort of my coal fire for granted, fogetting the destruction and heart ache that fire is capable off.
I really feel for those people who have lost everything.

Posted by Pete November 18, 08 11:19 AM

#83: "If he had a job, he might make enough money to one day have a house & pool & one car.".

How true. I just want to add that, the girl on the ethiopian pictures, should do the same. Have a job. And she could buy a swimming pool, cars etc. She shouldn't just cry because her child died. She did not work hard enough as the good Californians do.

Posted by Anonymous November 18, 08 11:25 AM

I lost my home in the Big Sur fires in July. These photos affected me emotionally, much more than they would have a year ago.

Posted by Bill Burleigh November 18, 08 12:05 PM

Awesome work by the firefighting community as usual. It is sad, however, to what had happened to people who have lost their possessions and shelter. Fortunately, we are naturally resilient and will just grow on and hope to have learned a few things or two from the experience.

I live in Chino Hills and we were four miles from where it started and almost came within a mile from my home. The control burn conducted by the brave firemen helped saved many homes in our community. With challenges you see good hearts from everyone around as captured by the local tv coverage of two teenagers delivering refreshments to the fire crew.

Posted by Joel November 18, 08 12:22 PM


Posted by Tommy May November 18, 08 12:28 PM

it's all so surreal.
the molten rim (#15) was just too strong an image for me.

Posted by lg November 18, 08 12:34 PM

nice pictures.....................................................

Posted by paulina November 18, 08 12:47 PM

Incredible images. These really put me into the local reality of these fires. It's a shame to read some of these comments and see how ignorant some of these posters are. It is NOT these families faults that their homes and belongings went up in flames. Whether these were started by neglect or a freak of nature, it's still devastating. Being closer to the beach, except for the air quality and images on the news, you feel very disconnected to the events happening just a few miles north. My thoughts are with those families and those helping the families who have lost their homes.

#2 with how selective and by chance each home was destroyed.
#4 the physical account of the amount of destruction
#6 these brave individuals who exhausted their efforts
#20 to imagine seeing this coming my way
#21 how close the train is just fleeting by the fires


Posted by Shana November 18, 08 12:51 PM

I always feel bad to say that your´s are great pictures when they cope with serious topics, what they obviously are, but i dont want to miscredit the content and its background. Thanks for posting these pictures and showing us, what goes on in the world.

Chan from TheJunction

Posted by Chan TheJunction November 18, 08 02:10 PM

#35 says is all for me, except....
Will Californial now have to pay a carbon tax for adding so much CO2 to the atmosphere? Feel sorry for those who lost everything.

Posted by Lee November 18, 08 02:25 PM

I think that if someone has the ability of buying a multimillion dollar home is great and comendable and not easy at all, we all work for what we dream of and there is nothing wrong with that, some people are just jelous because they cannot amount to anything.

Posted by Jessie November 18, 08 02:25 PM

Awesome work by the firefighting community as usual. It is sad, however, to what had happened to people who have lost their possessions and shelter. Fortunately, we are naturally resilient and will just grow on and hope to have learned a few things or two from the experience.

I live in Chino Hills and we were four miles from where it started and almost came within a mile from my home. The control burn conducted by the brave firemen helped saved many homes in our community. With challenges you see good hearts from everyone around as captured by the local tv coverage of two teenagers delivering refreshments to the fire crew.

Posted by Joel November 18, 08 02:38 PM

YOU are some realy sick sons the bitches for wrighting all the bad stuff about these poor people we can only hope it happens to you and not your nieboors

Posted by Ed H November 18, 08 03:12 PM

I think that those people who chided the Montecito home owners for having expensive homes are not only heartless but also don't have a clue. We live in a country that allows us to work hard and succeed. That is the basis of our beautiful country. We have religious organizations and charities to help the less fortunate. We are not obligated to give away our hard earned money to those who do not work for it. That is socialist, and this country was not founded on socialist principles. My heart goes out to ALL who lost their possessions and homes in this terrible fire. Living in So. CA, I was surrounded on all sides, except for the West, by the fires and saw the sun obliterated by smoke. Our home and cars were covered by prayers and thoughts are with everyone involved in this tragedy.

Posted by S. Tamer November 18, 08 03:16 PM

Great photos!! I know Montecito well... trust me... they can well recover... you live there because it is a beautiful sliver of land between ocean and mountain peaks and most everyone has very good land clearances.. but if flames break out in 70mph winds (and yes 70mph winds are not unusual in Santa Anas... although in Santa Barbara we call them Sundowners, there is not much you can do but grab the family, the animals and flee Montecito will be easily rebuilt and I'm sure the residents pay a very hefty fire insurance policy. Remember Oprah's house cost $48million. Don't begrudge her, minime, think how many people she employs!) These people pay a lot because Montecito is so nice, it is my idea of what heaven looks like (or should). That does not mean we shouldn't have compassion for them. them Montecito residents had an in-place exit plan and the citizens were universily praised by the firefighters and police on how they evacuated. One overlooked ed story was all the heroic people getting their horses and animals moved from harm's way. Montecito people did well.
As to the trailer park, I happen to be returning from downtown L.A from a play and traveled right by the doomed trailer park on the I-5 freeway about an hour after it started and I will always remember the sight! HUGE flames and the wind was howling as hard as I've seen it and I'm 4th generation So. California. Those poor people people couldn't save anything, where not tucked into a canyon or anywhere particularily dangerous. But if there is a spark, and you have the Santa
Annas, you don't have much chance. But remember people... no one lost their lives in the fire! (a 96 evacuee did pass, though). As to a danger area; ALL of California is an earthquake zone... but earthquakes don't kill anyone... falling buildings do and we build to incredible earthquake standards.
As to minime, I pray that you achieve enlightenment one day but using your comments as a signpost... i think youhave a long journey ahead of you. Bon chance, bon voyage.

Posted by Leland November 18, 08 03:54 PM

Awesome photos in a sea of disaster. I hope everyone got out safe.

Posted by micah abbott November 18, 08 04:31 PM

GOD BLESS the firemen.
Thank you!!!!

Posted by Kathi November 18, 08 04:37 PM

#12 & #31
#12 is a great shot.. look at the front windshield of the truck.. how the vinyl is melting inside the glass...

# 31 is just an amazing blend of light and shadows..

Amazing photos from such an awful event. Sad to put this in .. but still "great work on the photos"

Posted by R00B0y November 18, 08 04:54 PM

All of those commenting MINIME please continue as he is the MINI... the BIG picture are the fires and the devastation, human and wildlife death.. hearts broken... as for the out of country folks talking about a poor little girl not having anything...this is the fault of the government of that country, not the US, not the citizens of California or the firefighters... and if you dont like the way Americans live... leave us be... we can make it all happen with out you. .. the Quiet Man...

Posted by John Wayne November 18, 08 04:55 PM

As someone who lost a home in a wildfire in another state, all I can say is the idea that losing your home is somehow divine retribution for sin or some other misdeed is reprehensible. A lot of really great people in my neighborhood lost everything. It was a terrible tragedy that forever changed the lives of many of them.

After my experience, I can no longer look at disasters as curiosities in the news that happen to faceless people. I now know firsthand that real people, not pictures or statistics, are devastated during disasters. It takes years to recover, and everyone affected will be all alone to do so long after all the news crews and disaster organizations have packed up and left.

My heart goes out to all the people who suffered losses from this tragedy. If it is any comfort, please know that tomorrow will bring another day, and the remarkable resilience of the human spirit will allow you to face it, no matter how much it may seem like you can't. You will find caring, compassion and help in the most unlikely of places, and you may be shocked to find that many of the people you thought you could count on will abandon you. Nevertheless, you will survive and you will be stronger and wiser as a result.

Sometimes gifts manifest in the strangest way. Have faith, be strong, and know that people all over understand your plight, empathize with it, and are pulling for you. God bless.

Posted by Jim November 18, 08 05:13 PM

From an American's point of view. We live in a nation that allows for us to live where and how we choose to live. You want to live in the UK? Great Keep the Limee(sic) comments and attiudes on your side. We have kept you morons from speaking so many different languages and pulled you out of more problems and wars than we care to remember. The US people of California make those decisions to live in the urban interface areas. They make those decisions, because it's America and we have the right. We have the greatest country in the world and if you don't like it, too bad.

And for the other moron MINIME: Hey the UK is looking for more tree hugging, tea sipping, live for the queen sissies... Why don't you go feed the sick and hungry from there. If you live in America, you're not American. We feed, bathe, provide, aid, finance and keep more countries from going under than any other country in the world.

Maybe we ought to send a few fire fighters from CAli to go over and spend a few minutes with you...

a tree hugging

Posted by Heavy D the firefighter November 18, 08 07:50 PM

As homes burned one by one so did the hope and dreams of many homeowners, some wealthy, some not so wealthy, some old, tired and others that are young with young familes. They all worked very hard to build a dream that was deserving but by fake was taken away this week. I am deeply sadden by their loss. Our prays are with all those homeowners and families now without a home today.

Posted by Joan in Corona November 18, 08 08:06 PM

My heart goes out to all those who lost their homes. Thank God folks were able to evacuate without great loss of life, but it has to be crushing to lose all of your belongings. Probably the saddest loss, as long as everybody is OK, is the family photos and records being destroyed.

My prayers are with you all.

Posted by John D'Angelo November 18, 08 09:51 PM

pro tip- concrete house.

Posted by Anonymous November 18, 08 10:19 PM

Rich or poor, young or old.............Loss is loss. If you lose everything you own including the place you call home, you are devastated. Yes, many things have sentimental attachments and can be replaced, but they are a part of your life and have meaning to you. It's never the same. Tragedy strikes ALL of us at one time or another, and it's the compassion for each other that connects us as human beings. As these pictures attest, what a frightening ordeal. The many firefighters who put their lives on the line, and the pilots who fly these planes and helicopters are true heroes. God bless them for their service. We don't pay them nearly enough. My prayers go out to those who are now homeless due to these fires.

Posted by Karen November 18, 08 10:34 PM

So much more could and should be done to drastically reduce the losses of both life and property. Radical environmentalists do not want roads in forested areas, and do not want to cut down any trees, or clear any brush. But ask them how much carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere by these fires! We need fire breaks on either side of a network of roads in critical areas. We need fire breaks and roads to protect residential and business areas. What we really need is common sense.

Posted by William C. Pritchett November 18, 08 11:08 PM

My baby lives in LA...I'm bringing her back to SC

Posted by StThomas VirginIslands November 18, 08 11:39 PM

My wife and I finished cleaning up around our home in Fullerton this afternoon. We are a block and a half south of Brea and about five miles south of Tonner Canyon.We swept up half a trash can of ashes and much more was blown away after sweeping.
Between the state legislature and the fires it's a toss up as to which causes the greatest damage.
Pete Lewis

Posted by Pete Lewis November 18, 08 11:52 PM

My prayers go out to every family effected by this, but mostly to the firefighters that are risking their lives to save other people's homes and lives. I hope that they all return safely home including many of my friends who are fighting the fires.

Posted by Thomas November 19, 08 12:14 AM

Could be a connection between global warming and California wild fires. If yes what those people did, do or will do for that???? Second question is for every one.

Posted by me November 19, 08 12:42 AM

post#39... this isn't a newspaper.

Posted by miguel barbosa November 19, 08 01:13 AM

eye4 AMEN!!!! You said what I felt like saying, but did a much better job than I ever could.
Heavy D the firefighter ~ You ROCK!!! I wish I could give you a big hug!! Thank you!!
MINIME ~ You have serious issues!! Kiss my tush!

I was there, these pictures are real. It was like a war zone. You did an amazing job. Thank you!!

Posted by Heather November 19, 08 01:32 AM

Gr8 Work done by firefighters and photographer too...

Posted by Ashish Leela November 19, 08 02:19 AM


Posted by NECA November 19, 08 02:22 AM

I am so sorry for all of you who have lost your homes...such a tragedy. My prayes are with you. God Bless

Posted by Yvonne November 19, 08 02:24 AM

Beautiful pictures but it's really difficult to pretend that the loss of materials bothers me. Damage and loss are inevitable parts of life and there's little point in dwelling over circumstances that might have been. Some "irreplaceable" items may have been lost but it doesn't take away from the experiences that happened nor the memories that continue to exist. If it is the case, as someone stated above, that there has been no loss of life then this is just an exercise in coexistence with nature. Devastation is a state of mind and those who lose "everything" are only in as much pain as they choose. It is not a necessary fact of life that you must accumulate and maintain material wealth in order to be happy or even content and it would be hypocritical of me to say that this weighs on me when so many other similar “disasters” have happened and continue to happen with and without my knowledge.

The people I really feel for are those who allow themselves to be emotionally devastated by this circumstance. The more one obsesses and grieves over what is lost, the less one is able to see what one has. Those affected by this will either move or stay and they will either rebuild or not. All you can really do is be grateful for what is left (even if your body is all that’s left), learn what you can learn from it, and keep living your life. This, I believe, holds true for all of life.

Posted by MLT November 19, 08 02:47 AM

Dear mini: seek help you inbittered small brain piece of trash. You will be the first in line for your government bail out money. Why don't you try a new approach: get off your lazy ass go to work and earn your own way, then maybe you'll understand what a tragedy it is for all those who have suffered such a lose.

Posted by Michael Eaton November 19, 08 03:42 AM

The only thing worse than the fire itself is the ignorance I've just read. Do you really think these people deserve to have their lives completely destroyed by an uncontrollable event. I have 40 years in the fire service and serve as a fire chief in Eastern Washington, this could happen here just as well and the medium income is $35,000. There are million dollar houses here as well and they worked hard to earn them.

Posted by Russ Hobbs November 19, 08 05:48 AM

courage aux pompiers en espérant qu'il ni ait pas de victimes.

Posted by Alain, French November 19, 08 08:41 AM

nice. destruction can look so pretty. sad though.

Posted by kabir November 19, 08 09:41 AM

My heart is with all affected in this tragedy!

Bravo! Fire fighters are amazing! Your brave actions are most appreciated.

Posted by Samantha Epperson November 19, 08 09:51 AM

I live in Pennsylvania and my heart goes out to everyones' loss. God Bless the wonderful Firefighters. They risk their lives over and over again to help. Southern California is an awesome beautiful area. Such a tragedy. My prayers to you.

Posted by Joyce Quigley November 19, 08 10:20 AM

So sorry to see all those who lost words can help to diminish the lost. Devastating to see.

Posted by Anonymous November 19, 08 11:02 AM

OKay so I get an e-mail from a person that I work with and I look through the pics and then in the comment I see people more focused on this mini me person than they are on that ACTUAL event. Now I just wanted to make a few points. FIrst off this is basically what see seems to have set everyone off:

"hmm, everybody has a that big house, a swimming pool and 3 cars there? this is a retaliation for the unfair wealth... I can't feel sorry for them. "

Okay so minime probably doesn't come from a family of weath. So it's understandable that they feel this way and before I continue I'm NOT minime and if oyu want ot harassme like you are mini me after reading this be my geust I won't be coming back to this site as your opinions really don't matter. Anyway as I was saying. Minime probably doesn't come from a wealthy family, and people will aways see what they want to see. They censor what they really care about and what they don't, so yeah maybe minime missed a trailor park but ya know it is their choice if they don't want to feel sorry. I come from a family with several cars an da pool and I know I would be devestaed for these people, i AM devastaed for these people. However, you all have decided that you are going to focus on minime rather than the event. Now you all think he is bad. THis reply chain could be used to actually come up with some ideas about what people could do to help these families. Hell you may be the person with the idea that just needs others to get thinking like you. However, i only see a few people saying, "I wish I could do something ot help" most of you are too busy bullying someone who stated an opinion. Frankly minime isn't a bully you guys are. YOu are picking on them and telling them tha they are wrong when they have JUST as much right to state that they can't feel sorry for these families. Like I said it IS understandable if they aren't from a back ground like that.

Anyway I guess the point of this is first to send my condolences to these families. Yes most of them will get insurance money back but that doesn't replace pictures, baby bibs nd meories. Secondly this is to tell you all to Grow up, seriously. Harassme if you want but it will fall on deaf eas., you all have proven your worth. Calling one person a bully for stating an opinion and not letting it drop. Like me after minime posted they probably didn't come back and frankly I don't blame them. So meh some of you may read this others may just attack. As many have pointed out (as a way to try and bully minime) america is a free country. If you want to attack me be my geust but honestly ou don't knowme form adam who I am or what i do. Infact I think it would surprise some of you. Anyway Grow up, do what you want. and stop being hypocrites when it comes to bullying someone, you are all just as "bad" as minime.


Posted by Lamia November 19, 08 11:06 AM

Is this the result of arson? Because there are so few new starts in the housing market, could construction companies generate work by rebuilding the burned homes?

Posted by Alias Fermion November 19, 08 12:42 PM

I hope ~lamia does stay on to read what people think. You are 100% accurate. We have something called the first amendment. Don't waste effort on hammering someone for what they think. Step into action and try to help these people for there by the grace of God go you (my first amendment right).

Posted by Anonymous November 19, 08 01:00 PM

My strike team was working to save the house in picture #8. Thanks for that amazing picture. All of us had just finished working in Mendocito and came Code 3 to Orange County and immediately jumped into the fight. We ended up having 6 hours of broken sleep in 80 straight hours. None of the homes in this picture were destroyed thanks to a timely "back fire" initiated by us. I am truly sorry for all of those we were not successful in saving. It hurts us to the core each and every time we lose one...

Posted by Strykteam November 19, 08 01:26 PM


Posted by Anonymous November 19, 08 01:28 PM

God Bless the men and women that fight these natural climates. How small we really are!!!

Posted by Sandra Henry November 19, 08 01:33 PM

My son is a Forestry Fighter and he was fighting to save as many homes as possible with his crew. I'm proud of him.
I feel sorry for the animals that are caught in the path of the fire. People know what is happening and how to get to safety, but the animals are confused and scared not knowing where to run to escape danger.

Posted by D Johnson November 19, 08 01:34 PM

These are fantastic photos. I live in Southern California, fortunatly these fires didn't affect me, but I have been evacuated (Old Fire 2003). I live in the mountains of Southern California. The Tea fire was started by college kids who didn't put out a bon fire that they had started the day before. The Yorba Linda/Corono/Chino Hills Triplex fire started by a car on the freeway they believe.. These fires are tough and every year we get them, and every year our heart breaks for those who have lost their homes.

Posted by Ann November 19, 08 01:38 PM

Perhaps IF the powers that be in California wouldn't allow the "environmentalists" to dictate to them that Controlled Burns are unexceptable, then perhaps the fires would be easier to contain!
Controlled burning of lands is a very old / ancient practice that prevents these things from happening. It's good for the land as well!
Write to your congressmen and women, California; or better yet.. charge the environmentalist groups and the State Government for your losses . as they are the ones ultimately responsible.

Posted by nantz November 19, 08 02:27 PM

I wanted to share one of the pictures I took the day picture 21 was snapped.

It can be found at

It depicts a sense of loss felt by the fire department at ground zero of the fire that took an apartment complex.

Posted by Tannim Hiebert November 19, 08 03:05 PM

to all the fire fighters here in cal and around the world may GOD BLESS YOU
i've been through it and so has some of my family. this where we choose to live as a american we have that right just like you have the right to live with your head up your butt. we all need to thank god for police and fire fighters

Posted by I E DAN November 19, 08 03:08 PM

WOW that breaks my heart to see all that gone in the fires. It is either fires, tornados, hurricanes, flooding or something all over the world. Ok I understand that tornadoes, hurricanes just show up but fires are just started by stupid people who think they can outsmart them by starting them - whats the point, "make everyone homeless, idiots". Since Cali has fires every year they should start early by watering and putting retardants down in all that brush if they know it can happen. All those firefighters put there lives out there for what, some stupid idiot who started it. That's wrong! They do a great job but I feel sorry for them because of some stupid person who either wants to be noticed or its arson or they are playing around with fire when they know it is dry season. For all the people who lost their homes I hope they get a big compensation from the state to help them move on. They have kids and animals in need. Where do they go? They should be put somewhere and be compensated until they rebuild back or not. They shouldn't be punished for loosing their home. People wake up! I wish I could house them all. You can't replace the things you had but at least you are alive. I am so angry over this! I live about 6 miles and the fires were intense. It is devastating and awful. For the ones that start these fires they should get it back on them!

Posted by Dana November 19, 08 03:30 PM

Didziule uzuojauta tiem kurie nukentejo,ir visiem kitiem, tai ivyko didziule katastrofa i nuotraukas negaliu net ziurevi kaip ugnis viska sluoja kas po kojok, zmones varge state namus ir per sekunde nebera. Baisu

Posted by lithueinia November 19, 08 03:57 PM

Terrible is not strong enough, this is so sad that in 2008 we are still exposed to so much loss and risks for the firefighters; I am in fire protection and hope we will come up one day with exterior sprinklers systems that will be able to stop those runaway brush fires

Posted by Louis Bergeron November 19, 08 04:29 PM

I live in a fire danger area. Everyone does. Not just in California, everywhere. Fires can burn everywhere. People live in the hills in California because California is mostly hills. There are hills along the coast and hills along the eastern border. There are major fault lines which have caused very large mountain ranges. You live on a mountain or hill, near a mountain or hill, in a valley between mountains or hills, or in the desert. Those are your choices.

I live in the mountains. My house is fairly remote. I knew there was a danger of fires when I moved here. It doesn't mean that I don't care if my house burns down. When I was evacuated last year I loved the people telling me that I shouldn't live where "natural disasters can occur." Where CAN'T natural disasters occur? Where are there no hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, wild fires, etc? Tell me this perfectly safe place where mother nature has no effect. Did you say these things a few years ago when most of Montana burned? Do you say this to people whose house was destroyed in the midwest by a tornado? Do you say this to people whose house was destroyed in any of the hurricanes that his every year? Is this what you say to people living below sea level in Louisiana?

Please, someone tell me where I should live where natural disasters never happen?

Posted by Hope November 19, 08 04:55 PM


Posted by COLLEEN November 19, 08 05:38 PM

God Bless all the victims who have lost loved ones and/or their homes!

Posted by Ray Kelly from New York November 19, 08 05:42 PM

My thoughts and prayers are with those who lost and continue to lose due to these fires. My thoughts and prayers also go out to those who do not have enough consideration to feel for those in need and for those who have lost family, shelter, and belongings due to these fires.
We are all capable of working hard and showing for how hard we have worked. Whether we chose to or not, that's always our decision. Even though many of these homes may be fairly expensive, those in the mobile home park were less expensive and they lots their homes also. It shouldn't matter how much the homes were worth, all that should matter is that many families are losing their homes and their lives are falling apart because of these natural disasters. California came together when tragedy struck NY 9/11, and when hurricane Katrina hit, so can't the rest of the United States come together when these tragedies are striking California...
Imagine how you would feel if you just lost your home, and everything you owned to a fire and people were saying that you deserve it because you were wealthy? How would you feel if you were only wealthy because you have worked your entire life away to get all those belongings you just lost, when there's people out there that don't work a minute in their life but live off of all of our tax payers money.... and people were saying that you deserve this?
Look into your hearts people. Put yourself in anothers shoes.. and imagine how you would feel.

Posted by mo November 19, 08 06:31 PM

When I am called to duty, God
Whenever flames may rage,
Give me the strength to save some life
Whatever be its age,
Help me embrace a little child
Before it is too late
Or save an older person from
The horror of that fate
Enable me to be alert and
Hear the weakest shout
And quickly and efficiently
To put the fire out
I want to fill my calling and
To give the best in me,
To guard my every neighbor and
Protect his property
And if according to my fate
I am to lose my life,
Please bless with your
protecting hand
My children and my wife.

Spare a thought for crews that battle the beast......

Posted by Anonymous November 19, 08 06:46 PM

A majority of the homes burned were mobile homes and apartments. A vast majority. Not to say that wealthy people should lose their homes, but this is ridiculous. Many of the homes in the canyons of Corona and some of the Diamond Bar homes, like my aunt's, were purchased decades ago when the houses were not as overpriced as they are now. These are middle class people as well. So, most of the homeowners were not wealthy.

You will see an arial view of my aunt's house with four cars because my aunt and uncle each work full time very hard to afford their cars, home and children's college, and two of my three cousins drive themselves to college and back while working and helping pay for college. No one should be judging anyone based on some pictures.

I do wonder if these cities have defensible space rules like we do in the San Bernardino mountains. If I don't clear brush around my house I should first get a warning and then the forestry department does it and charges me (happened to a neighbor of mine). As for one of the above comments, there are controlled burns in California and all environmentalists know how important that, defensible space, and tree and brush thinning projects are for our wildlife areas. The logistics of controlled burns in some canyons are very complicated and difficult. Thinning and defensible space are much better options.

From a tree hugger.

Posted by Hope November 19, 08 06:46 PM

My prayers are with all of the victims/owners/families displaced by this tragedy.

Posted by Lori November 19, 08 07:00 PM

I have been up close and personal with fire, more than once, to where the air has been sucked out of my lungs which forced me to run away from the flames so I could breath again. (Rice fire - Fallbrook, CA) These pictures bring it all back to me. California is burning up and I keep asking myself is it time to leave?

Posted by Kip Hughes November 19, 08 07:21 PM

For the record, many of the houses burned in the Tea fire are in the City of Santa Barbara, not the "celebrity enclave of Montecito." In fact, photo #3 is of Conejo Rd., which is within the city limits of Santa Barbara.

Posted by Kevin November 19, 08 07:38 PM

Look at all the swimming pools. All that water could have been put to good use if a pump and gen were installed pryor to the fire. Kinda cheap insurance, wouldnt you say. Its a precaution that I would take if I lived in a fire area

Posted by Chuck Lundquist November 19, 08 08:34 PM

I lived in Southern California for 30 years until I retired and moved to Florida, I have never viewed such scary pictures of what could happen anywhere in the country. Those firefighters are awesome, they put their lives on the line for all of us, you all should be thankful. Believe me, they don't make enough money or own a home big enough to be worth their lives. They are making a hard living and protecting us...Thank to all, and God Bless the people who have to rebuild and pickup the pieces.

Posted by Robin November 19, 08 08:52 PM

firefighters putting their lives on the line to save people that live in a place that burns on a regular basis. does anyone else find this strange?

Posted by mark November 19, 08 09:12 PM

Great photos. #4 is good.

Posted by Ed November 19, 08 09:24 PM

I just want to say that all those you don't have sympathy for those who lost their homes. I live in Yorba Linda, however, I am at college in Ohio right now. I was scared for all those back home all Saturday because I had to rely on others to make sure they were safe. Most of my friends were evacuated and some lost their houses. The fire got within half a mile of my house and I'm am grateful that it didn't get closer.
To those that think that the people who lost their houses are only concern about material things. I'll have you know that a good family friend lost their house (it was actually the first to burn and they barely made it out safe) when my mom asked what she could do for them. All our friend asked was for pictures of from when us kids were younger in Girl Scouts since she lost every picture she had. So don't go saying that all they care about is cars, televisions, etc. They lost everything that means anything to them.
So before you go off saying that this in what they deserve think about those who lost everything and have no way of getting any of it back. Those who lost everything deserve to have your respect.

Posted by Sky November 19, 08 10:27 PM

My heart goes out to all who lost everything in this disaster. Things are replaceable but lives are not. That is not much consolation when it happens to you but try to be thankful you have your life and you can replace the things you lost.

Posted by Donna Saldana November 19, 08 10:33 PM

I fight wildland fire here in SoCal. I grew up in the midwest and have lived all over the U.S. in my 25 year career. Take a guess at where the most devastating wildfires have occurred...

I am tired of folks bashing us for living in the path of fire. Many folks here have pointed out that tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and all sorts of other natural disasters occur almost anywhere you decide to live. I live in a beautiful mountain community that has been evacuated due to wildland fire, I have insurance and I do what I can to minimize the risk. I could move to the roof farms down the hill and be in a flood plain, or a liquifaction zone, or I could get wiped out by a tornado.

Did you know that the Inland Empire gets tornadoes?

Posted by fyrfyghter November 19, 08 10:49 PM


Posted by Bob Sanchez November 19, 08 11:12 PM

First and foremost, I think that firefighters are truly the most altruistic and heroic
of all professions. I did read that one person whose house survived the Tea fire in Montecito and a previous fire had evacuated leaving his sprinklers on, whilst
others whose homes did not make it had not. Something to think about. With the holidays approaching, we need to be so thankful for the firefighters who risk their lives for our "stuff", and to give even $5.00 to the Red Cross or some other
charity. If everyone did just that....

Posted by Ellen Considine November 19, 08 11:39 PM

hmmmm......... California didn't start burning until 1956..........stranger still

perhaps just a matter of perspective.
my personal "worst disaster" a big wind that took some shingles and a couple of pieces of siding. Go figure. Ohio is a dangerous place.

Posted by mark November 19, 08 11:56 PM

Or if you are in a giving mood...

The Wildland Firefighter Foundation steps in to help families of firefighters that perished in the line of duty and firefighters that have been injured. They almost went broke when 9 firefighters died in the helicopter crash this year.

Posted by fyrfyghter November 20, 08 12:04 AM

Minime, making everyone poor is not an answer. We should be an example for other countries to follow, to bring wealth to their people. Free markets work... socialism leads to poverty. We can't help is we are poor. The free market allows for people to excell and prosper. Even though there may be some with wealth who do not share, MANY DO share, become missionaries, or give to missions. Socialist governments destroy the ability for the common citizen to do that. "Spreading the wealth around" is a gov't scam to steal our wealth so officials can put it in their own pockets. Control is in who holds the wealth. Think about it.

Posted by 10amend November 20, 08 12:25 AM

Amazing pictures. While I was on the mop-up crew at Montecito, it was tragic to see the homes lost. However I heard one gentleman of 82 years old state on the news "hey it happens, we're alive and now we move on" what an incredible attitude to have. It was hard for me to see the homes burned up. the first one our engine drove by, choked me up a little bit. As you drove through the devestation, you got used to it. It soon came back to us doing our job. This was the first opportunity I have had to go on a strike team, and it truly makes me even more grateful for each day we have and the society we live in. We truly have a blessed life. For those of you who may hae lost your home or belongingsm, as we said to those we saw while mopping up, I am truly sorry for your loss and feel for you! I wish you the best in recovery and rebuilding! It will happen, stay positive, and remember that you left with your life, and life is the most precious gift of all!

Posted by Kevin Hughes November 20, 08 01:03 AM

I do feel sad about this, but no-one forced them to live in that area.

Our tax dollars at work... great....

Same type of morons that live in hurricane country and have to rebuild every 10 yrs - forcing up insurance for all the normal people.

Posted by Ken Din November 20, 08 02:14 AM

So reminiscent of last year's Rancho Bernardo fires and bad memories of losing our home to this ongoing hazard. All 1000 homes and the families who lived in them will need support from around the country and world. Our prayers are with them all.

Posted by Jeff November 20, 08 02:21 AM

It is quite a study in human nature to read the comments posted here. After viewing the photos of these terrible fires, it is hard to see how anyone could fail to empathize with the people who lived through this nightmare and ended up loosing everything. I am pleased that so many expressed their sympathy for the survivors and sent them good wishes and blessings. It seems to me that this is just the type of tragedy which brings out the best in people - AND the worst!
It reveals us to ourselves - are we scornfull, sarcastic and cold-hearted when faced with these stories and pictures? Or do we feel compassion and the desire to help our fellow humans?

Posted by Joan A. Bishop November 20, 08 04:43 AM

To all the fire fighters and THEIR families, Thank you for your hard work and the abilities you have to keep the rest of us safe !!!

Posted by Flores Norco, CA November 20, 08 05:25 AM

Rich or poor, evil or good, the home owners, fire fighters and
all others working to stop the fire..all deserve a medal for
their efforts..Notice both the trailer dwellers and those who
live in opulence suffered equally. Consider all their personal
possessions memories, pictures, a favorite sweater..
Nature can reduce all our efforts in a few days.
Someone is going to find a better way to stop fires some day and
we will all realize the value of the scientist, inventor in our midst. Jan

Posted by jan bush November 20, 08 09:49 AM

STILL LOVE CA - good pictures
Jean M. 11/20/08

Posted by Jean M. November 20, 08 10:35 AM

Regarding #170. I agree. These are not just empty model homes burning, these ARE homes. Rich, poor or in between, we all have those photos, videos and irreplaceable items that are destroyed by these fires. I'm sure the insurance will replace the house, but the stuffed teddy bear from childhood and prom photos are gone forever. A little compassion is warranted, although, don't let it ruin your day.

Posted by PDiddy November 20, 08 10:35 AM

Not everyone that lives in Santa Barbara is rich. My brother is a hard working, self-employed carpenter living job to job. He lost everything! He has no insurance....he has no savings to fall back on. He lost all of his tools, and all he wants to do is work. Who do you think supports the lifestyle of those that have money, working in the service industries? That's right, hard working everyday people. Keep your hateful comments to yourself. No one deserves this, no matter what their financial status.

Posted by Amy November 20, 08 10:39 AM

As a volunteer firefighter in Newburgh, NY, I know how crazy fire can get, almost as if it's alive and breathing. But talking about the wildfires in California, I can't even begin to describe what the firefighters over there are going through. I pray for all my firefighting brothers and sisters out in California and for all who have lost their homes in this tragedy.

Posted by joe fireman cvfd November 20, 08 11:07 AM

I live in Brea, CA and just went through the most terrifying weekend of my life. The fire came within 1 block of our home and, thankfully, we are OK. For all of you wondering why people would build homes in this area, 99% of the time, the hills of southern California are a beautiful place to be. The fires that recently happened were caused by humans, not nature. A bon fire created by some drunken college kids started the fire in LA, causing hundreds of homes to burn. The cause of the Yorba Linda fire is still under investigation, but so far they've determined it was caused by a car's hot catalytic converter on the freeway. Watching the news coverage, you would think that all of southern California is built in the hills by wealthy people. That is so not true. I live in an upper class neighborhood that was built in the 70s. There was a mobile home park in LA that burned down. I work with people who live in modest, middle-class neighborhoods who were evacuated from their homes. We are all focused on getting back to normal now. Would I want to build a home in those hills? No, but there are developers suing for the right to do just that. It is greed on the part of cities and developers that creates unsafe housing locations. If the homes are there, people will buy them.

Posted by Pam November 20, 08 11:25 AM

I will pray for all the folks who lost their homes. Some folks think because you are rich its ok to loose everything, rich and poor alike have feelings.

Posted by Anonymous November 20, 08 11:29 AM

Who is this minime dipstick? Probably an Obama "athletic" supporter if you get my meaning. Tragedy is tragedy and for these people who "earned" the right to have beautiful homes and swimming pools it is a big loss. Just as serious as those who lost their mobile homes. Only in America can someone make such dumb comments, be so stupid and have a following, as there are others out there who believe the same thing.
God help us all.

Posted by Oscar Pearson November 20, 08 11:51 AM

I read several comments about who had this and that or who lost valuables. I was taken back by the ignorance of some people, and how they could make such cold remarks about things that do not concern them or have anything to do with their walk of life.
This disaster has caused so much heartache and sorrow for so many, that people do not or should not have time to put down their fellow human beings in time of need. Take a good look at yourself and see what a total ASSHOLE you really are for making the comments that have!! If you can put your head on the pillow tonight knowing that this is the person you want to be, you missed the flight.

Posted by Murv Fredricks November 20, 08 12:28 PM

My heart goes out to those who are now homeless and have lost everything.
Whether they were rich and lost a big home or they had a more modest living
and lost their trailer. People are people and sentimental value holds the same
meaning. Some of you had commented they deserve to lose their homes because they are wealthy. That comment is mind boggling. I am not rich but
tend to have a more modest income. Check your heart before condemning
others. A loss is a loss. Being homeless is being homeless. Where is your love?

Posted by Amy November 20, 08 12:55 PM

I also feel sad that the insurance rates go up because people live in areas like the hurricane belt. Although I do not agree with Ken Din that these people are morons, I do have a solution for him to avoid the high costs of insurance rates. Anyone who lives in a high risk area would be charged a higher premium and those living in the low risk area the lower rate. Underground would seem to be the cheapest place to buy your insurance!!

Posted by Under Taker November 20, 08 12:58 PM

The pictures of this great devastation are great! It brings more understanding of what these fires are actually like - better than news on TV. I live in Canada, so the pictures really made me aware of just what the Santa Anna winds can do. Mother Nature is a force humans cannot beat, but we can try to help to control her.
Our hearts are with everyone who is involved - BLESS EVERYONE - You are in my prayers.

Posted by Irene Russell November 20, 08 01:19 PM

This is really unbelievable. The news looks bad but these pictures look like a war zone. My prayers are with the people who are going through this tragedy now and to the wonderful firefighters and volunteers that are risking their lives to save homes. I just went through hurricane "Ike" so can feel their devasation. Again, or hearts amd prayers with with you all.

Posted by Barbara Jacobs November 20, 08 02:11 PM

As with all natural disaster's we can look back with 20-20 vision known as retrospect. There are many reasons people build in the hills and valleys of Southern California. The first reason I am quite sure is the beauty of the area and the temperate climate. It is actually nice there almost all year. Now with that being said to build in the path of an unstoppable freight train would be irresponsible. So what can be done, As a college professor who teaches building construction related to the fire service, I can say there are ways we can build homes that will help the building resist fire. When I first started studying this concept many years ago I looked at a home left standing after the pebble Beach fire.
This home was built in the standard Spanish style, tile roof, stucco exterior. But this home had one major difference, there was no eves (roof overhang), during a wildfire the superheated air is trapped along with burning embers under the roof eves and then these embers make it inside the (wooden attic) through ventilation blocks located ever 6 feet along the underside of the roof eves.
here's a crazy idea lets change the way we build homes and make them fire (safer)
I say safer because some wildfires are so large nothing will stop them. Along with the zero overhang on roofs a simple metal shutter system to cover the windows when the owners evacuate will help keep the glazing intact when the super heated blast travels through the subdivision. the next part of the equation is to provide what we call defensible space. This means no highly flammable landscaping or brush within 100 feet of the structure or building. many types of landscaping materials have been identified to not only help, but actually slow the spread of fire due to there inherent high water content. So let us not throw the baby out with the bath water, but instead lets look at scientific ways to stop the communication (spread) of wild land fires so people can chose to live where they want in this free united states we call home.

Posted by Captain Richard Haas November 20, 08 03:03 PM

Photo #28: Some of you probably saw the movie "Backdraft." There's the real thing! See those firefighters coming close to fleeing for their lives. This photographer was tempting the fates when taking that pic. Let it be a reminder how dangerous a job fighting fires is.

Posted by JD Moore November 20, 08 03:26 PM

May God bless you all for the wonderful work you do. Be safe and thank you for being you and helping so many.

Posted by Mary Emery November 20, 08 03:30 PM

Why do they live in an area prone to fires? Because no one buys a home thinking how it will survive a fire, earthquake, tornado, hurricane or other natural disaster. People become emotionally attached to the neighborhood they have lived in for years. They are not going to just walk away defeated. Courage and determination are admirable qualities. I hope that if I were ever in their situation, I too would persevere.

Posted by Linda November 20, 08 03:36 PM

People, look at pictures #25 and #26. Those are fire embers being pushed by 70 plus mile per hour winds. These are what caused the fire to jump from house to house, even with no direct flame contact from the fires. Fire does't choose when and where to strike. It does not choose to burn the 30 million dollar home over the 10 foot square shed. I have been a firefighter for 23 years now. I have been to the Malibu Fires. I have been to the San Diego Fires. I have been at some of the Southern California Fires, and they are all the same. People will rebuild, and the fires will continue to burn each year.

Just my three cents worth........

Posted by iamfireman November 20, 08 03:59 PM

If the potential is yearly that your home is at risk///

Why continue to rebuild ?????


Posted by David O. Castro November 20, 08 04:28 PM

Mr. Castro, Ask that same question of the people that lose there homes to tornados or hurricanes or earthquakes. I bet you get the same answer. They love living were they do.

Posted by iamfireman November 20, 08 04:38 PM

I salute the brave firefighters. They work so hard and feel each loss personally. Bless them all. Good luck and blessings to all of the people who lost property. Thank goodness there were no fatalities. Excellent evacuation.

Posted by Gloria November 20, 08 04:38 PM

This picutres are awesome. I too have lost my childhood home to fire in a different state and town. this remind me so much of the Los Alamos fire, that it almost makes me want to cry, yet again.
I am a firefighter, and with that, I fully understand how fire can get out of control fast. Recently had a grass fire in our fire district. We were lucky, as the other communitys around us, all pichted in and helped out. We did not lose any house because of this, nor were any animals hurt.

Posted by Peggy November 20, 08 04:46 PM

My Mom lives in Yorba Linda and it is devastating to see how bad this fire really was. She was evacuated, but thankfully, her home was spared. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who were effected by these wildfires and to all the firefighters I thank you! God Bless You All!

Posted by Barbara November 20, 08 04:52 PM

I live in Diamond Bar, Thank You so much to all the Firefighters and First Responders for all their help and guidance...we are safe and didn't loose our home; my Heart goes out to all those who lost their homes...

Posted by Lisa Lopez November 20, 08 05:03 PM

I live in an area that has been evacuated many times over the years. Not once has my town lost a single home. I live in the mountains. Why? It's beautiful. My daughter hasn't had breathing problems since we moved up here. My son hasn't been threatened by kids since we moved up here. We can leave our door unlocked if someone is coming up and we aren't going to be home. We have few neighbors, but we know them well and we watch each others homes, families and even pets. We shovel our elderly neighbor's drive and they make us fresh bread and hot chocolate. My kids can walk to school without having to cross a busy street or people hanging out on the corner. There are not stop lights and very few stop signs. People supply everything for neighbors when they lose. We feed and clothe each other and we all know each other. We have festivals and community picnics for our children. My son won a pie eating contest last July 4th. People are rarely murdered. Traffic accidents are also rare. There are no gangs. my daughter dressed up like a colonial girl and sold and bought handmade items in a town they set up to learn about colonial villages. I could go on and on (even more).

Why do I live here? Twice in the past decade I have had to leave my home for our own safety. One of those, the city below also burned (around 300 houses NOT in or adjacent the forest). All in all, this is a much safer place to live than most places. Volunteer your time to help others.

BTW, my insurance IS higher since we moved up here. It's worth it.

Posted by Hope November 20, 08 05:39 PM

Every single ecosystem in the American West is fire dependent. In the case of chapparal, the plants become senescent after a dozen years or so and they accumulate oil to speed the process. Many plants can only regenerate under the influence of regular burning and the fires themselves look like oil fires, with thick black lung-chocking smoke, because they are. Make no mistake, no one stops them, you just get out of the way and help others get out of the way.
The pattern of desert winds drawn downslope and out towards the ocean is a recurring one on an almost yearly basis and a few sparks are all that's needed to start the process of stand re-generation for the chapparal, and higher up the oaks and pines.
California has few land use restrictions so homes, big and small, are built right up into these dangerous wildlands. The result is the devastation that is periodically visited on these areas. By contrast just south of the border in Mexico, there is less money to fight them so the fires burn more frequently and the ecosystems are, not suprisingly, in somewhat better shape with less of the older chapparal and more of a mosaic with plants of all ages.
The amount of money that's spent to fight the fires comes directly from all taxpayers though the benefits go to a much smaller group of development interests in the West. This has only been exacerbated by laws that were passed to turn wildland firefighters away from resource protection to into a rural fire department.
It's long past time for the cycle to be broken. Forest Service budgets, for wildlife management, recreation, silviculture, timber sales and research, to name a few areas, have been completely trashed by the skyrocketing costs - now approaching $1.5 billion a year. I am very sympathetic to the home owner's who've lost their possessions. But we need a dialog, at the national and certainly the state level, about whether and where to rebuild. There isn't enough money in the world to continue this lunacy.

Posted by Xeric Clapton November 20, 08 05:49 PM

The fires were bad, I am however especially incensed by the most evil of predators. People who's home were only partially damaged yet uninhabitable have now been looted!!! To burgle a person who is clearly down, is just the lowest of lows. I do believe Karma and Divine intercession and there is a special place in hell for these people. "Minime" should not be getting so much attention but here I go: Maybe these opportunist parasites that kick folks while they are down are friends of yours.
My heart and Prayers go out to ALLl who lost in this devastating event.
God Bless all the hard working Firefighters!

Posted by J. C. November 20, 08 06:02 PM

I feel for the folks who lost their homes. At the same time I see issues that they never seem to address. I am betting not one of the homes lost had a truly defensible space around it. I live in a very rural area, surrounded by beautiful pines and mountain grasses. I keep them at a distance. if I couldn't afford to I wouldn't live there. They have the money, if they can afford to live there. So why the tax dollars getting poured down a toilet when people don't plan ahead. People don't plan to fail, these folks just failed to plan. I think the firefighers and law enforcement folks are to be commended for doing the great job they have protecting the public.

Posted by SRL November 20, 08 06:07 PM

#98 "YOU are some realy sick sons the bitches for wrighting all the bad stuff about these poor people we can only hope it happens to you and not your nieboors"

First off, you need to check your grammar and spelling. Second you heart is in the right place, but do not need to curse. My best wishes to those who lost their homes and thank you very much to the people who worked to stop this fire.

Posted by Sean November 20, 08 06:28 PM

Minimee, first, you weren't there so you have no clue what it was like. Second, it isn't about wealth, it's about human tragedy. The VAST majority of the people who lost their homes had just the basics to start with. It is obvious from where I sit in Corona, CA (we escaped the fires thankfully) that YOUR end of the gene pool needs a lot more chlorine. You are a despicable excuse for a human being, and one can only wish that you are left totally abandon when the tragedy that will deservedly come your way arrives.

Posted by FDBCorona November 20, 08 06:31 PM

I`d rather live here in North Carolina here we only have to worry about

Posted by cvgregory November 20, 08 08:11 PM

when i look at these pictures i am overwhelmed with sorrow for the people and animals that had the unfortunate experiences. it is bad enough to see your house destroyed for a freeway or something but to see it burned up, twisted and destroyed and all the mementos and possibly work that went into their home destroyed must be doubly devastating. my heart goes out to them all. Godblessthem .dont let this destroy you, i am an english war bride in Canada who went through the Blitz in London and my heart goes out to you all. as we say in England :keep your pecker up: dont let it get you down, live and love again.

Posted by eileen November 20, 08 08:22 PM

My grandfather lives in Montecito and he is near the fire. I was sad to see so much destruction in such a beautiful place. But we are all glad that our grand-father is safe and sound. Thank you and god bless those brave fire fighters. Hope every body is safe and sound as well.

Posted by Natalie and Thomas November 20, 08 08:32 PM

How come when theres a wildfire in utah thers nothing on the news but when californa has a fire the news is all over it?

Posted by 4198 November 20, 08 09:23 PM

I live in Yorba Linda. Our house was saved but many of our neighbors weren't so lucky. The nearest destroyed house is only a couple hundred yards away. I have photos just like these...Crazy.

Posted by Jason Roehm November 20, 08 09:28 PM

Unbelievable! I guess we made the right decision cancelling our trip to California this past summer. Truly scary. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families that have suffered through these fires. God bless all of them.

Posted by The Morones Family November 20, 08 09:41 PM

I used to live down there, in So. Cal., and I have family that live there. Two of them live right down the street from where this is happening. I can only send my prayers and that GOD will keep them safe for me. Mother Nature can be so Majestic, but can also be so Devastating. I Thank the Firefighters and pray for them too. And one last prayer, GOD, Please help the ones that have lost their homes, and guide them to their new homes, wherever that may lead. There are no words to desribe the heartfelt pain I feel for these families. I just feel for them so badly. I wish I could help.

Posted by Anonymous November 20, 08 09:42 PM

On 9/11/08 George Will who writes for the Washington Post Writers Group wrote an article saying that firemen make too much money and that their pensions were bankrupting the town of Vallejo, CA. He complained that they had too much overtime.

I imagine that Californians are real glad that their firemen are willing to not only work all that overtime, but risk their lives. If you'd like to tell George Will he's a jerk you can email him at:


Posted by Paula Coughlan November 20, 08 09:55 PM

My heart goes out to everyone involved with the fires in Southern California. I live in the mountains just north of Southern California. I raised my children in the Orange County area, not far from Diamond Bar. When I lived there, I would never have believed this type of devastation was possible. We are third generation Californians and this is our home. I am a senior citizen, familiar with the areas of the fires and live in a Manufactured home in a park of 115 homes. One of the saddest situations the residents of the park will face is the fact that the insurance they were able to acquire for their homes is generally for the amount to replace a home of the same year as the one they owned and had moved into the park when they purchased it. Unfortunately, finding one of the same value and moving it to that location can be almost impossible and extremely cost prohibitive and that is only if the park's rules and regulations will allow them to to move a home of that age back into the park, A lot of them will not accept an older home. Yes, my heart goes out to all of them but especially to the residents of the park. They have not only lost their home and possessions, but may well not be able to return to the area they call 'home'

Posted by Pat in Tehachapi November 20, 08 10:17 PM


Posted by STACEY November 20, 08 10:58 PM

I'm so sad for the pain and hurt for all the people that are suffering. I will keep them in my prayers. And pray that the fires stop. May God keep them all in the palm of His hand.

Posted by Ina Reinhandt November 20, 08 11:28 PM

thoughts of armageddon come to mind

Posted by bn15u5 November 20, 08 11:32 PM

Unbelievable ! Thank GOD for our FIREFIGHTERS & their bravery , they put their lives on the line for us.

Posted by Sherry Storm November 20, 08 11:38 PM

I am a cop that fought the Tea Fire well into Thursday night and Friday morning. I cried when I was releaved 15 hours later. Myself and my rookie partner wanted to do more but the fire just beat us down. I am saddened by the loss, we wish we could have done more.

Posted by R. E. C. November 20, 08 11:41 PM

I could not stand to watch the fire eating up all the houses, and people affected . Please God, comfort all those who are affected by this tragedy.
And to our firefighters, God bless you all for all your effort and devotion to your job well done!
To our government: If we can send hundreds of fighter jets to war in Iraq and Afganistan, why can't we can't we have a thousand or more airplanes to fight these fires? A dozen of planes and a handful of helicopters is barely enough to put out this magnitude of fire. Please spend some billion of dollars to buy more airplanes for the firefighters.

Posted by Susan Wachman November 20, 08 11:44 PM

I don't know how much firefighters are paid, but it's DEFINITELY NOT ENOUGH!!!

Posted by michelle November 20, 08 11:53 PM

If anyone wants to contribute to wildland firefighters. Google "wild land firefighter foundation" and become a member of the "52" club. "52 weeks we remember".

Posted by Roosevelt November 21, 08 12:32 AM


Posted by JOYCE November 21, 08 12:43 AM

Year after year these brave firemen fight these horrible fires, it amazes me the strength they show fighting the fires, but the comfort they try to give to these people, it has got to be the kindest display of caring and support one human is showing to another human, After giving this support, they turnaround and head right back into these enormous fire walls and begin the fighting agains. God Bless each and everyone one of them.
everyone must pray for them every hour of every day they are fightting, I know I will be

Posted by Pat Wormstead November 21, 08 01:33 AM

OMG I seriously cannot believe what I just read in some of these e-mails how sad that are such miserable people,in this world,that has nothing nice to say to people that have lost everything,be it rich or poor,what is the difference,my thoughts and prayers go out to all the people involved in this terrible tradegy,I couldn't be more proud of our firefighters.....thank you for fighting the fight ....

Posted by Sharon November 21, 08 01:59 AM

My friend sent me the link by email, she knows that just half a year ago I experienced 5.12 earthquake in Sichuan, China. The pics are shocking here. maybe no one else can have such painful feeling as me when seeing wild fire sweeping the houses hopelessly, helplessly, despairedly......

Posted by xiaolan November 21, 08 05:07 AM

My father was a firefighter for L.A.C.F.D., He died at 93 years of age about 5 years ago. He was a great father, a great husband, a precious friend of God, who watched out for him his entire life. I am sure that all of the people who lost every possession from this fire are surely saddened by this fire, but with the great work that this will cause it may even be a good break for the people who need the houses to be rebuilt. Remember that everything can be gone as quick as that, but there is some other reason why we are living. It is to help your brother and sister!

Posted by Nesta Callahan November 21, 08 07:12 AM

Every where a person lives comes with a price. After living in the L.A. area for 15 years I am reminiscent of tjhe problems. I still visit on a regular basis and know of people that are constantly affected. It saddens me to see the devastation and the suffering of those who lose so much, but continue to rebuild.

Posted by Barb November 21, 08 07:24 AM

I am sure the firefighters in L.A. County don't get paid as much as the U.A.W. union workers (at least $40/hr) and that's not counting union benefits. Don't you think its time for less for the unions and more salary to the L.A. firefifgters? We could slap $5,000 tariff on all imported cars (mainly Japan) and while cutting the UAW benefits this would start to increase U.S. manufactured automobiles. I believe this would be a better solution rather than handing them over $25 billion which is only temporary. What's your opinion on this?

Posted by Steve Arena November 2, 7:24 E.S.T. November 21, 08 07:27 AM

Something like this make you thank the Lord for all that we have and pray for those who have to go through this...

Posted by Captain Ron November 21, 08 07:51 AM

I was sent the pictures from my son's neighbour (I live in England) I looked at the pictures through tears. I saw the devestation from the last fire when I visited my son last November. My heartfelt thanks go to the Fire Fighters, and all who have done their best to save lives and property. My prayers are for all in the effected area, God Bless you all and keep you safe.

Posted by Barbara Chapman November 21, 08 08:26 AM

as a Brit it is hard to imagine the devastation these fires can bring. Seeing these images really brings it home. I can only imagine the feelings brought about by sight of seeing your home burning and being helpless to stop it. How does one rebuild ones life after such an event. May God give you strentgh to cope.

Posted by wendy saley November 21, 08 10:00 AM

Such a terrible sad sight to see all these pictures of views of hell. My heart goes out to all these people that have lost their homes.

We in Canada are going through a very cold snowy time right now and it is hard to relate to seeing al this devastation. My prayers are with you all.

Posted by margaret gale November 21, 08 10:05 AM

I commend the firefighters for their bravery, courage and efforts in fighting the California fires! Also, my heart goes out to those who have suffered loses due to the fires.
Having lived in southern California for ten years, I have a special fondness for the area. It will always be my second home. Now back in beautiful Pennsylvania I always follow the Ca news.
Chuck Kevicki , Level Green, Pa.

Posted by Chuck Kevicki November 21, 08 10:16 AM

This is truly sad, I cannot imagine that type of loss. Those folks must just feel lost. I was displaced by the hurricanes in 2004 living in Florida and lost a great deal. It is truly more than material items missed. You feel like the rug just ripped out from under you, lost, saddened that your memories are gone forever, like you can't breathe. It truly is a helpless feeling. God bless them all and comfort them in their time if need.
And as for Minime, you apparently have never suffered a loss and I pray you never do, I would never wish this on anyone. You really need to do some soul searching.

God bless all the Fire Fighters, and my sypathies to all who have suffured devastation and loss.

Posted by Teri November 21, 08 10:23 AM

" United We Will Stand ".......My solidarity for the people affected by this fires. Recognition and two thumb up for the firefighters brevery !

Posted by Nestor Gomez November 21, 08 10:26 AM

god dam those pictures were breath taking im very glad no one was killed our brave men and woman pulled through to save many many lives that day.

Posted by Blaze November 21, 08 10:37 AM

I guess we don"t know how much we have to be thankful for. We should all stop and count our blessings. My heart goes out to all the familys who lost so much. This only goes to show no matter how rich or poor we all need each other sometime in our lives. I say Thank you to the firefighters and the men and woman who voluntary did a great job.

Posted by Bonnie Lee Posko November 21, 08 10:49 AM

It is so sad looking at what the fire has done to so many, what ever happen to this foam you put on your home and makes your house fire proof. There was so much said about it a few years ago, the inventor show how great it was and never another word?? If it works why isn't there truck loads of it out there??

Posted by RJ November 21, 08 11:37 AM

Hey Mom and Dad~ this is crazy! Be thank ful you live in Nor cal

Posted by Michael Lee November 21, 08 11:49 AM

Awesome pictures about a series of awful events. And many GOOD comments about fire fighters. Every time I happen to see a firefighter from my community in Yorktown, VA I make it a point to thank them for being involved in helping protect me and my fellow citizens. I don't care how much they earn (unless it is too little). They do what they do for us at the risk of their own lives.
John 15:13 -- Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Posted by Dan West November 21, 08 12:00 PM

In 2007 the wildland fires burned through the area where I lived in the mountains east of San Diego. This fire consumed 93,000 acres. In our tiny community of approximately 40 homes, 11 where completely distroyed. With a strike team from Riverside California my home and four across the road were saved. The fires burned everything around our homes, including my nexr door neighbor's home. It sure changes ones respect for wildland fires and the firefighters who put their lives on the line to do their job.

Posted by Mary November 21, 08 12:22 PM

I just want to say thanks to all the firefighters that were fighting this fire for days. Even though I was not directly affected by these fires, I truly respect them for what they do.

Even though homes were destroyed and my heart truly goes out to those who lost their homes, if it werent't for the firefighters working as hard as they did, this could have been a lot worst.

Thank you so much for putting your lives in danger to save the rest of us.

Posted by Loretta November 21, 08 12:36 PM

Outstanding images of a real bad nightmare

Posted by Barry Allen November 21, 08 12:49 PM

Our hearts go out to the families whom were effected by the fires, our children have watched and are gathering things of their own together in order to give their things to other children whom lost theirs. I grew up in walnut just a few miles from where the fires were buring in Diamond Bar, we had close friends which also had to evacuate their homes as well. so this holiday season don't think of what you don't have think of what you do have cause their are a lot of people out their who don't have anything. May god bless all of you and keep you safe and warm

Posted by NC November 21, 08 01:06 PM

I watched as the flames crawled over the hills looking into our valley and wondered what damage would befall us. Fortunately the Santa Ana winds
pushed back the flames helping the fire fighters contain the advancing blaze.
I pray for those those who must start over and rebuild and my heart goes out to those families who lost love ones.

Posted by Mark Cooper November 21, 08 01:37 PM

GOD BLESS our firefighters!! They literally saved thousands MORE homes from being destroyed! It was a VERY fearfull experience that I, for one, never want to go through again! Our hearts go out to ALL those who have been so devastated by this tragic event. We pray for ANSWERS to vexing questions and for solutions to infrastructural weaknesses so that we may NEVER go through this again. In the meantime, I know what my family and I are THANKFUL for this Thanksgiving....The INCREDIBLE BRAVERY AND SKILL of our finest citizens calling themselves "firefighter" whom we now know as "HERO"!!

Posted by Bob MacCulloch November 21, 08 01:56 PM

Our friend from New Mexico sent us the pictures by mail. We love travelling through your beautiful country and we are very attached by these awful wildfires. Even in our TV their are huge reports and we hope, that the wildfires can be stopped pretty soon. Good luck and best wishes from Germany

Posted by Gisela and Günter Marquardts and kids November 21, 08 02:01 PM


You are a moron trying to sound smart. I lived in California for 5 years, and although I won't say that gives me some sort of wisdom in the matter, I can tell you that your biting comments are that of idiocy. I did experience the ash falling like snow for days, and, last year, volunteered all over San Diego county for fire relief.

My point is not that I've experienced it, but rather that, historically, in Southern California, the local natives would raze the ground every four or five years. They would start massive forest fires to rejuvenate the soil. After we took over, the government, in it's infinite wisdom, called an end for the practice, and people started developing the fire zones. The reason California is so prone to NATURAL DISASTERS, like fires, is because, without the controlled burning, the fire-prone areas get so dry (regardless of the redirection and mis-allocation of the Colorado River) that they become a ticking fire-bomb. Those areas will continue to catch on fire, usually every four years, but now, it's started to happen, with such disastrous scope, annually.

Yes, in your cute, little, smart-assy way, you're right. There is no place that people are 100% safe from nature, as we can't ever fully remove ourselves from nature. However, Southern California is at a much higher risk, especially certain areas like Camp Pendleton, Malibu, and Northern San Diego County, because of the reasons I've already mentioned.

So, thanks for being one of those uninformed wieners just aching to sound smart. I love disproving poseurs.

Posted by Learned November 21, 08 03:12 PM

Deepest sypathy to all those who lost homes or worse in the fire. The people who took the pictures are braver than what we would be. You have our RESPECT!! The firefighters are doing a good job, too.

Posted by Kyle and Alex November 21, 08 03:56 PM

My prayers are with you all. an extra blessing for the firefighters and those that assisted them.

Posted by JJ November 21, 08 04:02 PM

These are awful. I'm sorry to hear of this and see these pics. Where does everyone live now?
And God Bless them all as well as the firefighters, What a job they have. More power to you. I couldn't do it. My heart goes out to you all. God Bless AMERICA, and each and everyone of us. Love to you all.

Posted by Denise Huddleston November 21, 08 04:08 PM

ummm well i dont really care.! The news and the internet tell me that fires that burn houses down somehow affects my life? and as far as people saying that grammer and spelling is a factor in here well i dont know much about that? Im not very educated and i am very poor right now...very poor and i dont own a house for it to burn. Its sad but its just stuff, stuff comes and goes. I dont care if there million dollar homes or trailers...there both places for faimlys to live. the news makes it seem more important that the homes are expensive, does that really matter. its just a good thing not more people are geting hurt including the people who fight the fire..

Posted by loganinnewyork November 21, 08 04:12 PM

Thanks for posting these pictures. Having grown up in the San Bernardino mountains, and knowing of the ever-present danger of forest and wildfires, mad me very appreciative of the firemen and emergency responders who train and keep their equipment ready for battle at a moments' notice. It takes a lot of bravery and money to fight fires. Be very thankful that you have some of the best out there doing this dirty job. I was fire fighter for awhile, and my dad was a Fire Chief on the mountain, and I know they are underpaid and under-appreciated.
Natural disasters can and do happen just about anywhere. Scenes like those above just reinforce the need to try to prevent it from happening again, be prepared for emergencies, and making sure we keep our insurance paid up.
May God bless those who lost their homes.

Posted by G. Ceniceros (West Virginia) November 21, 08 04:19 PM

I cannot understand the hateful comments and lack of concern some people have over the terrible loss that others have experienced. The overwhelming majority of people who lost everything are regular working people or retired individuals. Over 500 homes were lost in a mobile home park. Others lost their home and all their belongings even though they rented an apartment near the 91 freeway. The winds blew the embers miles away. This event was not one that could be planned or prepared for. Most of these people didn't live in the fire-prone areas of the hills where they could 'clear the brush around their home". Regardless of all the above, we need to support and care care for those that lost so much and for the firefighters who gave so much.

Posted by Sharon November 21, 08 04:43 PM

god bless yall

Posted by Anonymous November 21, 08 04:52 PM

My heart goes out to the families that have lost their homes. It is a god's send ther=ir was no fatalities. I have a niece that lives i San Bernadino, CA and she sent me some pictures she took also. As for the homes, you can always get another, but you can't get another life. Just remember, the lord works in mysterious ways.

Posted by Evelyn Lewis November 21, 08 04:56 PM

without them the world would be a bad place so i thank them

Posted by luke reist November 21, 08 05:00 PM


Posted by BRITTANY NORWOOD November 21, 08 05:18 PM

Truely sad, It really doesn't matter if it's a mobile home or a multi million dollar home.... it's someone home and all they have.

Blame? If I were to place some sort of blame on some one, it would be the enviromental wackos and government agencys that think that these heavily wooded, over grown hill sides should be protected. In the past they have bumped off cattle and sheep ranchers.... it is very possible and I believe that if these areas were being grazed by sheep or cows that maybe these fires would have never happend. if they did happen, the results would not be as terrible as what we are seeing today.

Can anyone tell me if these hills are/were protected by state or gov agencies? and if so, sad, Yes, it's nice to protect the earth and it's beauty, but look at results. You tree hugging enviromentalist should be ashamed of yourselves. Protecting these hill sides and not allowing them to be ranched is costing how many trees? look at all the trees it's going to take to rebuild.

Posted by michelle s. November 21, 08 05:31 PM

-- comment removed --

Posted by Anonymous November 21, 08 05:43 PM


Posted by TOMMY TRIMBLE November 21, 08 05:57 PM


Posted by Ed Ski November 21, 08 06:01 PM

I have never seen the fires this close and so intense. My heart goes out to the brave men and women who try so hard to save things for others. My Children are public employees also so I know the need. God Bless them and the ones they save.

Posted by Bob Opsincs November 21, 08 06:16 PM

FIRE FIGHTERS ARE WAY OVERRATED! I'm so sick of hearing them called "altruistic" and "angels." It's a JOB to them. They don't wake up every day with big, benevolent smiles, aching to protect your house and your car. They love what they do because it's FUN. They are boys who get paid very well to spend almost all their time to working out, playing cards, and cooking chili. They love to play with all the expensive toys that the government (we taxpayers) give them. Half of them would be arsonists if they didn't have an acceptable way to play with fire. They are not heroes. But they sure don't shy away from all the glory or girls bestowed upon them by you sentimental dummies. Hardly any of them die or get hurt.

Posted by Dave B. November 21, 08 06:21 PM

Hope's and pray's to all involved and god bless our fire men and all who serve our great country

Posted by V Delisle November 21, 08 06:22 PM

My prayers are with ALL the victims of these fires, as many lost things that cannot be replaced, like pictures, mementos of beautiful family or achievement moments in our lives. I also pray that God will help the beautiful trees and landscapes grow back as fast as possible, for that is also a tremendous loss that takes YEARS to replace. To Californians who continue to rebuild, I don't blame you; home is where the heart is. You're welcome to come to Arizona, where we only have heat, dust storms and an occasional weak tornado. If you come, please leave any bad attitudes behind; we already have enough people here with intolerance and hate.

Posted by Native Arizonan November 21, 08 06:34 PM

I took the time to read all the very sypathetic notes by so many good people. Most of us' heart goes out to the victims of such a horific circumstance. May the God above hold them close while they deal with their losses. ON THE OTHER HAND, it is so disheartening to read the small 5% of the negative thoughts and complete disrespectfull comments by several. It is hard figure how some can look themselves in the mirror and sleep at night. #166 and other jerks that follow, may God have mercy on your miserable souls. JJ

Posted by JJ November 21, 08 06:35 PM

TO YOU ALL WHO HAVE SUFFERED GREAT LOSS FROM THIS FIRE. My heart goes out to you and my prayers are with you. As the ashes fell all over the Lakewood, Ca area all I could think was "My God this is somebodys everything, their home, pictures, their clothes, BUT Thanks to God and the WONDERFUL FIRE FIEGHTERS, POLICE, PILOTS, NO LIVES WERE LOST. I CAN'T IMANGINE WHAT YOU ALL ARE GOING THROUGH. But accept my deepest and sincerest sympathy and know I have you all in my prayers. God Bless You all .........

Posted by Cathie Ham November 21, 08 06:47 PM

To the idiot Ken Din Who wrote his stupid comment about his stupid tax dollars! The fires went the way they did is becuase the city of Yorba Linda shut off water presure to the fire hydrants. Which made the fire fighter's have to fill up water from the fire trucks which caused a delay this is why 600 homes burnt. This was the citys fault not the homeowners or becuase where the homeowners choose to live! Come on we live in 2008 educate yourself before you speak!!

Posted by SO CAL AND PROUD! November 21, 08 06:54 PM

God bless all the firefighters and we pray for all who lost their their homes. It's the price we pay for living in CA.

Posted by Jerry November 21, 08 07:00 PM

Prepare for the next fire and have BARRICADE GEL on hand. It's a flame retardant that works. Your house will not burn it will be saved if sprayed on with a regular hose. It lasts for 12 hours once sprayed on.

Posted by Priss November 21, 08 07:36 PM

Where you want to live is your decision. If it is in a potential danger zone you simply hope that that does not happen. I can't imagine loosing your home and everything in it!

Posted by Vivian Michaels November 21, 08 07:51 PM

My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have had to endure these hard times, and special prayers to the firefighters, police, and all those people who have helped the familys that had to evacuate. The pictures hurts my heart but seeing The Brotherhood in action warms my heart. Thank You to all the Public Service Workers, for your pure kindness.

Posted by Rose Demarest November 21, 08 08:21 PM

This comment is for "Ken Din" listen here they were not stupid for living there, your stupid for only being concerned about your taxes raising. Those people lost there homes and valuable items. You would prob know nothing of that. There location was not a "fire fed" location. It's the same as majority of the homes in California. There house got hit from embers hitting there bushes or trees. Do you not have a single tree or bush in your back or front yard? Looking from the type of class you have, prob not. So instead of being concerned about your taxes you should take into consideration all the suffering those people are going through and all the people that are losing hours of sleep to fix all the ruined areas. So you know what? Its people like you that im glad we take taxes from. Asshole!

Posted by Nicole November 21, 08 08:25 PM

Hey #166 - What is your problem? Nobody buys a home knowing it's going to be destroyed in some way. Complaining your tax dollars are at work? Is that all you can think of? How about saying that to all the little kids that live near me in Yorba Linda who's homes were burned to the ground. Are you proud of your attitude at a time like this? Shame on you. If you look closely at the homes that burned, you can see that most of those people are the ones who pay most of the taxes anyway. Does that make you feel better? I hope so. Jerk.

Posted by J Lynn November 21, 08 08:29 PM

I would like to know where the cruel people who posted such heartless and selfish comments live !!! I can't help but wonder what blissful Nirvana they live where they have absolutely no disasters or accidents whatsoever, natural and otherwise !!!

Shame on you !!!

I sincerely pray not a one of you ever lose your life, limbs, loved ones or lifetime of hard worked for home and security and have to remember the horrid comments you made about fellow human suffering !!!

Posted by Deliliah Lynn November 21, 08 08:34 PM

I used to live very close to Yorba Linda and my heart goes out to the people who
lost their homes.It was very sad to see so much destruction.
Even though I live in Brazil now it really made me very, very sad.
Thank God all of my friends are O.K.

Posted by Clea November 21, 08 08:36 PM

While being fortunate (lucky) enough to never have lost property to a California wild fire I can only imagine what lies ahead for those that did this year (and it's not over yet). I can also only imagine what sheltered lives have been led by those that claim we're morons for living in a wild fire prone area or as I recall his comment in the Hurricane belt... Where is it 100% free of potential disaster? Tornados... spring floods, summer heat and droughts... freezing temperatures and downed poer lines for a few days from freezing rain... AND for those that claim we drive up everyone elses insurance rates... my Dad on Cape Cod pays over 10 times what I do for home owners insurance because he's less than ONE mile from the ocean. The bottom line is no matter where we all choose to live, Thank whatever or whoever you personally choose to that there are FIRE and LAW ENFORCEMENT and EMS people out there to leave their personal lives behind and take care of us "morons" when we truely need them because we can't do it ourselves.

Posted by Doug in So Cal November 21, 08 08:37 PM

I used to live very close to Yorba Linda and my heart goes out to the people who
lost their homes.It was very sad to see so much destruction.
Even though I live in Brazil now it really made me very, very sad.
Thank God all of my friends are O.K.

Posted by Clea November 21, 08 08:38 PM

I find it ironic that fire captain Jon Sherrei was contacted by senator obama and told to protect the Winfrey Estate at all cost...a hint of things to come.

Posted by Mark November 21, 08 08:44 PM

To MINIME - Really? All the homes that were burned were those of "RICH" people? Just because you have a swimming pool and three cars doesn't make you rich. If those people have those things it is because they educated themselves and worked hard to live the way they do... which I am guessing you have FAILED to do in your life, otherwise you would know that.

What about the apartments in Anaheim Hills that burnt down or the mobile homes in the Oakridge fire? Those were not "rich" people. Regardless of how much is in their bank account, all of those people lost EVERYTHING and the things that matter the most are the things that can not be replaced; the photos, the heirlooms, the precious momentos of the past. How would you feel if that happened to you? REALLY, how would it feel?

It pains me that you are so hateful, ugly and most of all ignorant.

Posted by No Name November 21, 08 08:44 PM

Nobody should have to live through the devastation these people have. My son and daughter in law went through similar fires in N. Calif. recently. Luckily they were spared. Thank God for the wonderful people (firefighters, emergency workers, etc.) and all the good people who pray and help and show compassion for folks in need. These idiots that are saying but negative things about these people and their choices to live there and their loss', just take their PC's, or I-pod or cell phone, blackberry , or whatever gadget they feel they can't be without for a day and toss it in the incinerator. Now you multiply that by millions and you might know how these poor people feel.have an

Posted by Pam November 21, 08 08:50 PM

Wow. I don't live in the California area at all, but I really feel bad for everyone that lost their homes, precious items, and loved ones. It's a trajic moment, and golly, that's the truth. God bless everyone that had to go through all of that.

Posted by Viviene November 21, 08 09:10 PM

My heart felt sympathy goes out to all the community of LA county. If the individual didn't sustain a loss he/she probably knows someone who did. LA is my adopted city where I graduated from Cal State LA.

Posted by Joseph Skinkis November 21, 08 09:41 PM

I don't care where you live.. Nature is ruff ..... ever heard of the great Chicago fire ? was bad .. No winds like the san anna's . The snow storms of the north country { bad } .. where ever ... or what ever.. May the Lord be with you and help you though it ...

Posted by Sue Vink November 21, 08 09:53 PM

People will rebuild. They may rebuild with better technology, because fire science is evolving, and shake roofs, attic vents, roof overhangs and timber decks are gradually being eliminated. They may begin to appreciate that California has some specialized vegetation that is well suited to wildfire, and start building water supplies and hydrant systems that can serve during a conflagration instead of just a single house in a neighborhood. It costs a lot more to be safe, and with the housing glut, it will be a long time before the over-supply of wildfire-vulnerable houses is sold off and new safe houses are the rule. Plenty more disasters to come.

Posted by Earle Cummings November 21, 08 11:04 PM

First, to #255:WHAT KIND OF TWISTED INDIVIDUAL ARE YOU???? Next, to #259, it is obvious you have no idea of what is involved in becoming and doing the job of a firefighter-or maybe in your microscopic world it doesn't matter! THANK GOD for the firefighters of the world, who are willing to put their lives on the line for the rest of us! And to the people of CA who have endoured this horror, our prayers are with you.

Posted by Susie November 21, 08 11:08 PM

I am more saddened by the level of ignorance that is displayed above than for the loss of property....

Posted by uncut November 21, 08 11:15 PM

I have a friend whose son lost everything but his laptop in the Montecito fire. He is a Christian and believes that "things can be replaced, people can not"! He is overcome by the generosity of the community of Santa Barbara. I would like to say that the young adults who were involved in starting the original fire at the Tea House should be held accountable for this fire! Incareration is not the answer as it was not intentional, but hours upon hours of community service as penanace for this horrible disaster should be a consideration. How can anyone just walk away without accountablity or shame in such distruction? God Bless Our Firefighters who work tirelessly to save lives and homes!!! My daughter-in-law is one of them and I am PROUD!!!!! Roxann Winterberg November 21, 8:15 PM

Posted by Roxann Winterberg November 21, 08 11:17 PM

Dear Dave B. #259- You, sir are a royal jacka__! How dare you say those things about firefighters anywhere, not just the brave souls in California. You obviously don't have the brains or the balls to be one yourself! They are not paid for what they do, but what they are prepared to do- rescue your sorry ass if you get yourself caught in a fire at home, work or in the forest- no matter if it is a tent or a mansion.
With your opinion of them I hope you never have to rely on them to save your life or your family. They all have families also, to leave behind to save you. They will never be paid enough.

Posted by firefighters proud wife November 21, 08 11:33 PM

Why do people live in 'area's prone to fires' and earthquakes? for the same reason they live in places prone to floods, hurricanes, tornado's and blizzards.. because we need a place to live!

Posted by Life long OC resident November 21, 08 11:51 PM

god bless the fire men and helping crew, my sorrows go out to the ones who lost every thing

Posted by Hawkins November 22, 08 12:07 AM

#255're a total ass and may be one of the fire bugs....they love to say "burn baby burn." You need to be investigated as a dangerous jerk.

#259're a coward! Why don't you stop in one of your local fire stations and tell that to those guys......they may show you other skills and kick your funky ass! As a former law enforcement officer (someone else to hate) I can say the firemen/women I have worked with are the cream of the citizens that care about their fellow man.......You would do well to take a few lessons from them.

Posted by JJ November 22, 08 12:43 AM

Mike Medows and Dan Steinberg great photos as always. These photographers are both members of a Fire Photo group called EPN

See more of there work and other great fire Photographers

Posted by epn440 November 22, 08 01:28 AM

To all those who lost there homes may they be bless with future of abondate love form god and others, i am very sorry for your loss!!!!! I will be praying!!!!

Posted by Cody Dyck November 22, 08 01:47 AM


Posted by PATSY November 22, 08 03:54 AM

Thanks to the unfailing bravery of the firefighters that battled these horrendous fires that raced across southern California. I did 8 years as a hotshot firefighter in Northern Arizona and Oregon. These pictures are just incredible and really bring it home for the folks who view these pictures.Quite a few things have changed in how fires are now fought but one thing remains and will remain constant: The absolute courage that firefighters must have to perservere, endure and ultimately defeat these fires. I am now 55 and would still be out there if I was not "orthpedically challeneged." Thanks for your dedication and service!

Posted by Rick November 22, 08 04:21 AM

All you can do is thank GOD for the service of the Firefighters. Oh, that is right, those citizens don't believe it God for the most part. Oh well, they can thank OBAMA! hahaha

Posted by Jigsaw November 22, 08 08:17 AM

It's possible that some people say cruel, stupid, hurtful things just to get attention, since they probably have very little else going on in their lives. If they get down on their knees and confess their sins and pray to God for forgiveness, He will hear their prayers and heal them so that they may begin to lead productive lives. Thank God for all of the brave firefighters who fought these terrible fires. God bless and strengthen those who lost their homes and possessions. God bless America.

Posted by Betty November 22, 08 08:20 AM

Its a very strange and standing in a deep of my hart becouse my friends are living there
i have not words what is haapend there but we wish to that people to srvive and have

Posted by oleg dementienko November 22, 08 09:07 AM

> Something like this make you thank the Lord for all that we have and pray for
> those who have to go through this...

It was the Lord's will to burn down their houses. No need to pray for the sinners. God does not punish it's own.

Posted by Fink November 22, 08 09:42 AM

I used to work for Cal-Coast Locksmith there in SB. All I can say is there going to be very busy the next year or two. (:

Posted by Kris Brown November 22, 08 10:44 AM


Posted by DARLA ESPINOZA November 22, 08 10:56 AM

why dont they turn some cows out in the spring and let them eat the grass so it doesnt turn into a blazing inferno in the fall????

Posted by james cook November 22, 08 10:59 AM

goodness, me oh my

Posted by brian November 22, 08 11:06 AM

Hey this is Hannnah Cockerham from North Carolina.
My great Aunt and Uncle live in Murrieta, California.
All of you that have lost family or have lost your house because o these terribel fires just remember that im thinking dearly of you and you are in my thoughts and prayers
thank you,
hannah cockerham
age 11

Posted by Hannah Cockerham November 22, 08 11:06 AM

God Bless you and may Our Lord carry you through this difficult time in your lives. My our heavenly father bless our brave fire fighters and protect them. We ask God to help you and guide you in Jesus name Amen.

Albuquerque, NM

Posted by Vanessa Griego November 22, 08 12:03 PM

I live right below the Riviera in S.B. and I can tell you if it hadn't been for the brave/crazy Chopper pilots making Night drops in the steep canyons of the Santa Barbara foothills/Riviera I'd have lost my home and the fire surely would have burned into the city. I watched them all night and it was just amazing...

Posted by S. Mathes November 22, 08 12:12 PM

I am overwhelmed with sadness about all the devastation these fires have caused. I live here in Southern California, but not near any of the fire zones. I see, smell, and feel the smoke. I can't even imagine how horrifying it is to be in the middle of it, for both the residents and the firefighters.

Many thanks to all the heros, both firefighters and residents, that stood in the front line and saved lives and homes.

Posted by Barbara November 22, 08 12:48 PM

God bless all you brave and selfless firefighters. May He keep you safe.

Posted by Anonymous November 22, 08 01:02 PM

It is a good thing we have "Ah-Nald" up in Sacramento that is "throwing" everything we have at these devastating fires. What a joke! The State of California laid off their Cal Fire Employees a month early, thus reducing the amount of fire fighters we have at the peak of fire season! Way to go Arnold!

Posted by Sherry November 22, 08 01:51 PM

Build all houses in fire prone areas of cement like some of the houses in NW Florida They are very stylish-And use fire resistant roofs--and make it mandatory to clear brush fron near buildings . Check history of fire fighters --Some of them have been known to be arsonists!!! Death to arsonists!! Reduce freeway traffic with Elevated trains to keep smokers from throwing lighted cigarettes from car windows. Keep fire fighting planes here{they sent the big mars seaplane away.!! Buy some surplus passenger jets for fire fighting.

Posted by John Brown November 22, 08 02:36 PM

The cow idea is not a bad idea, but how about sheep? They do it it downtown LA! How about let's bring some nature back.

Posted by Just curious? November 22, 08 02:40 PM

angels sending to you all , may the peoples heart be lifted with Jesus in prayers .

Posted by deborah November 22, 08 02:40 PM

How can something so beautiful be soo distructive.
There are no words to discribe the bravery of these men and women.

Posted by M. Adams November 22, 08 02:47 PM

Dave B. - Hardly any of them die, huh? You would not want to come to the mountains where I live and stand on a corner and shout that. Eight USFS firefighters burned to death when their engine was suddenly over-run by the horrific Esperanza fire in October, 2006. That fire, which was deliberately set by an arsonist who gets his or her jollies seeing things burne, killed 8 people, destroyed more than 20 homes and turned thousands of acres of chaparral into cinders. We hold our firefighters from all three agencies that serve our communities in very high regard and respect - not as angels, but as strong men and women dedicated to helping keep us safe.

Posted by NLL November 22, 08 02:48 PM

God Bless all the firefighters who so bravely jumped in to the fires to help. You are all a blessing to us ,we are so proud and extremely lucky to have you to help when it is needed. I so appreciate you.....You are in my thoughts and prayers..
To people like Dave shame on you!!! are an embarrassment to the human race

Posted by Debbie November 22, 08 02:49 PM

In rebuttal to the "blithering idiot" who posted comment 259 and the "psychopathic coward" who commented in 255, it is people like you that Firefighters and Cops have to deal with everyday. Obviously, Dave B. is a loser who could not be a pimple on a firefighters's ass. Dave B is a shameful coward just like the guy in 255, who goes by MOM. Dave B. should go walk through the devastation in Yorba Linda, he should go the funeral of children that Firefighter's have tried to save, he should give CPR to a dying man with the man's family looking on, he should see the cruel, hatred of sociopaths like the idiot in MOM, 255. God Bless Firefighters &

Posted by Commenting on 255 and 259 November 22, 08 02:55 PM

Who are we that are tested and get the attention of the most high?
I wonder___is there any reason why you have select us to go through this?
If we cannot control the events; are we left only with the power to choose how we reat to it?
What's the proper way to react to something so overwhelmingly bad?
If there is any good behind all this____what is it?

Posted by Just another human here on earth November 22, 08 03:36 PM

Having fought thru the Ojai fire of years back, I can tell you that these firefighters are a special breed. They are worthy of our highest praise. God Bless"em

Posted by Bill Hanko November 22, 08 03:38 PM

My daughter is a firefighter paramedic and only gets paid $10.50 an hour!!! She is "on call" 24/7, but only gets paid the few days a month she gets a full shift, or when responding to an actual emergency. When on shift, the firefighters are checking out and testing equipment, restocking ambulances, washing the engines, cleaning the firehouse, etc. Only in big cities do the fire stations have kitchens. In small towns they are lucky to have a bathroom, and some sleep in the garage when on a 24 hour shift. Only a few of the "full-time" firefighters get regular salaries. Most work two or three jobs, as does my daughter. Last year they had to fight a 45,000 acre wildfire that threatened a world famous ski area and many multi-million dollar homes

Posted by sue November 22, 08 03:57 PM

God Bless those who fight for to keep us safe , those who give their lives so we can live. those who see us all the same ! one land one people under God .


Posted by Jon R Stefanik November 22, 08 04:10 PM

These fire fighters are the bravest men and women .. I can only imagine what they went through for days to do what they can to fight the raging fires. Hats off to all the FDs involved, you are the true HEROES.
For a change, its refreshing to see these fire fighters risk it all without any hesitation for the people they don't even know.
The greedy politicians and high flying CEOs can learn a lot from them. God Bless!

Posted by mankind November 22, 08 04:27 PM

Does global warming include dryer climate in Southern California/ Is that why such huge fire seems to occur every year?

Posted by keen November 22, 08 04:33 PM


Posted by DOLLY November 22, 08 04:40 PM

I agree with those who say "God Bless the Fireman" I admire them, for their courage.

Posted by yarn November 22, 08 04:52 PM

After California,Victoria {Australia},is the most vulnerable state for bushfires as we
call them, in the world.When there is a sudden change of wind,firefighters often get
trapped.A few years ago,a crew of seven died.When this wall of flames approaches,victims are dead before the flames can burn their skin.The intense
heat dries them out in seconds.So why don't you volunteer one day Dave B. ???
Because in this country most firefighters are volunteers.Posted by Lothar Kischkel
Victoria Australia.

Posted by Lothar Kischkel Melbourne Australia November 22, 08 04:58 PM

having been evacuated 2x in a month, I can tell you first hand, THE FIREFIGHTERS, PILOTS AND POLICE DID AN AMAZING JOB. The firefighters put themselves between the fire and our homes, the pilots flew their planes in hurricane force winds and at night and the police got EVERYONE out of our homes ( no fatalities). These pictures are tremendous but do not and cannot translate what it felt like to be in the middle of the fire and ember storm. THANK GOD for everyone who helped friends and strangers in such a time of need. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!

Posted by janet gibson November 22, 08 05:49 PM

I lived in Southern California for many years and thu many fires but I was never efffected physically. To loose everything you have worked all your life for is jus so hard to comprehand. I have a Grandson who lives in Moreno Valley, CA who has gone through all the requirements to become a firefighter and now is taking classes on paramedics. I am so proud of him.
God Bless all the victims and I am thinking of donating all the money I would spend on my children and grand children for Christmas to these victimims who now have nothing.....they never thanked me anyway.
God Bless all the victims

southern Cal

Posted by Lynn Las Vegas, Nevada November 22, 08 06:09 PM

# 259. Is either stupid or doesn't know what he/she is talking about! What an unappreciative slob.

Posted by Mary O November 22, 08 06:21 PM

This is really frightening but it's heartening to know that no-one yet has been lost,may it remain this way. I believe we might not be so fortunate if a similar event happened in parts of England where I live, the roads are so conjested here we'd never be able to evacuate quickly enough.

Posted by Keith Harries November 22, 08 06:31 PM


Posted by Anonymous November 22, 08 06:51 PM

In Response to msg# 259.. Aparently Dave B has never had a fire bigger than the head if a match to deal with, and has never needed the services of our firefighters, Police, or Rescue personel.. How dare he sit and downtrod them and their efforts in such a manner. You have NO IDEA what they face just in NORMAL everyday situations much less something as monstrous as the Califorina wildfires.
These PUBLIC SERVANTS deserve our untmost gratitude, support, and even praise for their tireless work to fight such tragedies. They Rank up there with our Military personel, who also deserve any and all thanks we can show them. Maybe someday Dave you will come to understand the selfless time and effort these People give for all of us every day.. and then , maybe you will show real gratitude.

Posted by B Evans November 22, 08 07:04 PM

during my 15 yrs as a police officer i would watch fire fighters go into a burning bldg. and i would got to be crazy to do that...but thank God for the men who do, and my prayers are with you all...

Posted by mel jossi November 22, 08 07:26 PM

LA County firefighters are paid VERY well, and they are in a union.

Posted by Wick Schoeneman November 22, 08 07:29 PM

I am so Thankful for my home, and that God protected it from the fire. I feel so sorry for all the people that lost there home. Thank You Lord!!

Posted by Carole Ratliff November 22, 08 07:49 PM

I can't for the like of me even think of what this must be like to see such a thing as these fires. My prayers are with them all who have been affected by this firestorm.

Posted by Jim Burton November 22, 08 08:01 PM

Our hopes and prayers go out to the people of So.Cal. We lived there over 16 years and I've seen a lot of destruction from fires over those 16 years.
May God bless the people that have lost so much,and the fire fighters that put their lives on the line daily. God speed !!!!

Posted by Ray Davis November 22, 08 08:32 PM

We have had SO MANY devistating fires as of late. I
remember not too long ago some Muslim types say they
are going to burn the USA down. Living in N. Cal. there
were thousands of fires -- all seem to happen at the same time.
In my 80 years I Have NEVER seen or heard of that
happening. Yet -- the "govt" said they were
started by "lightening". I can imagine SOME being started by lightening but not thousands.

Posted by JW November 22, 08 08:53 PM

God Bless all the victims y protection for all family.Sorry!!!

Posted by Gilma Gracia Arévalo November 22, 08 08:55 PM

This is to Dave's a shame that you are probably so lonely and pathetic that you felt the need to bash fireman...the people who put their lives on the line for morons like you!! It's obvious that your dreams of being a fireman failed and you probably can't get a "real" job! Shame on you. I don't know how people like you sleep at night. THANKS to all of the FIREFIGHTERS who risked their lives and saved so many people's are the BEST!!!

Posted by Kristin P November 22, 08 09:25 PM

What a horrible thing so many people are enduring, especially during these hard economic times. #259 sounds like a very bitter, miserable soul who probably TRIED to become a firefighter and didn't get hired because it is so hard of a job to get! It's not unusual that at times when people are suffering so greatly, you have such ignorance, and how firefighters actually have to work (like regular jobs) 8-5 (on the clock) and then when everyone else goes to sleep, yes, they are still working when that alarm sounds. I just hope that these ignorant & obviously jealous people (and their loved ones) never need to call 911 for any reason. Imagine the people who would show up if we paid them $8/hr. Sad, really sad people.

Posted by Anonymous November 22, 08 09:48 PM


Posted by MARIO PACHECO November 22, 08 10:02 PM

God bless out firefighters and God bless the people that lost their home.I am so so sorry.

Posted by Charlotte James in Alabama November 22, 08 10:09 PM

As I live in Brea, next to Yorba Linda & the fires almost burned down my son's high school in BREA AND CAME WITHIN SEVERAL YARDS FROM MY HOME to the commentor who wrote "burn, baby burn--my message to that tioughtless scum is may YOU bun in hell. Mary

Posted by Mary schneider November 22, 08 10:16 PM

God bless All of the Firefighters and their families. Also the People who are involved in these fires. May God be with you all!!!

Posted by KMH November 22, 08 10:31 PM


Posted by LAURA SILVA November 22, 08 11:34 PM

dave b really needs a reality check!! have fun sitting at your office desk!!

Posted by lieutenant reynolds November 22, 08 11:34 PM


Posted by R.S.T. FT LAUDERDALE FLA November 23, 08 12:11 AM

I am glad that so many see the actions of the firefighters are heroic, as for those of you that dont and think that it is just a job we do because we like to play with toys and sit around getting paid too much for doing nothing.......think about this..... it is a job that has a lot about it that is fun, it is also a job that every morning when I leave to go to work I kiss my wife and kids knowing that I may never see them again, because I will die doing my "fun" job. And yet I continue to go to work, knowing it could be my last day, because I can and not everyone can do this job.

Posted by fire eater November 23, 08 12:22 AM

I can only add my "amen" to those who honor the firefighters and emergency personnel...SoCal will be a long time recovering from these fires. Thank God no lives were lost!

Posted by Jill Jones November 23, 08 12:33 AM

I live in NorCal...with the mega fires we had here this Summer, it is devastating not only to the homeowners, but the wildlife and the land, not to mention the ecomony. The Winter will be more trecherous due to the mudslides. My heart goes out to the SoCal fire victims for their loss. I know it's just "stuff", but it's your life. I feel more sorry for the ones that make such bad comments.... maybe they should be out there fighting the fires WITH the radical environmentalists. Sure don't see them out there "saving" the land they protest over. God's judgement IS coming.....then you'll really see fire!!

Posted by JR November 23, 08 12:36 AM

minime, dave and "mom" need to pull their heads from places where the sun does not shine and get a life. If it were THEIR house burning...would the tune change? Maybe not, they're such ingrates.

Posted by Jill November 23, 08 12:42 AM

#259 is just trying to get a rise out of everyone.

Posted by Jay Finnell November 23, 08 12:50 AM

May God see all of you through this .

Posted by Lynn November 23, 08 01:19 AM

Sadly there were a lot of people affected in L.A. , Orange County and surrounding areas. My heart goes out to the families who lost so much. My prayers are with you. I also feel for the firefighters, volunteers and everyone involved being that they have to leave their loved ones and work hours and hours to save our land.
As for the ignorance displayed above.....they don't even deserve for people to comment on their horrendous thoughts....they are just looking for attention and you fed their fires. They are not worthy of mentioning.
The firefighters are heroes to us all in many ways!

Posted by Aniston November 23, 08 01:42 AM

Sitting here all the way back in Germany, this looks like a Hollywood movie to us. Then again, things like this are unlikly to happen here as we have a totally different building stucture, using stone but wood when building homes. The survival factor is much greater.

However, my heart is with all of them who got "caught" by the fire. God bless you.

Posted by Guido Karp November 23, 08 01:49 AM

What is laughable are you people that criticize the heartless writers, yet your response to them is just as tasteless, if not more vicious then what was written! Firefighters are not heroes! They are simply professionals who go about their duty and work, as I do in law enforcement. The ulitmate hero is the person who gives up his / her life for the life of another. That is the highest sacrifice...

Posted by Mario November 23, 08 02:26 AM

Hannnah Cockerham and all the others whom posted prayers and praise make the last 33 years of sleepless nights, and now watching my son enter fire academy, all worth it. I only hope the future is filled with Hannahs and not doomed with Dave Bs aka worthless, pieces of nothing. Just hope Dave B's house never catches fire or is in need of a paramedic. And our hearts all go out to the fire victims, and I don't need to tell our guys "good job" cuz they already know we love em and they ARE the best!

Posted by firewife434 November 23, 08 03:35 AM

HEY DAVE B ASSH*LE!! if you have never removed a dead burning body from a fire site you obviously know NOTHING about saving lives or heroes!! You want proof??? Just check the the dead and dying from 9/11 You Are An Assh*le to even think this is "just a job" you cannot even fathom doing it for just one day much less for a lifetime. Consider this..... what will YOU do when something you own burns? Your views and opinions are what make this "job" such a challenge....putting up with your kind of crap just strengthens my faith in the Lord.
Hey, here's an idea....,Why don't you volunteer to ride along with us for just one call, BIG MAN???? See one of your friends get trapped in a burning building and Die DDDIE

Posted by Mike Van Sell November 23, 08 05:34 AM

It is so sad the fires destroyed a lot of homes. I am so sorry to all of you who lost your homes, but I am Thankful you are still alive. God Bless you!!!
To the are amazing, and very brave souls. Thank You. everyone else who helped in every way....Thank you!
It is great to see us joining together...UNITED WE STAND!!!!!!

Posted by Kalil November 23, 08 06:57 AM


Posted by MANUEL CROQUEZ,FIRE MARSHAL FDNY-RET. November 23, 08 07:48 AM

I am devasted at the sight of these pictures - What a horrible thing to go through
I live in southwestern Onatrio Canada and we have areas that are dangerous too but not on the scale of what my eyes just saw
They say good things always come out of bad - this proves that statement as absolute nonsense
My heart goes out to everyone affected -
- Lucan, Ontario, Canada.

Posted by June Smith November 23, 08 08:14 AM

My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have suffered losses in the California wildfires no matter the loss. It is truly sad to see these pictures. I know first hand what devestation can happen in Southern Calif due to fires churned up by the Santa Anna winds, I lived down there for almost 20 years and saw first hand many such fires as these. My thoughts also go out to the many many firefighters down there reponding to these fires, theirs is at times a thankless job, thanks in no small part to those on the outside looking in who believe it is their job to critize
the work they do. Try walking a mile in their shoes sometime and you might better come to appreciate what they have to go through. My thanks go out to these men and woman everyday and hopefully,if ever,I face a fire of any magitute,they will be there to do their best to help me.

Posted by Melody November 23, 08 08:29 AM

I read all the comments. Thankyou.

Posted by April Showers November 23, 08 08:45 AM

We grieve for all who've lost so much in these devastating fires. However, it doesn't surprise me one bit upon hearing Senator Obama directed firemen to save Oprah's domicile "at all costs"!

Posted by Frank Baker November 23, 08 09:25 AM

Seeing the destruction caused by the fires on tv or pix on the's different when you see the destruction up close. It doesn't matter what walk of life you live (rich, middle-class, or poor) people who lose their homes are just that people. They breathe the same air as you and me; their hopes and dreams are the same as yours and mine; and their loss may be much greater but still it's a loss. And even tho they can rebuild a house, their home will never be the same...the memories will never be the same, their children will have nightmares, their security will never be the same. I pray for those who don't see that. Just be thankful that

Posted by Anonymous November 23, 08 10:24 AM

it didn't happen to you. But, let this be a wake up call to be aware that it could and to prepare for that when and if. It could be an earthquake or a prepared.
Kudos to the firefighters of OC, San Francisco, and elsewhere, for helping.

Posted by Linda, Yorba Linda, CA November 23, 08 10:26 AM

I pray for all the firefighters and those who lost their homes. I find it very saddening to read some of the insensitive emails that were posted.

Posted by NJ REsident November 23, 08 11:19 AM

my thoughts and prayers go out to all involved specificly the fire rescue workers as a firefighter from the midwest i can only amagine the job in front of them and what they had to have went through to save what they did and i hope all my brothers and sisters got home safe

Posted by Jim November 23, 08 11:26 AM

Directed to Ken Din: before you say anything, why don't you roll up your sleeves and sweat along with the firefighters and the fire victims. I bet you are just full of dollars in your head, and completely ignore the society. Congratulations Ken.

Posted by G.gadgo November 23, 08 11:37 AM

I hear the seeds of conformity everywhere these days. If you don't like the guys opinion, well fine. The attacks smell of the herd mentality. Fighting fires is in fact fun, extremely dangerous, intense, and dramatic, as is helping people. Living in a situation where your home is gone, your memories, you have nothing but hope and anyone not in that situation cannot possibly relate. True Hero's step up and offer a shoulder to lean on in exactly these times. The point I think people are making is the government union system sucks. We are spending alot in taxes, in addition to fees, there is the disgusting cronyism, and retirement/health benefits to the unions the biggest bill. You see, I am in the bucket brigade because it is the right thing to do. I volunteer. I am disgusted by the abusers of the system, the guys retiring at 35, working two days a week, health benefits for life. Bring back volunteer forces. You see it created these jobs that everyone wants. Sometimes thousands of applicants for a dozen positions. We all have them too, cops on details making 150K while sleeping in their car, firefighters out on medical while winning weight lifting competitions, towns being held hostage in contract negotiations having to offer more than can be afforded, which future generations are stuck pay the bill. It is a broken system, and it is exactly where we are headed as a country. Again, I did it for 4 years, and I also never thought I totally could understand what people were going through. It is the job which is heroic, it is an opportunity we rarely get in life. The real hard part is dealing with the tragedy. The loss. The death. The bodies. The point is; when the emotions have come down from this, we as a people, public serpents and public, should reevaluate the system. Raise taxes, renegotiate contracts, add terms and percent of volunteers, public involvement in ranks and oversight, this is the discussion we need.

Posted by Alfred November 23, 08 12:20 PM

Thank goodness for the comments thanking the firemen for all of their heroic work. This certainly is not the time to be criticizing them in any way. I can't begin to imagine how the families are going to cope with their losses. Even though they have lost only "stuff" they still were things very personal and close to their hearts and cannot be replaced.

Posted by Rosemarie Topor November 23, 08 12:23 PM

I am a retired Los Angeles Count Firefighter. Part of the problem is the APCD. They have ot allowed people with less than 4 acres to burn brush that is cut down to lighten the fire load, it has to be hauled away. That is quite expensive. I used to cut unwantedd brush and do a controled burn to dispose of the cut brush. I can't do that now, so the brush stays on the hill. It was nessicary for me to cut some but not all brush so that I did not have a problem with slides in the winter. To me this is a perfict example of goverment creating problems as bad or worse than the problems they are trying to solve.

To much government is not a good thing!

Roger of Ojai

Posted by Roger Addington November 23, 08 12:36 PM

I had a teacher in High School who was victim of a fire. She only had the clothes on her back and had to be given clothing to wear by her friends. She said everything she owned was gone. Can you imagine being out there with NOTHING only your personage. How helpless can you get. Even worse are those who become injured or loose someone or a pet that is dear to you. And imagine the firefighters breathing all that smoke, asbestos for hours especially during 911. Many of them lost their lives.

Posted by judy keliher November 23, 08 12:49 PM

I keep all of the people who have been affected by this in my prayers. My heart goes out to you all!

Posted by Tasha Keller November 23, 08 12:53 PM

My son in law is an American firefighter
Like all parents I'm proud to be able to say that
I'm British

Posted by Ed November 23, 08 01:05 PM

Wow! We are so glad that these fires are over.

Posted by Neil Estep November 23, 08 01:22 PM

I'm a licensed real estate agent. One of the reasons that I do NOT contribute to RPAC (Realtor Political Action Committee) is because they support federally subsidized insurance for wealthy people who build multi-million dollar homes in high risk places such as waterfronts and fire-hazard areas.
Of course, I feel tremendous sympathy for those who have lost their homes and personal belongings. That being said, I DO resent bearing the tax burden for those who can afford the high cost of building these costly homes but want all the rest of us to subsidize their insurance.

Posted by Denise November 23, 08 01:33 PM

#259, you are one sick s.o.b.!!!

Posted by Joe Smith November 23, 08 01:57 PM

Wow, many ideas here, some great some(?). For myself, first, my girlfriend grew up just outside Santa Barbara, her mom still lives there, one canyon over from where the fire went, it didn't get to her home because of the wonderful job all the emergency responders, especially fire crews did. Second, my son, Marine now Oregon National Guard sargent in combat in both war zones is a reserve firefighter here in Pendleton OR and also local tribal dept. Thank God for them all, they deserve our respect in every way. They are a very selfless group and do all they can for us, and when their prep work is done, they deserve rest time. Don't you?

Posted by Bob Thomas November 23, 08 01:58 PM

We all live in a world of wonder and danger. When a disaster happens,
we all need to give our hearts to man kind. we are all people and friends.

Posted by Thomas J Harrison November 23, 08 01:58 PM

I want to send my cond to everyone that has had to endure such a fire and i pray that they will soon be over and that the peole that has lost there homes will find peace to go on and be strong in this time of need and that there dreams will some day get back what they have lost.
God bless them all from everyone in the state of Kansas

Posted by Sharon Steinkuehler November 23, 08 02:40 PM

My heart and prayers go out to those affected by the fires. I can't imagine losing my home and all my possessions. I live in a hurricane prone areaand we were hit by 115 mile winds a few years ago and had some damage to our home, I know how it feels to be at the mercy of nature. I pray that God will comfort all those people that were left homeless.

Posted by Emil Aberizk...l. November 23, 08 02:47 PM

I can not imagine my home up in flames I am brought to tears watching this
happen and being so helpless. By the way all you people that are putting
these home owners down for living where they do are not very smart, everyone
lives in an area where anything can happen, I live in western Okla. and we have
tornadoes so do you suggest that since we have them I not live in Oklahoma?
And 166 I would like to see you bash the tax thing if your house was consumed
in flames, you would be out there screaming for more water and fire fighters
to save your house, and these people have lost more than a roof over their head

Posted by Anonymous November 23, 08 03:01 PM

We just recently went through this in Butte County, northern California. Our firefighters are now down helping with the southern California fires like the southern California firefighters helped with ours. We are so grateful for those who helped with ours. It was devastating here and we know yours is too. We pray for you as you prayed for us in our devastation. This is a terribly dry year everywhere in California. If you haven't cleared your brush do it now. But don't use power tools. Sparks can cause more fires. Please use caution. Lightening caused our fires. It's not always arson.

Posted by Anonymous November 23, 08 03:22 PM

My thoughts and prayers are with you all who are caught up in this dreadfull situation, the utter devastion, I just cannot imagine it. My prayers go to the fabulous brave firefighters and all the emergency services who do such a wonderful job. Whether its fire or water nature can be so cruel.. GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!!!!

Posted by Kathy UK November 23, 08 03:28 PM

Mis condolencias por las perdidas enlos fuegos pero todo se puede bolver a construir lo que no se puede reparar son las vidas de las perzonas.
carlos orrego san diego..

Posted by carlos orrego November 23, 08 03:41 PM

As the mother of a firefighter/paramedic, for 20 yr, first at LAFD, now in V C, Wa., I believe that I do have a special knowledge of who they are. My firefighter has alwys been a boy scout at heart. He is tender hearted and brave. He never waits for someone else to do what is needed. His dad and I have listened to VERY sad things that he has seen on duty. We have seen him, off duty, protect strangers and modify dangerous situations. He spends many off duty hours reading & thinking about how to do his job better. He makes good $, but not nearly what he is worth. He is a wonderful citizen, dad, husband, brother and son.

Posted by Proud mother November 23, 08 03:54 PM

I used to live in Yorba Linda. Was born and raised in southern CA. Lived through many wildfires during the time I lived there. Came close to loosing our home a couple of times. The tirelessefforts of the firefighters, both paid and volunteer, law enforcemen, and the military were what saved our community. I now live in PA where my husband and two sons are volunteers for our community fire company. We do not have any paid firefighters. The time that is required to complete the training required to be a firefighter is a great sacrifice that the many men and women make becuase of their dedication to serve the community in which they live in. Only someone who is close to the

Posted by Joanna November 23, 08 04:05 PM

Absolutely amazing!!! My husband has been a firefighter for 50 years and thank God he has not been in anything that serious.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to these firefighters and the people who lost everything.

Posted by Don & Janet Miller November 23, 08 04:38 PM

Absolutely amazing!!! My husband has been a firefighter for 50 years and thank God he has not been in anything that serious.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to these firefighters and the people who lost everything.

Posted by Don & Janet Miller November 23, 08 04:38 PM

Our firemen deserve our KUDOS!!!

Posted by Anita Reynoso from Yorba Linda November 23, 08 04:44 PM

DAVE 259 I am a retained fire fighter in England, during the day I work for a printing company and in the evenings and week ends I am on call, so can be called out any time day or night. We don't have wlid fires but all firefighters will give it 100% to stop them.

I recently worked all day had 1 hour and 30 mins sleep and then attended a huge fire, got home at 6:30 in the morning and then went to work all because someone commited arson. O and I get taxed at 40% as its a second job. Still think firefighters are over rated.


Posted by Neil Pocock November 23, 08 05:10 PM

WOW!!! such Great Photo Shots. Thanks for sharing with us.
I sympathize for those who have lost their homes and personal belongings that some can never be replaced.
I feel so bad for those that are now homeless. I can't even imagine losing our home like this. Such a tragic thing. My heart goes out to all that have taken a loss from these fires...God Bless our firefighters and all that helped to save what they could. What would we do without them???

Posted by Marianne Pettitt "Lil Bit" November 23, 08 05:16 PM

I just thank the Lord that we do not live in or near that area. Our prayers are with those people that did loose their home. May God Bless You!

Posted by Pat Nye November 23, 08 05:27 PM

Thoughts and prayers with all who lost their homes and also with all the firefighters......... God bless!!!!!!!

Posted by Bridie November 23, 08 05:39 PM

There is NO WAY at all that these or any firefighter is over paid at all. These are the TRUE AMERICAN HERO'S. Here a ball player gets paid so many millions for playing a game for half a year and these True Hero's put their lives on the line daily. Who ever says they don't deserve to get paid what they do or even more sure needs to have their brain checked.

Posted by Brian H November 23, 08 05:47 PM

Words could not describe the footage seen and pain caused by this outrageous fire to your State. God Bless you all involved.

Posted by Angie(Melb- Aust) November 23, 08 05:55 PM


Posted by SHELDON H. SCHUSLER November 23, 08 06:29 PM

Remember the firefighters of 9/11!!! God Bless the heart of a firefighter! I prayed that each would remember his own capacity for fatigue and quit before injury.
What incredible pictures were posted. Thank you each one, for without your efforts at stopping the blaze, many more houses (including mine) would have been next on the list! Thank you also to the loved ones of the men who risk their lives, who stand beside them, pray for them and support them with love. And to all in law enforcement-ditto.
To all who lost property and possessions, my heartfelt sorrow.

Posted by Sharon in So. CA November 23, 08 06:29 PM

All I have to say is WOW! Thank you for these firefighters dedicating their lives to keep us safe! GOD BLESS YOU GUYS and THANK YOU

Posted by Maddie King November 23, 08 06:32 PM

In 1980 our Brea, CA home suffered a major fire. Thanks to the Brea Fire Dept. they managed to save our family. We now live in Diamond Bar and were just a few blocks from being evacuated. It's amazing what thoughts go through your mind after having lost a home to fire. We didn't have to stop and think what we should take, we had gone over this hundreds of times since 1980. We just knew what to do and to give ourselves plenty of time to get out. My brother-in-law is a Battalion Fire Chief and my late Mother-in-law worked with the Volunteer Fire Dept. With the dedication of people like this, our communities are a safer place. I pray for those who have lost homes and hope they find comfort in their families.

Posted by Debbie Hobday November 23, 08 06:43 PM

330 How much do you think a life is worth.!!!!! THe fire fighters don't get paid enough .

Posted by Dee Wisner November 23, 08 07:26 PM

My heart is saddened by the terrible destruction. I cannot enjoy the beauty of some of these photos when I know that many families have been displaced, lost all of their possessions and treasured memories. May God bring you the peace you need to move on with the holidays right around the corner. I can't imagine the torment you must be feeling at this time. My prayers go with you.

Posted by Carol November 23, 08 07:35 PM

I live on the East coast in the mountains of Garrett County. We live thru the true four seasons. We have no idea what devastation is or how to deal with it. We are truly watched by God and his protectors. I wish to send them to you so you may live in peace. I pray for everyone who was in this path of destruction and for all your losses. Thank the Fire Fighters who have given their lives to protect you. God be with you!! I'm so saddened by all this!! The Lord is trying to tell the world to shape up and it's time to listen.

Posted by Neal Stoner November 23, 08 07:42 PM

My its unbelievable,hope this is not a deliberate act , by the way I noted that one picture was from Corona I have a ham friend from that area his call sign is KJ6UB and he is a doctor and his name Nalin he is from Sri Lanka , I wounder how he is ? your friend Shanti KE5CUN/also 4S7WP

Posted by w p s perera November 23, 08 07:44 PM

Our house, located among the ancient apple orchards near Santa Cruz, CA, burned to the ground just before Thanksgiving in 1943. There was little notice. No TV, of course, or air tankers, etc. But fire fighters many miles away saw the smoke and speed across the mountains. Alas, the fire was too fierce. One fireman rescued Mom's new washing machine. Mom was forever grateful after a life time with cold water and a scrub board. That machine is long forgotten. Brave firemen and burned photographs are remembered forever.

Posted by Harry Leippe November 23, 08 08:09 PM

What a horrendous sight to see all these fires blazing. I can only imagine how devastating it is to those of you being affected by this. My prayers are with you. And to all the brave firefighters out there fighting these fires, my hat goes off to you.

Posted by Fran Dean November 23, 08 08:24 PM

I thank God for the fearless devotion of those brave men and women fighting to make sure that we have a safe place to return to when calamity strikes...May God watch over you all!
For those of you that are unaffected by these events...may compassion temper your spirit and allow you to feel for those that have lost.

Posted by Joshua Rouse November 23, 08 08:35 PM


Posted by DON CHAPMAN November 23, 08 08:57 PM

Just like to let you know who's behind all the insulting remarks against the Brave Fire Fighters> Its satins little helpers.

Posted by ANDY DeLuca November 23, 08 08:57 PM

Why are people in flood prone, hurricane prone, fire prone areas allowed to build and rebuild there!!!! It's criminal that others are expected to subsidize building in irrational areas. Now that they've burned, there should be a ban on building or remodeling, no insurance allowed.

Posted by kat November 23, 08 09:18 PM

Our police and firefighters are our heroes. They save lives every day and night when we are sound asleep and safe in our homes. They put their lives on the line without regard to their own. They have wives and husbands, as well as kids, just like everybody else, and they worry about them, too. My heart goes out to all of them, as well as their families who worry about their safety.

Posted by Larry Page November 23, 08 09:31 PM

Comment 259 -- JEALOUS!!!!???
you can always pick up an application for the job. Playing cards -- not likey -illegal, great cooks -- maybe and they ARE entitled to eat -- and quite nutritiously I might add - as when the need arises, as in those California fires -- they need energy - SO YES!! work out be in shape, eat healthy and sleep when you CAN -- that is WHEN YOU CAN -- when you are not woken up by some of the less significant calls that they attend to every other hour. SO when the big firs occur -- YES -- they ARE heros -- they rick their lives and health on every shift!!. so go ahead -- apply.

Posted by Waters November 23, 08 09:40 PM

I have never seen a fire so look like Hell must in my 78 living years. I have never lived in California but all my close relatives live there. I don't know how close they live to any of the fires but just being in the state of California is close enough for this old KANSAS gal. All Kansas has are Tornadoes areas.

Posted by MRS. DOROTHY BEYER FROM KANSAS November 23, 08 10:51 PM

Most Do it because of the fire that burns inside the heart and would do it for free'
But we all have bills to pay! Politics has snuffed the flame from my heart but when the tone sounds it comes back until the jobs done. DONT LET THEM GET YOU DOWN!!! (THE PEOPLE COUNT ON US AND WE WILL BE THERE.

Posted by Warren House November 23, 08 11:30 PM

Please God Bless us All and thank You God for our fire fighters!

Posted by Anonymous November 23, 08 11:32 PM

Living in Montana we have hundreds of thousands of acres burn, but not the large loss of homes as in CA in most cases except for the "California transplants" who are stupid enough to build in the timber without large firebreaks around their property. The reason for most of the fire damage is that the "nut-case environmentalists" continually block reasonable timber and range land management which would allow fire-fighters a chance at controling fires by maintaining "fire-breaks" and thinning heavy brush--sorry to be 'politically incorrect" but someone needs to address the fundamental cause of "wild-fires" getting out of control.

Posted by Ed November 23, 08 11:59 PM

Posted by Dave B. November 21, 08 06:21 PM
LIne 259

This person has lost his marbles.

I say God bless the fire fighters and all the people that support them!!!!!!!!

Posted by M. Shafor November 24, 08 12:32 AM

These pictures are amazing. Thank you for sharing. Our hearts go out to everyone that was affected during this very challenging time.

Posted by Anonymous November 24, 08 12:36 AM

From someone who has lived in both the pan-handle of Florida and had family members experience hurricanes and then moved to southern california I want you ignorant people to understand that there is tragedy everywhere!!!!! My step-father is a third generation fire-fighter for Los Angeles. On 9-11 he was part of the men who were called to stand and see if they would be sent to help their fellow fire-fighters in NY, he has fought these fires in the hills for 33 years of his life. Every time that there is a fire truck that passes me going on a "run" I say a hail mary as a knee jerk reaction. I understand how the families of these fire-fighters feel everyday that their father/brother/husband/sister/wife/mother leaves the house, we have that thought, will this be the last time? have I heard their footsteps for the last time?
Next time you feel like saying that fire-fighters are undeserving and lazy remember that these are the people that will be protecting you, or your loved ones some day. Would you like them to ignore your efforts in building a home? your efforts in keeping your family safe from harm? These people do no know you but as you run out of your house to safety they are running in to a burning HELL for YOU- you son of a bitch.
I offer my love and prayers to everyone affected by the fires, many of my friends were affected and lost much but they keep going. In this dire time we must remember that it is not the money that is important. It is the heart.

Posted by meg November 24, 08 12:45 AM

our thoughts and prayers are with all of you that have had a loss. God bless you and the men and women that tried to save your homes and memories.

Posted by cheryl November 24, 08 12:49 AM

#334 JW Are you really as ignorant as you sound? There is such a thing as a lightning tracker which gives a visual of where the lightning strikes are. So yes, it can be proven that it was all lightning and flying embers and not the Muslims. Wow, I'm just floored by stupid finger pointers like you. I bet you think Obama is gonna come steal your guns too.

Posted by K November 24, 08 12:52 AM

Shane,i hope your aunt stella is ok, let me know bro! OLD John force and family lives right close to there! Hope every bodies ok. These fire fighters are a one of a kind breed! Awesome dudes! Cant say enough about them*

Posted by M.Savka November 24, 08 01:18 AM

We lived in Montecito in the late 60's. The Coyote fire happened a few years before and caused similar damage as the recent fire. I have been to the tea garden many times in the past & recall there was always dead grass all over the mountain in the Fall; more after wet winters. The main house had a lot of the roof burned in the Coyote Fire less than 50 years ago, & I am told that this time was a total. It is horrific to see the destruction caused by these fires and our heart goes out to all who lost their homes and belongings. We must remember it is not a matter of if ,but when it will burn next unless extreme caution is practiced by all.

Posted by JimfromUtah November 24, 08 01:56 AM

Wonderful coverage. This is not like our Florida fires. These are much more trajicthat we experience. These firemen or women are heros to the highest
extent. May our Lord bless each and every one of them. I pray if these fires were
set that the purpetrators will be prosecutedto the maximum of the law.

Posted by Smith E Branch November 24, 08 02:17 AM

I wonder if Jesse Jackson will send buses . And blame Bush

Posted by Bruce G November 24, 08 02:20 AM

This summer we spend again 3 weeks in your beautiful country,in Goleta with my dearest penfrieds the Kistlers.I penpal with Dave for more than 50 years.So I know the area and I feel so sad for all the victims but please be proud on your firefighters they do a great job and are so brave.Do anyone think about that they have families too,that they risk their lives for you all??
In 1953 we lost evreything in the graet flood we live in the netherlands close to the water 3 meters below sealevel.So i can feel to lost of you all.God bless you all.

Posted by Jannemarie November 24, 08 04:25 AM

"I just thank the Lord that we do not live in or near that area."

Yea... that's the spirit, it's not me so I don't care, and then just say a "god Bless" it's so easy, and it is so representative of how many people think.

The photograph did an amazing job, for some one how doesn't see fire every day and as no protection what so ever it take courage to stay and wait for it as the heat rises...
Some pictures are terribly beautifully....

Posted by dify November 24, 08 04:39 AM

As a retired firefighter, #259 go to HELL

Posted by Chuck Lockwood November 24, 08 06:42 AM

I live in the U.K. and i'm astonished at the devastation caused, i can only sit and whatch a beautifull landscape ruined by the flames.

I would like to send out my deepest wishes to all affected by this and my thoughts are with you all also,

Posted by Rob Horton November 24, 08 07:31 AM

Thanks for our firefighters and thanks for all the lives that were spared. We were all blessed at this Thanksgiving time.

Posted by Anonymous November 24, 08 09:34 AM

#259 said "Hardly any of them die?"

I believe firefighting is still THE most dangerous job. Period.

The Tea fire in Santa Barbara almost got my house. The firefighters made a stand that saved the neighborhood. I can't sufficiently express my thanks to them.

As for the dimwit that says people shouldn't be allowed to rebuild

As to the dimwit who says people should

Posted by Zeb Norris November 24, 08 09:45 AM

All of the national news outlets have said that these horrible fires were caused by a group of college guys having started a bonfire on a hill, and then improperly putting the bonfire out. The news said the embers from the bonfire were carried to surrounding brush by high winds. No lightening strike here, just thoughtless kids who think of no one but themselves and what feels good in the moment. It's a miracle people weren't killed in this fire, and a tribute to the firefighters that they got people out in time to save lives. Kids like these rarely suffer any consequences, as their parents and attorneys always "get them off" with a wrist-slap. Those kids belong in prison for this.

Posted by kathie November 24, 08 10:25 AM

Being a victim of a home burned and losing all my worldly possions I offer my prayers to those who have going though the same. Thank you go out to those who put there life on the line to save the possions of those they may not even known. Though many have lost have not lost all. God bless.

Posted by Leno Burks II November 24, 08 10:26 AM

A group of people were in the street in Anaheim Hills, California, geting ready to evacuate. A van drives up with a young woman and her dad. They asked who had a swimming pool. They pointed to aguy and said, he was thone. They opened the back of their van a removed waht they called a fire cart. It had a hugh gas engine with a pump and 150 feet of hose and a hose you put in your pool. They ran it to his back yard, set it up and started pumping hundreds of gallons of water on the house and the shrubs. The fire was just over his back wall. They left him the unit and said to call when done. What GREAT people!

Posted by Howie S. November 24, 08 10:28 AM

I cannot believe how brave our firefighters are! And, the personal losses suffered by so many families is just devastating.
My continuous thoughts and prayers are with all of you!

Posted by John Lathrop November 24, 08 10:44 AM

good luck

Posted by haley November 24, 08 10:46 AM

To all those belittling the firefighters - please indicate where you live so that they may know which house to pass by when protecting a neighborhood. But you know what? They'd work to save your house anyway, cause that's what they do.

Posted by slym November 24, 08 10:53 AM

#259. YOUR A HORSES ASS!!!!!

Posted by Anonymous November 24, 08 11:16 AM

As a professional, I’d have to question any person doubting the integrity of a firefighter. There is obviously some deep seeded pain and anger for those individuals with this form of mental illness. I strongly suggest they get some counseling. If, for no other reason, then to heal the ugliness they possess inside. What did they ever do to you?

Apparently these individuals never learned to respect others, especially those who would risk their life to save his/hers, or for those who are at a great loss and suffering as a result of a fire. If we all could be so lucky to have a job we love and can be good at. What an honor it would be to have what it takes to be a firefighter!

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:13

Posted by Lea November 24, 08 11:21 AM

As the mother of a VOLUNTEER firefighter in a small Midwestern town, I know a little about the risks/life they have. He has taken the time to get his training/ education just as career (paid) firefighters have & continues learning/studying to be a better firefighter. He gets called out at 2 AM for a fire or rescue call and still has to go to his 40 hr. a week Mon. - Fri. paying job. He has risked his life to crawl into a burning vehicle to rescue trapped teenagers, go into a burning building to make sure no one is trapped inside, to answer a rescue call on a fatal accident, etc. - all with NO pay, but for the compassion of his fellow human beings. He carries extra gear (purchased with his own money) with him at all times ready to help whenever needed. If it were not for our volunteer firefighters in small communities we would have no protection at all. May God bless all our firefighters, police, EMT/paramedics, and military personnel for doing their "jobs" no matter how much they are paid!!!! Do any of the above personnel get paid enough - not at ALL!!! They are all putting their lives on the line for each one of us every day.

Posted by Sandy November 24, 08 11:49 AM

I live in Yorba Linda, California. I had an especially close-up view of how devastating and fast-moving these fires can be. These really show it:
I can only pity those of you such as minime who are so envious of everybody that has more than you.
I live in a nice home near these hills that burned. I worked for 35 years to get it. Why is that so evil ? Because a poor country full of savages can't quit fighting long enough to feed their children. I have no power over that and neither do you.

Posted by Mr Cov November 24, 08 11:49 AM

My husband is a firefighter and I look up to him for the huge responsibility he has. He puts his life on the line for others. I would hate for him to be there fighting those fires, but if that was what he chose to do I would support him all the way. Firefighting is the most dangerous job I know. Our firefighters are amoung the bravest and need more recognition.

Posted by Anonymous November 24, 08 11:50 AM

May God Bless all of you and give each and every one of ya'll peace.

Posted by Robby Brown November 24, 08 12:00 PM

To those who wrote comments wishing horrible things to befall those people w/ opinions they disagree with: WHY ? You don't like someone's opinions so you want them to die in a fire or lose something or someone ? Tolerating disagreeable people or ideas is part of being an American isn't it? I retired from an FD and yes, we did have those who only saw it as a job; those who loved it ; those who were nut cases and those few, rare, true professionals.Most everyone did their their job and the ones who didn't pull their weight - well- you made sure they stayed where they couldn't hurt you or someone else. We did do "nothing'' for 90% of the time( medic calls for nothing , smoke/gas investigations, inspections,maintenance , TRAINING - lots of that ,fill ins, etc) but just like in the Army the rest of the time was 100 mph wide open.Pulling bodies out; saving lives ; giving a few words of comfort to survivors;suicides;men caught in large machinery;cutting cars with a Hurst tool open to get to victims out ;holding a young man's hand as he dies on the ground in front of you; watching a mother come on the scene to see her baby boy die of smoke inhalation; giving CPR even though you know it's utterly hopeless.. just to make the family feel maybe a little better; seeing a brother firefighter in intensive care dying from head injuries... that's what you learn to live with. There were a lot of ungrateful people but THAT"S THE JOB. In my experience the best thing we ever got was a thank you note from a family. No one said it aloud but I think it made everyone on my platoon realize it was all worthwhile.

Posted by Just an old man... November 24, 08 12:09 PM


Posted by JOYCE ANN COLLUM November 24, 08 12:11 PM


Posted by Anonymous November 24, 08 12:15 PM

The firefighters are some of God's Angels here on earth
The ignorant ones with only bad things to say are workers of the devil.
When the end comes, God will choose who he wants in Heaven and the devil
will get the rest. All firefighters will be chosen to go to Heaven. There are many people like Doctors, Nurses, Paramedics, Builders, Farmers, and the list goes on. But I really feel sorry for those that are not on God's list. They will feel the heat of a fire that can never be put out. Thank you God for those such as the firefighters
that help us all.

Posted by alyce November 24, 08 12:19 PM

#259, God forbid your house should burn down...where is your brain. I guess you don't have one...
Thank God for firefighters!!! They are dedicated men and women who work to save peoples homes and businesses and our land!!

Posted by Susan November 24, 08 12:32 PM

May God bless the families that are enduring this horrible situation. My heart goes out to them all and hopefully the are able to escape to safety. THank you to all of the firefighters risking their lives to help put out these fires. May they be safe from harm.

Posted by Anonymous November 24, 08 12:35 PM

Whoa.....Dave B. One of my best friend's was a firefighter who died trying to save an elderly lady. He ran in the burning home and the ceiling collapsed on him. A young colleague was also killed and it was his first fire. My friend became a firefighter after his two uncles who are both California firefighters. Yes, they have been paid well, but no money in the world can make up for their loss. They are also smart with the money they have been paid and invested well. They are all real heroes. They put their lives at risk every day, they are not flip about it, they are the kind of people that you would want to have around in your life and in your heart and at your side whenever needed. My firefighting friends are very hard working, they don't just sit around and cook chili. I've never, ever seen them relaxing much, they are always busy, cleaning equipment and working. They go out on every major fire, and there have been plenty. They are smart and sweet, and wonderful human beings. It hurts to read insensitive comments...but I realize the person is very very ignorant. I hope this person will never need to see my friends, but if he did, I know they would even put their lives at risk to save even him. They don't judge, they just go...wherever and whenever the call goes out. God Bless All.

Posted by Karen Donnelly November 24, 08 12:36 PM

At approximately 4:30am Sunday morning, a police cruiser rolled up our street and made the announcement that our street was under mandatory evac. I woke my wife and my mom (who spent the night due to the fact that the fires had shut down ALL of the major arteries between her house and ours), and we proceeded to throw as many "important" things as we could into the backs of our cars. My son, 7 yrs, woke up in the midst of it and stood crying in the middle of the hallway because he had been woken up and could see the flames out of our front window. The girls, 5 yrs and 2 yrs, slept until we hurded them all into our cars. As we were packing, many of our neighbors were in the same state of urgency that we were, some were not hurrying at all, some never came out of their homes.
I tell all of you spectators who see fit to bash the fire departments this because as we and others in our neighborhoods were hurrying to get the hell out of there, the "well-paid" fire-fighters were rolling in, ready to jump into action for people they don't even know. Thanks be to God, our neighborhoods were spared and the firefighters moved on to fight for the lives and homes of other people they don't know.
You bash them now, but you will be on that phone pleading for them to come and save your home if it catches fire. These men and women are HEROS and don't get paid enough and I and my little family are FOREVER grateful for their willingness to stand in harm's way for us....

May God Bless and keep them safe wherever they go!

Posted by kepha2000 November 24, 08 12:42 PM


Posted by JW November 24, 08 12:47 PM

My prayer"s are with you all. May God bless.

Posted by G Queen November 24, 08 12:52 PM

I live in Alabama now but was born and lived most of my life in Southern California where most all of my family and friends still live. I know how bad the fires are there but it seems there have never been as many as now. God bless all the people affected by this and our prayers are with you.

Posted by Rebecca Stone November 24, 08 01:07 PM

Just wanted to send my sympathies to all who lost homes and a great big "Thank You" to the brave firefighters who are there putting their lives on the line while we are sitting here at our computers looking at hauntingly beautiful photos of the devastation!!!!

Posted by Gerri in Nova Scotia November 24, 08 01:14 PM

I want to thank God for sparing my house in Chino Hills and all the Brave firefighters thank you!!!!

Posted by Dan From Chino Hills November 24, 08 01:32 PM

I live in Yorba Linda where the fire burned up to my property line. We were under evacuation orders. I watched the fire progress to my house. I had time to pack where many did not. Several have email me the the link to this page. The DC-10 dropped the Phos-chek fire retardant on my house/neighborhood where that and the firefighters efforts save my area! Several of my friends were not as fortunate. They lost everything. They had minutes to grab pets, keys etc and leave!

Posted by Steve November 24, 08 01:34 PM

Now is not the time to be fighting against each other. It is a time for Brotherhood within us all, no matter where you live or what your job title is or is not, we will never know what any of you have or continue to go through, may God bless all those who are or were touched by this tragic event. And, who will continue to feel it's wrath longer after the smoke clears. May the Lord touch each and everyone who has been involved in anyway.And restore you homes and faith in your time of need.

Posted by Karen Lewis November 24, 08 01:58 PM

While sad anytime that someone loses their home, at the end of the day, it's just a structure. I'm very thankful that no one lost their lives. Homes can be (and will be rebuilt). That's why we buy insurance. Our home burned when I was 12 and while sad, it wasn't life altering. We moved into temporary housing for about 5 months.

I live in Anaheim Hills so I'm very much accustomed to the annual fire event. I can handle losing my home though. Losing my kids would change my life forever.

While being mindful and compassionate towards who suffered a loss, it's still a good idea to be very, very thankful for what was not lost.

Posted by Skip November 24, 08 02:28 PM

As for commentator #259, you need to reassess your values! I would hope you would never have to go through what these people are dealing with. The physical loss of everything pales by comparison to the emotional effects. How much MORE loss of life and property do you think there would be if we did not have TRAINED specialists (fire fighters) to combat these wildfires? People, such as yourself, are what drag our society into the gutter! It seems to me, as long as YOU are not the one bleeding, there is no problem. Be careful... what goes around, comes around.

Posted by Kay A. Schuler November 24, 08 02:32 PM

These men and women are real heros. And I agree with the comment about Fema trailers--only in a "Chocolate City" would that be necessary!! The Mississippi Gulf Coast didn't have them either--only bums rated them!!! Some are STILL sponging off of "Uncle Sap". Prayers go out for all these people!!!

Posted by W.T. Ramirez, Sr November 24, 08 02:42 PM

Thank God that all lives were spared during the last bout of these terrible fires. As a native Californian and former evacuee of the Val Verde Fire I must say the firemen are amazing in their strength, stamina, knowledge and kindness and they will be truely blessed. These photos do show the extreme distruction, my thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who lost their homes. Stay focused on your loved ones, family and friend that will help you rebuild your life here on earth, stay strong and know the Lord will carry you through this. God bless you all,

Posted by Michelle November 24, 08 02:44 PM

My prayers go out to those who lost their homes. I pray that everyone made it out safe each time I see the newsfootage. Since I have a dear friend that lives in California, it was very nerve wracking watching the news until I found out she was okay.

Posted by T. Conway November 24, 08 03:07 PM

#259 Dave and others who posted comments about firefighters - you are truly assh*les! I am a volunteer firefighter because I want to help people. I have a full time job and volunteer my time on the side. I respect firefighters whom are career (paid) and volunteer. Do you volunteer any of your time to help anybody or do you just sit back and watch others in life pass you by and then criticize them for what they do. Who cares whether these people are rich or poor. They lost homes and were evacuated disrupting their lives. I wish everyone the best in moving forward with their lives after this disaster.

Posted by Adam November 24, 08 03:08 PM


Posted by DEELEMELIN@AOL.COM November 24, 08 03:20 PM

#7 minime wrote :
"hmm, everybody has a that big house, a swimming pool and 3 cars there? this is a retaliation for the unfair wealth... I can't feel sorry for them.
if you think that I'm not right, just check this set..."

Unfair wealth? How does anyone earn more money than the next guy? Education, hard work, smart financial practcies. How judgmental and envious of "minime" to make such a comment in our capitalistic country. Go to a communistic nation where every dime YOU earn will be taken away and split equally amoung its citizens. You won't want to work so hard if you knew you couldn't keep it all.

Posted by JL November 24, 08 04:12 PM

I live across the street from a Hero. He is a firefighter who was burned in the Montecito fire. I live in Moreno Valley California. I think he is stationed in Lancaster. His face was burned, his hands were burned. I cried when I saw him. He said to me that he failed his men and women. OMG.....he told me he failed ! We are protected everyday by men and women of the fire department and police department. Until we need them or even know them, we all have opinions about what they do and how they serve. I could never be a police officer or a fire fighter...but I sure am glad that others can. Selwin, you are my HERO. I am proud to call you my neighbor. I am very proud of the work that you do. In my eyes, you are a man above all men. To risk your life to save others.....if only I could reach such a level in my life. God gives us the gift of repay him is what we do wiith out lives. Please Father, reach down and protect the lives of those less fortunate. Please protect them as they go into harms way. Let them know your grace, your love. For all the fire fighters and Police Officers who protect what we have and what we know...God Bless you all. Sept 11, 2001...never forget....never forget. Never forget the heros who battled the fires in November 2008 in Monticito, and here in Southern California. When I was a little boy, I did not have a hero....and now that I am a grown man, I do. And never forget Selwin that you are my hero !!

Posted by Robert Kaiser Moreno Valley, CA November 24, 08 04:26 PM

To #259. Yes, it's their job, but it's not just a job to them. They are angels who work to save peoples homes and lives. They wouldn't have gone into this line of work if they hadn't felt they could do something to help us all. You just don't get it.

Posted by Marla Berger November 24, 08 05:02 PM

i think that is sad and cool.

Posted by Marylyn November 24, 08 05:08 PM

#259 I believe 1- your wife has left you for a firefighter therefore you are bitter and wallow in self pity, or 2- Your an arsonist . I hope that someday you need us, because I'm Sure "Firefighters" will be the first you call upon when your trapped in a wrecked car......yet another self center idiot talking about some he knows nothing about .Don't get killed??? Dont get hurt?,, you are so out of touch , Dumbass Dave.

Posted by United States Firefighter of 20 years November 24, 08 05:44 PM

God Bless ALL FIREMEN! My husband was a volunteer fireman for over 25 years in a small town, serving in many of the offices including Chief...My son was a volunteer for another 5 years. My grandson was and still is a volunteer in a small town 1 mile from us but is also a full time FIREMAN in another city.
I have watched and prayed for over 50 years for these brave men and women who serve to keep us all safe. Until you have one or more in the family, you have no idea what they go through, and the tragedies they see and still dream about.

Posted by Carol Walden, Iowa November 24, 2008 November 24, 08 05:51 PM

I as a Canadian and travel in north america have met so many wonderful people in the great U.S.A and my heart goes gout to all the people who were victems of the cCalifornia fires God Bless all.

Posted by c stimson November 24, 08 05:58 PM

I was blown away by the photos and could only think about the courage firemen and firewomen have to go into these fires. Everyone else is running OUT, including me if I lived there, to get away and they go IN.....truly amazing. They are not paid enough. Life is priceless, theirs and the ones they save.

God Bless them

Posted by Betty deHoop November 24, 08 05:58 PM

To #259,
I’m a paid city firefighter. I’ve worked years as a wildland firefighter, paramedic, but I guess it all started at the age of 16 when I was a lifeguard. I don’t know where this aggression comes from but you need to be educated a little on what you are preaching. Yes we do love our jobs and yes it is fun at times, most of the time. Then there are times it is very hard with multiple life threatening risks. There are other times it is very, very sad. You can come to your own conclusions but you name it and it has happened. We do have fun but we do what we do because we love what we do, helping others and possibly making the worst possible moment in someone’s life a little better. The days of sitting at the firehouse and playing cards are long gone. Every day we inspect, clean and maintain our station and equipment so it is in the best possible condition when we need to rely on it. Every day we do some sort of training for all ranks so that we are never rusty or without knowledge on a part of our job. When we go out and things go bad there is no room for error. Error could mean lives lost. We also go out and do fire inspections and check all of the fire hydrants in the city. The men and women who ride around on the big red engines and in the black and whites are exposed to physical danger, disease, and stress every day. So before you go down talking the men and women who look after your best interest because they really do care, you should do your homework. We do have fun, we do love what we do, and we do what we do because we love to help. Prayers go out to all the victims, fire, police, ems personell,and their families.

Posted by Matt November 24, 08 06:00 PM

I have to say that my heart goes out to all the families who had to go through this nightmare.
The Firefighters should be comended for all there hard work.

Posted by Kim Jones November 24, 08 06:13 PM

OMG ..

Sofa King, We Todd did (sound it out)

1. People will always use a public forum to get a reaction (ignore them)
2. The real factors on why the fire was so devastating..
* The city did not "shutdown" anything .. the pumps failed, due to the fire itself
* The reverse-911 service to tell people to evacuate did not trigger correctly
Results, people that were not watching the news and/or looking out their windows (imho, foolishly) were ill-prepared to evacuate timely and got out only with pets/life. It likely mattered very little, as it was a struggle for firefighters anyhow. On our street, the real heros(God love the "invincibility" of teenagers) were the 18-22 year old group that stayed behind, against advice and direction to put out several small fires that would have taken additional homes in our neighborhood.

Posted by San Antonio St Dad November 24, 08 06:14 PM

I am alittle hurt #259, but I forgive you and I know my brothers and sisters do too. Firefighting is a hard job. Its not for pleasure working in the black for days on end with no food or water or even sleep. I dont have much I struggle to make rent in a one bedroom apt. and I workfor the forest service. Try losing whole engine knowing they were2 steps shy of there own life on a wildfire that someone started. Try telling the families that there love ones are not heros. You are a sad person We lost engine 57 in the esperanza fire, and they had families, and one was 18yrs old, God Bless everyone out there I love my job it saves lifes with mine on the line!

Posted by southerncal female firefighter November 24, 08 06:21 PM

To all the heros working long and hard to put out these fires and God Bless the homeowners. God Bless You All and thank you. These our people, along with our military, who deserve much much credit. And shame on you people who talk about wealth and you don't feel sorry for these people. You are cruel

Posted by carol pierce November 24, 08 06:27 PM

As the wife of a volunteer fire fighter and an EMT myself, these pictures are just awesome! It never ceases to amaze me how devistating, destructive, and frightening fire can be. My heart and prayers go to all those affected by these massive fires. My best frient friend lives in the hills in Anaheim and I pray and am frightened for her and her family every time I hear about the fires out west. Bless all of you. And to those fire fighters who put their lives on the line every day. Bless you, you are true heroes.

Posted by Debbie Hall November 24, 08 06:35 PM

#259...You are indeed one sick person -- perhaps scorned by a firefighter? Apparently you don't know that nearly all firefighters get hurt at one time or another -- usually many times over. And, they often die young -- more than most all other professions. All have or will attend a firefighter's funeral who died in the line of duty. We also have friends who lost their homes in Yorba Linda this month, and hundreds of friends who are thankful their homes were saved. I don't know you, but I'm glad that you aren't the one out there protecting me or my loved ones. Signed, An LAPD officer's wife who would worry about our child becoming a firefighter.

Posted by LAPD Wife November 24, 08 06:45 PM

Hey #259, I am a Firefighter, and I dont love it because Im paid, I am a volunteer. I dare you to come to my firehouse and say that. Iv been hurt while I was as you say "playing" My wife and kids sit at home right next to the scanner everytime I get a call, that or my wife is right by my side on scene, bringing refreshments to all of us. Its amazing how little you think of us until you need us, we all know your kind, and we do not like your kind. But guess what, when you need us and you call, All the personal stuff gets set aside, we will be there. And please, make sure you thank us because some of us are volunteers, and Thanks is the only pay we get. Keep that in mind before you start blabbing off stupid things again. God Bless

Posted by Greg November 24, 08 06:48 PM

To #259 I'm saddend to hear you speak so very poorly of a firefighter, you dont understand what it is like to be at home wondering if your spouse is ever going to come home to you again, you dont understand the extensive training that is done to become a firefighter, you will never understand what it is like to make a little boy or girl smile because you just saved the family pet, you will never know what it is like to be on an accident scene where you are trying to save a child or loved one for the family member standing next to you crying, the gratification of knowing that you made a differance in someones life by being a help is what it is about . It not about being a hero but the smile you can bring to a complete stranger smile stranger.

Posted by Roxanne November 24, 08 06:50 PM

We live downwind about 15 miles from where the fire jumped the 91 f'wy and firestormed Anaheim hills and fortunately it stopped there due to firefighter efforts but also as the weather changed to an onshore flow which really helped! If it had't God help Irvine and much of Orange County as that firestorm wind was so fast that nothing can stop it! We have the best firefighting men and equipment in the world but when you see that kind of firestorm you head for the ocean and take nothing with you for it takes no prisoners! I think prayer helps!

Posted by Ed Martineau November 24, 08 07:04 PM

Thank God for Firemen!

Posted by Robin November 24, 08 07:10 PM

I am so sad for all those who lost homes in the fires. I feel teririble cause I am sitting here in my warm , cozy living room and those people no longer have thier living rooms. My son was on the Sylmar fire and risked his life to put out the fires.
He does it because he wants to help people and that is his reward. The pay is not great and it is a desire in his heart that drives him not the paycheck. Shame on anyone who dare to talk negative about a firefighter.

Posted by Ava...Proud Mother of a firefighter November 24, 08 07:21 PM


Posted by HUBERT G GRAHAM November 24, 08 07:27 PM

wow...i think 259 lost a few girls to a few firemen!! Firemen rule and always will, I wonder what dave b does sit cowardly behind a desk all day. These guys did an amazing job in yl, if you dont think they are heroes, come see all the homes where the fire burned right up to the houses and they were still saved.

Posted by Lea in yl November 24, 08 07:33 PM

God Bless all the firefighter and everyone who helped save this home's and animals. May all the people get the help they need to start there live's over again.
The firefigher's are Hero's.....

Posted by The Wiseman fanmily November 24, 08 08:02 PM

My husband and I lived in Diamond Bar and San Dimas for years. We watched a huge fire 3 yrs. ago coming over the hill near our business location. I sat outside for many hours, watching the firemen dumping the "red stuff" and going to a reservoir near by to load the "water copters". It was amazing. One night I drove to retail business to watch, and I've never felt the emotion I had that night. I took away the reality that a fire is a "living thing".

Posted by Anonymous November 24, 08 08:06 PM

Geez, I can only hope we have enough money left in the till to help the now homeless that we have been handing out to guys who are flying in private jets and getting mutimillion dollar bonuses.
Something that really goes up in flames as opposed to highly leveraged
gambles on out retiremnet savings.

Posted by Symoathetic American November 24, 08 08:11 PM

Thank goodness for Firemen and Firewomen and their wonderful families. JoAnne Chaffeur, Prescott, AZ

Posted by JoAnne Chaffeur November 24, 08 08:57 PM

God bless all our firefighters....They are heroes and I pray to God to watch over them & keep them safe. My nephew, Christopher is a firefighter in Northern California and I am so proud of him....

Posted by Arlene Artuso November 24, 08 09:11 PM

#259: Sorry to hear you did not pass the entrance exam for the firefighting job you were trying for.
I have seen far to many firefighters die and some that were very Dear to me.
BTW What were you doing last Christmas at 0427?

Thanks for noticing!

Posted by John November 24, 08 09:14 PM

#259 is a troll. He/she made the comment to get everyone all stirred up and, by
the looks of the comments, succeeded. Quit referring to deflate his/her balloon that way.

Posted by I know a troll when I read one November 24, 08 09:24 PM

My prayers are for everyone that Lost their homes in the California fires. I was devastated to hear the news of all the homes that burnt, I live in Georgetown, Texas and happened tp hear the news on the T.V. I left California three years ago and had lived in Santa Clarita, California for seven years. Before that I lived at the Oakridge Mobile Home in Sylmar, California for 10 years. I was hoping to return there. I fell very bad for all the people that lost their homes in the fire. I had lots of friends that lived there. I don't feel comfortable and never had living in Texas. California will always be my home. . Blees you Via Brennan. Georgetown, Tx

Posted by Via Brennan November 24, 08 09:31 PM

I have lived in quite a few states and they all have problems of some sort but I think fire has to be one (if not the) worst. I live in the Santa Clarita Valley and have been pretty close to some of them and they're FRIGHTENINGlllll! I have had two firefighters in close family both retired and one now passed away. The older one was on the second floor of a house when a timber fell on his head and sent him through two floors into the basement. He was never able to work again but by the grace of God was still able to function. He did not die from his injuries. Also friends and in-laws who were firefighters and I think there is not a nobler proffession. I say God bless them over and over. BJS 11/24/08

Posted by Barbara J. Stone November 24, 08 09:36 PM

My daughter lives so close to all the fires. She tells me of all the smoke she drives to work in every day. She is so far from home. I am so proud of all of the time and commitment you all give to people. Your are truley great Americans and we all love you. Thank you for taking care of our country.

Posted by Desiree Price, Lander , Wyoming November 24, 08 09:41 PM

Thank you one and all, your efforts were and are not forgotten. We were visiting from Northern CA for a wedding Nov 15 and we prayed for all of you to be safe. Even though we were celebrating a wedding knowing that we were safe from the fires it was sad to know that while we celebrating their were people being told to leave their homes and their treasures. Life goes on all around tragedy, but we all know that could happen to us. The firefighters and police are heros as well as all those who helped the victims of those horrible fires. May God Bless Each Of You!

Posted by Oscar and Virginia Rodrdiguez November 24, 08 10:10 PM

The evil that these wonderful photos portend. My son-in-law is and has been for some time a fire Captain. Is ALWAYS (when not securing life and safety while risking his own life) training studying new methods. Even I never knew the evils he treks thru. God, he is a nice person. To his wife (my daughter) my heart goes out to you and my grand daughters for the anxiety you deal with on a daily basis. # 259 You are obviously without friends (I wonder why), you suffer from a great deal of envy. Dude, you are one miserable SOB. Sad, damn sad. Captain Don I love you and your Brotherhood.

Posted by Bart Madrid November 24, 08 10:11 PM

THANK you for all you do the fierfighters!!! God confert the people who has lost so much. I can't even imagine what your felling and to live through it I don't live in Cal. but it is one thing to hear about it, then to see it. I can imagine the smell and eyes burning God help us all !!!

Posted by Salazar November 24, 08 10:39 PM

We rebuild our homes in these fire hazard beautiful areas because we love it. Beats the hell out of the concrete and asphalt jungles that you live in. Not dark at all here and we hope it stays that way......asshole. God bless the firefighting heros for they are truely GODS saving agents on earth.

Posted by Anonymous November 24, 08 11:05 PM

Comments about #259. No one should be offended by so sick and shallow as this person who is "sick of hearing" sick because some men "boys" get paid to do a job they learn to like or love for a variety of reasons. Men who work out on or off duty to stay in shape, know how to play games, learn to cook, even chili, and take care of themselves and others.
Sick, and apparently stupid to make such a ignorate comment that 50 percent of all firefighters would be arsonists, if not firemen. This person is apparently of very low self esteme, and seems to prefer more firefighters die in the line of duty to build his sick ego. It may be true that some ladies perfer to show interest in a man with sojme self esteme the give any thought to such a whimpish soul.

I quit the fire department because I did not wish to risk my life any longer for the low pay and leave my wife to raise 5r girls by herself. But, I have the greatest respect for them to this day.

Posted by Richard Barnett November 24, 08 11:12 PM

#259 has his opinion (allbeit) an ignorant one. I am a career firefighter and was in Santa Barbara fighting this fire. #259, We woke up out of bed at 2:30 in the morning, left our families alone for 5 days, and drove 8 hours without sleep from Northern California to help complete strangers, and would do it again in a heart beat. Your comment about how we have no problem accepting the praise is so far from the truth. If you ever got to know any firefighters, you would know how much they hate the spotlight. They do it because they are truely driven to help people, even people as ignorant as yourself.

Posted by JR November 24, 08 11:28 PM

Hey #259, What happened? Did you flunk out of the academy? You are way out of line. my nephew worked his fanny off to become a fireman, while raising a family and giving his wife the attention she deserves. He has worked many of the wildfires in California and has been on the direct fireline for as many as 10 straight days, with limited food, water to drink and rest. He is a great father, husband and Christian man. You may be right in one point, the part about being a boy. He became somebody he has wanted to be since he was a little boy. I wonder how many of us, including yourself, can say that. It was a boyhood dream.

Posted by Mike Natividad November 24, 08 11:36 PM

#422 OLD MAN, If ignorant people are alowwed to continue there warped and heartless opinions to the good God fearing , and caring people of this world and not be challenged, corrected and verbally ass wooped , then they will continue to piss people off and that will only lead to more disruption in our society. You say that you are an old man well Iam not and I refuse to do the rest of my life living with people that are down right IGNORANT AND THEY NEED TO BE CONFRONTED AND CHALLENGED OR THEY WILL JUST CONTINUE TO BERATE OTHERS THAT DONT DESERVE IT. . Old man dont hide from Ignorance confront it and make a differance before you leave GODS Earth.

Posted by BOB TRAITZ November 24, 08 11:57 PM

Where are the super-scoopers???

Posted by Carl Goldbaum November 25, 08 12:10 AM

those photos are mind boggling.. and very well taken. It's a shame that they had to be taken under the circumstances that they were. I am the Captain of a Volunteer brigade in Australia that deals with wildfires......... they say we could be in for those kind of conditions late January and February. Your guys do an excellent job......... spare a thought for those that do it for nothing.

Posted by Fire Captain November 25, 08 12:13 AM

Wee live in in Encinitas of San Diego County I lived near San Fernando Valley
when Oakridges was built , have seen many fires in 46 years in California but never cried the way I did watching these videos ,my heart goes out to all the people that lost their homes .
God Bless all of them ,and all the courageous fire fighters

Posted by Loretta Torti November 25, 08 12:18 AM

After reading over 500 entries of this blog, I have come to realize that we are spending far too much time and energy on comments of the entry from Dave B. He truly needs our prayers. I will especially pray that if his home ever suffers a major fire, he knows how to use a hose.

Posted with a heavy heart.

Posted by Debbie November 25, 08 01:10 AM

There have been fires in those hills since before there were human beings living there. Periodic fires are part of nature's way of clearing and rejuvenating the land. If people do choose to build in an intensely fire-prone area, the risk should be theirs, not subsidized by the government (which means us).

Posted by Llnda November 25, 08 01:58 AM

It is but by the GRACE of GOD that they go out and come back. Even when people don't pay attention to where they build. live or even drink, then drive. We are all still there and always will be. If you want to do this to get rich, stay home, you are of no use to us. We are the brotherhood that will always take of of you. We all have something to be thankful for this year and for me it is that my brothers returned unscathed, so let us be thankful

Posted by J. Heller Capt. Ret. sjfd November 25, 08 02:22 AM

I give so much credit, respect and THANK YOU to all the firefighters who risk their lives everyday to save other lives. Thank you, FIREFIGHTERS, stay safe!

Posted by Lydia Boiles November 25, 08 03:04 AM

If you look in the Dictionary for the definition of BRAVERY, you see the handsome face of a firefighter! I love and appreciate them, as they are true HEROS.

Posted by Mary November 25, 08 03:25 AM

God Bless all that involved in these major disasters, from the firefighters to the people it is affecting, my prayers go out to you, may God step in and take control of this, Mya he give you peace, thankfulness, gratitude. You may not see it now, but if you have you lives, and all you lost is material things. Thank God, That you lost may be gone, but you have your life, God will return back to you all that you have lost, have faith in the one who provides our every need.

Posted by Cynthi Haynes November 25, 08 04:42 AM

In reply to those who wish that the college kids who accidently started this fire be prossecuted to the fullest extent of the law: In order for charges to be pressed against them the prossecution must prove three things, that they did it, that they did it intentionally, and they did it malliciouly, to create harm. They were ten kids sitting around a fire having a good time. When it came time to put the fire out, they thought they had done so, unfortunatley later the next day the embers reignited and stared this horrific blaze that is now know as the Tea Fire. In 2006, there was a bad fire known as The Gap fire. They have a 16 year old boy in custody who is going to be prosecuted for starting this fire because they can prove all above that I have just mentioned. All laws vary from sate to state but for the most part the core parts all stay the same. The kids came forward and said that they believed that they believed that they had stared this fire, that that weakens the prosecutions case of intent. I don't know if they will be able to charge them with arson because that is a very violent crime and a felony on top of that. They have come forward and accepted responsibility, that alone is so much more than most kids would do today. I would think maybe criminal negligence or another lesser charge and a fine, but without intent or malice the prosecution has no case. And in when being charged with a felony you have to be indcted by the grand jury. When the prosecution brings a case before the grand jury the three things they look for to indict a person on any charge is commision of the act, intent, and malice. Without those three things chances are that they will not hand down the indictment. There are a lot of issues that the prosecution and district attorney need to take into consideration as they deside wether or not to prosecute. Also, the reputation of the kids will come into play as well, they were in college, if they have prior records, and if there was alcohol or drugs involved that night. There is just so much to take into consideration.

Posted by Anonymous November 25, 08 04:44 AM

Where to start? I'm in law enforcement, and by virtue of circumstances I have little. I live in a house without real flooring, we live on the subfloors. My kitchen countertops are made of pressboard until I can afford better. Even in my circumstances I cling to the American dream, and understand that those who ridicule the rich only do so of envy and bitterness toward those who have worked harder, been more creative, wisely chosen careers, or in some cases blindly stumbled into wealth for reasons beyond anyone's understanding. For one to be so calloused as to lack compassion for another who has lost everything, every family treasure, every photo, all that once was their life, is beyond comprehension. Where has the American spirit gone, the spirit of compassion for those in need, the spirit of responsibility to our fellow mankind to aid and assist in moments of calamity? How I long for the day that Americans might first know what the golden rule is, and then actually go about living it rather than finding fault in one another. While we are at it, would it be so difficult to just say thank you to those who risk more than a promotion or a sales bonus, even their very lives, to provide the services in society that protect our families and possessions. Wake up and come back to your roots America, this selfish mentality will undermine us to our very core, and we can best start our change by looking inwardly. a

Posted by sad soul November 25, 08 05:42 AM

These photos give me a new appreciation for the work these firefighters are doing..... I pray God will protect each one from harm.

The photos also remind me that in the book of Revelation it says God will destroy the world the second time by fire (the first was by flood). How awful it will be for those who are living at the time which may be sooner than we all think

Posted by Donna Chapman November 25, 08 05:45 AM

This kind of disaster would never happen if a little common sense were used about where not to build homes. You know that it is going to happen, but the dummies build there anyway. Duh!

They screwed up, let them pay for it. Sorry, nobody ever bailed me out when I made a stupid decision.

Posted by BHG November 25, 08 06:40 AM

All are in my thoughts and prayers. The devastation is heartbreaking.

Posted by Lisa Brattain November 25, 08 08:48 AM

comment 259, dave, your an idiot. we don't get hurt because we do a jobs safely, albeit sometimes something happens that we don't have control of and it ends up hurting us, that's part of the job. i read your comments and i won't have a knee jerk reaction, but you're still an idiot. the next time your mangled into a car wreck after being hit from a drunk driver, we'll say to ourselves, "hey, this is dave b, maybe we should let him figure out how to get his body out of the twisted metal". if you were out to rile up the firefighters, congratulations, it worked. you sound jealous, you must be a suit and tie guy, sorry, not my lifestyle. from this retired 20 years service air force firefighter.

Posted by karl w. November 25, 08 09:03 AM

The only thing that need to be said it 10 words or less is: The three little pigs..
if you build your house out of wood and combustable materials that will eventually burn, then you need to have your head examined.. especially if you build/own a home where wildfires are known to happen all the time..
Moral of this California wildfire tragedy: build homes out of concrete and steel.. Write a bill, pass a law , just do something to mandate the three little pigs theory!!!
MD1 .N.Y.C.

Posted by Three little pigs dont worry about wildfires.. MD1 ..N.Y.C. November 25, 08 09:15 AM

God Bless all the Brave Men and Women who put their live on the line everyday to fight these fires.. And to the Three little pigs from New York, I live in Texas, and we lost a whole town due to a grass fire, this happens every where, so do you think everyone should build their home out of concrete and steel? and is your home made that way, because wildfires happen in every state...... So God Bless all who fight to keep us safe.......

Posted by Joy November 25, 08 10:18 AM

Three Little Pigs would roast good on a bed of concrete or brick. Makes a beautiful oven!

Posted by Rudy Napoli November 25, 08 10:43 AM

To all those who think that firefighters are overrated or unneeded, please feel free to NOT call when YOUR home is on fire. These guys put their lives on the line for ungrateful people like you every day. That ALONE would make them heros. The fact that it is a calling to protect the lives and property of those they don't even know by putting their own lives at risk makes it all the more heroic.
I salute them! (and thank them for quickly getting the PV fire behind MY home put out)


Posted by Lomita Resident November 25, 08 11:10 AM

fotos muito boas.... mas revelam uma realidade,... coisas materiais não são confiaveis,são transitórias e irreais...

Posted by Edvaldo Brasil November 25, 08 11:13 AM

Espero que se sofoque pronto. Animo desde España.
good luke, from Spain

Posted by marcos November 25, 08 11:14 AM

I wonder if all of those who house did burn down are out there declaring the "firefighter" are heroes - what a bunch of crap - they got paid double time and a half and going to have a wonderful holiday - on top of that they are asking for ANOTHER pay raise while many of us are unemployed or have seen our pay go down as much as 30% - actually it's insulting and as community servants the firemen ought to be ashamed of themselves - how much more will the taxpayers have to carry - if it's such a bad job how come 5000 applicants show up for the five jobs available - what makes them any more of a hero then the ditch digger or the school teacher - we have our priorties screwed up....

Posted by David Bierly November 25, 08 12:19 PM

To #259 Until you`ve walked a mile in their shoes, you should probably keep you thoughts to your self. I`ve been there, I`ve done that! It`s more that just a job, it`s a dedication.

Posted by Chuck Snyder November 25, 08 12:23 PM

All I have to say, from a wife of a firefighter whose husband went and fought these fires and risked his own life so save hearts and homes. Why don't the people who don't like firefighters put some turn outs on and protect your own damn house so my housband can come home! Ungrateful SOB!

Posted by LOVE MY FIREMAN November 25, 08 12:28 PM

OK, so I had to go to the other page to read #259 because there were so many comments about that posting. What a jerk. There are those of us who just give more than they take. They risk their lives to do so. Military, firefighters, law enforcement are all in that group. An then there are those like 259, who just don't get it.
My brother-in-law is a fireman. He has NEVER gone to work for a day when he did not risk his life to help others, mostly becuase of their carelessness. He has little time to eat chili and play cards. That's more for idiots like 259 to do.

Posted by $100 Bill November 25, 08 12:36 PM

I can't say I'm a huge fan of fiorefighters myself but I believe its mostly jealousy on my part. You people need to chill with your firefighter bashing. These guys stick their necks out for everyone, 24 hour shifts are hard especailly when your up all night. And a lot of these guys never get that premium pay you think they all get, a lot of them are wildland guys (the real firefighters) who get payed very little and/ or volunteers. Give em a break, they are heroes as much symbolically as they are literally. Thank you CA firefighters, from a dep.

Posted by pdiddy November 25, 08 12:42 PM

Here is a great example of how the news media has so brainwashed people with their "class envy" and "class warfare" mantras. Any loss of property or life is horrendous no matter how wealthy or poor you are. The wealthy provide goods and services and jobs, one of which my husband has. It grieved me to see the loss of homes. I hope they can all rebuild and regain their sense of normalicy. As to people who rebuild in the same areas, can anyone tell me the "perfectly safe" place to build? It's not only natural disasters that affect us. Home invasions are just as devastating! God Bless our firefighters!!!

Posted by Jill Nelson November 25, 08 12:46 PM

May God be with all who protects us be it police firefighters or all the men overseas ,they are here for us so no matter what we all should be here for them . I pray every night for all of them .They are very special people and may God Bless Each One of them . Just a Caring Grandmother

Posted by vicki noble November 25, 08 12:48 PM

Go reread Old Man's first 3 lines again.He has it right: Like it or not there will ALWAYS be people you don't agree with whether it
is their lifestyle, habits, opinions or whatever. In America that's everyone's RIGHT; to have an unpopular opinion
or whatever else is legal to have that just irritates people. Confronting those you disagree with may very well reduce your standing in
the community and certainly at the family reunion... and it would be a full time lifelong endeavor. This reminds me of an old saying

" Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig."

Want to make a Firefighter's day? Stop at your local Firehouse and just say "Thanks for being here"

Posted by Harold Hedd , Capt,Ret CFD November 25, 08 01:11 PM

Even though material possessions may be lost, I hope and pray that lives are not, and that God will help everyone affected by these devastating fires by giving them renewed hope and the courage for overcome their hardships. God will help you, but you must have faith. After all, it’s the character that’s the strongest that God gives the most challenges to. Take it from someone who knows.

I would also like to send a response to Dave B (#259) who posted a very derogatory post against firefighters: First of all, you ignorant fool, firefighters are one of the most underrated professions in our socienty. If you want to steer your anger to who is grossly overrated, look no further than the stinking celebrities in this country, most of whom ironically, live in California!—some of the very people (and their properties) the firefighters in California are trying to save. Some people look upon them as heroes. Please! Celebrities are a bunch of doped up, pampered, egotistical, condescending, back stabbing, money grabbing me-whores on the planet. They drench themselves in luxury and scream if something is not done to their satisfaction. They should all go out into the real world and see how the rest of us have to live. They wouldn’t last an afternoon in a firefighter’s uniform, and God knows they could never, ever fill their boots! Although I do not wish them or their properties harm, my prayers are mostly for the firefighters battling the blazes and to the poor people who have lost everything and don’t have the means to rebuild or replenish what they lost.

Firefighters, when devastations like this arise, are away from their families days or weeks at a time, with little or no sleep, putting their own lives in danger to save other people, and even family pets. It’s more than a job to them, it’s a commitment that they make to themselves to preserve life, no matter what the cost. For some people, human life is not important, but to a firefighter, human life is to be protected and preserved, at any cost. One doesn’t have to be a firefighter or be married to one to see how dedicated they are to helping people…people they don’t even know. Their emotionally thick armor has helped them through the toughest of tragedies...tragedies we can only image.

Putting out fires is not the only job of a firefighter. Day in and day out, there are other emergencies that firefighters respond to. They are frequently the first emergency personnel at the scene of a traffic accident or medical emergency and may be called upon to treat injuries or perform other vital functions. They wear many hats, but the most important one of all is the firefighter’s helmet. For without firefighters, cities and towns would not survive, and neither would some of the people they've helped along the way. My heart broke in a million pieces on September 11, 2001 when I saw all those firefighters run into the towers while people were running out. The bravery that they exhibited not just on that day, but every day of their lives, deserves the proper respect and admiration that we could give them.

Firefighters do not get the high salaries you think they do. Even if they did, it’s a small price for what they do every day. They are deserving of so much more, but some have to resort to second jobs just to make ends meet because they don’t bring home the fat paycheck you think they do. David B or #259, you are despicable and judging from your post, I’d say not only do you lack good sense and judgment, you also lack education. Go back to school because you still have a lot to learn. Better yet, go out and get a firefighter’s position, if you can—they are very picky about whom they choose for such a dangerous, yet important job. Work that job, if you get it, for even a month and then come back and see if your views are the same. See if you think that firefighting is, as you put it, “FUN”. I’ll bet that you would swallow that false pride of yours and apologize to every single firefighter for your very irrational words.

May God bless all firefighters who risk their own lives every day for the sake of others. Please know that most of the world knows what you do selflessly every day . We send prayers to you on a daily basis that you are able to go home to your loved ones, healthy and unharmed.

I’m including the Firefighter Code of Ethics here for inspiration to all, and to educate Dave B (aka #259), who obviously needs the lesson…



"As a firefighter and member of the International Association of Fire Fighters, my fundamental duty is to serve humanity; to safeguard and preserve life and property against the elements of fire and disaster; and maintain a proficiency in the art and science of fire engineering.

I will uphold the standards of my profession, continually search for new and improved methods and share my knowledge and skills with my contemporaries and descendants.

I will never allow personal feelings, nor danger to self, deter me from my responsibilities as a firefighter.

I will at all times, respect the property and rights of all men and women, the laws of my community and my country, and the chosen way of life of my fellow citizens.
I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the fire service. I will constantly strive to achieve the objectives and ideals, dedicating myself to my chosen profession--saving of life, fire prevention and fire suppression.

As a member of the International Association of Fire Fighters, I accept this self-imposed and self-enforced obligation as my responsibility."

Posted by QueenBee November 25, 08 01:12 PM

I dont evan know what to say othen than I wish I could help each and every person that was affected by this. i live in yorba linda and it sadens me to drive by and watch as these people have lost every thing...... There will be a light at the end of every ones tunnel..... God Bless your family and u will all be in our prayers !!!

Posted by shanna meraz November 25, 08 01:18 PM

I love my Fireman, he is my Hero and many of the people in his community thank and love HIM too.Aren't we to help our fellow man? Job well done>!! We appreciate your selflessness. God Bless you!!!

Posted by Pamela Applegate Ca November 25, 08 01:34 PM

It looks like a war and it is a shadow of future disasters that are coming as the country and the people become more and more evil.
Bible’s prophecy says: “They suffered from severe pain and cursed God, but they did not repent”.

Posted by Alex November 25, 08 01:41 PM

There ought to be a law against ,and i mean a stiff law to the person or persons who commit these violent acts. good heavens who do these kids belong to....are they so busy with there own lives not to notice that their kids are asking for attention from them....oh my what is this world comming to... pray with them...not send them away... if all these parents would daily read the bible to them they would have some fear in them not to committ these terrible acts against others....

Posted by Sue November 25, 08 01:48 PM

May GOD bless all the firemans, for their heroic efforts, it is terribly sad to see
all these homes and families being dis-plac-ed, Our prayers are certainly with them.

Posted by Max Butler November 25, 08 02:09 PM

Awesome photos.

Posted by Anonymous November 25, 08 02:19 PM

life will get bettr,,,MINTLFE

Posted by scabs gabriel November 25, 08 02:21 PM

I cannot believe that more of these home owners didn't have some fire fighting equipment of their own. God knows they could afford it. A 2 or three inch hose with powerfull pump that runs on diesel to slip into your swimming pool and you are all
set. You'd have had to be in that trailer park not to be able to save your home, although some neighborhoods in Yorba Linda might have been unstoppable but from the pics I've seen most of the Montecito and some other homes could have been saved with a serious home owner or two here and there. A 2" or 3" hose long enough to go to the front of the house and a big pump for the always full pool. If you are going to build in these areas then be prepared. I don't understand this? I guess it is the American way to let everyone else do everything for you. And while there were no firemen in the area those homes burned while neighbors didn't. I'd have had half an army of nephews and bbrothers in-law and neighbors helping me save my place, then we'd have had one hella party. But then, I'm not new to California! Earthquakes might be harder to combat but this is just shear stupidity and lack of preparedness for many of these homeowners here. What were they doing while their home burned up touring in europe? I mean comon, a lot of those pictrures a family could have doused. They give the evac and everyone left nobody to fight the fire. So do you think maybe they were so far in debt that they... But hey, get the pump and hoses if you live somewhere like that guys comon!

Posted by John E. November 25, 08 02:44 PM

Carl, Thought you might want to see these pictures. Mark Benton if you remember him sent these to me and he and Jana live in Fla now.
He was the guy who did your brick work in Yorba Linda.
Love Ya, Jeff

Posted by Carl J Pendleton November 25, 08 02:52 PM

can we get these pics in a higher resolution?

Posted by Sup November 25, 08 03:31 PM

It's interesting how many people are thanking God for sparing lives and homes. If you believe in God you must also believe that he allowed the fires to start and to burn many homes and take many lives. You can't have it both ways.

Instead, I would recommend thanking the firefighters, and also those homeowners wise enough to invest in good fire-safe roofs and landscaping so as to keep their homes from burning (and thus keeping their neighbors' homes safer as well).

Posted by Dawn November 25, 08 03:44 PM

#541 You express your concern for what seems to you to be a common sense answer to protect these homes. You obviously haven't been in a wild fire. With winds at 70 mph, humidity below 5% and temperatures above 100 degrees, fire comes at you like a burning locomotive. Firemen train for it and even then still get hurt and occasionally killed. You and your army of nephews and brothers-in-law having a "lets show 'em how to protect my house" party wouldn't stand a chance in that hell and would require valuable fire resources to save your asses. The shear stupidity would be yours. Get smart. Get out!

Posted by Chief Henson, BFD (ret) November 25, 08 03:50 PM

#259... Keep talking... It makes you look stupid.... I am a VOLUNTEER firefighter. I love the look people give me after i help them. Yes, we love what we do, because it HELPS people. I am not a paid firefighter, but even the NY firefighters aren't that well paid. And no.. firefighters don't just "work out" most of the time. They train, to do their job better, and so they don't get hurt or killed. To be a firefighter a person has to have a strict moral code that they live by. Most firefighters have a girlfriends or wifes, but they don't just hit on every girl they see. How often do you see a person wearing a fire department shirt thats actually on a fire department? My uncle is on a fire department as well, but I have never seen him wear a fire department shirt. He actually doest even talk about the fire department unless you ask, because he doesn't need to brag. He doesn't need the glory. And honestly, when you need the fire department, and you probably will someday, I hope you understand what they really do and who they are. Cause remember, they are there to help you.

Posted by A.T. Herrick November 25, 08 04:49 PM

Thank you for the pictures to show us what is happening. Blessing to all those who are fighting the fires and doing what they can to help. May Kindness be there for those in need.

Posted by Della November 25, 08 04:55 PM

#259 gave me a good laugh.... obviously he posted that for a reaction and it seems he got it.

On another note... my husband is a firefighter and I must say that every day he wakes up with a benevolent smile... not to mention his angelic personality, his incredible body from working out 12 hours a day, championship poker playing skills, and chili to die for makes him one hell of a ladies man!!!!

On a SERIOUS note... my thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost their homes in the fire. Firefighters ARE our heroes and they do ONE HELL of a job!!!!!!

Posted by LV November 25, 08 05:03 PM

I'm embarassed for people like #255, #259, and Minime...they are lucky that we live in a country where we are all unconditionally protected 24/7. They are lucky that we have people who will fight for us without prejudice. They are lucky these people fight for our safety even if we are pointing fingers and throwing rocks at them. WE are lucky that we have strong men and women who understand the greater good and save us from ourselves everyday. My heart goes out to all emergency personel and their families for giving up what they do to protect me and my family. I pray that the unthankful never have to use their services...I don't believe that they would appreciate them even then.

Posted by V November 25, 08 05:24 PM

Chief, John does have a point though. I heard of a story of just a few cops who, working in unison, were able to save at least one home, with only garden hoses. Sometimes evacuating isn't always the best answer I reckon.

Posted by pdiddy November 25, 08 05:49 PM

I am very sad to read #259 comments. My dad ro was a firefighter for over 46 years in Watts, CA - LAFD station 64 and saved many lives. He wasa very humble guy and would not look it at that way. Station 64 is one of the busiest firestations and that never sleeps. No joking the station gets calls all night long to protect lives. These firefighters go into danger didn't you see the pictures #259? What is wrong with you?? Also I recommend to #259 that you next year go to the Fallen Fire Fire Memorial Wall in Colorad Springs, CO which their name is on the wall because these firefighters have died in the line of duy while trying to save others. It is truly amazing!! Look at the website My dad worked both riots in the 60's and the Rodney King Riot. Firefighters wil not care if your rich or poor but what matters to them is saving lives!

I lost my dad last year he had cancer which was worked related. What #259 does not understand is truly they are finding out that a lot of firefighters are getting cancer due the the chemicals they are breathing in when they go fight the fires. I pray #259 that you look at these firefighters different now. When I saw all the fires I said a prayer to keep all the firefighters safe and protected. Firefighters thank you for all your hard work you are a truly special breed!!!

Posted by Lori Goodwin November 25, 08 05:58 PM

I live in New-Calédonia, South Pacific.

My heart goes to all the firefighters who risk their lives to save other lives.
They are real heros,may God bless them all and keep them safe.
I lost my house in a fire, but I have never seen such devistation.

Posted by Andrée BAUMIER November 25, 08 06:01 PM

I went to the University of Washington to study Forest Fire Science. I thought I could make a living doing controlled burns in California around L.A. Controlled burns are the only way to keep the fuel level of the forest down so that when a fire does break out it is manageable.

I learned that my job would be fighting the government instead, jumping through this hoop then another then another......The government does not want controlled burns. So this is the result.


Posted by Robert Fletcher November 25, 08 06:10 PM

All I can say is our heart goes out to all the Fire-Fighters, Fire-Victims, & familes of all that have been affected in anyway by these tragedies. Last year we were threatened by the fires here in Foothill Ranch. I cant even tell you how scared we were. We were lucky thanks to the heroic efforts of all the firefighters! Was everyone as lucky as Bless you all.
I am currently in the works of putting together a donation drive for the Yorba Linda victims. If anyone knows where I can drop these items off...please let me know. Thanks

Posted by Christina Simon November 25, 08 07:02 PM

to #259. Sounds like you should grow a pair!!! A Little jealous that people show their gratitude to our hard working firefighters who put their lives on the line to "get a pay check". Whether they are here in California fighting 20 foot brush fires or trapped in a 100 story high rise in NYC they ARE heros as is our military fighting for this country. How many of us go to work each day may not go home to our families? NOT too many!!!

Posted by ducksbunny November 25, 08 07:04 PM

My husband & I lost our home of 22 years in the 1991 Berkely/Oakland Fire. We escaped with what we wore + our 2 cats and 1 dog. We lost 5 dear friends in that horrendous disaster and we were the only ones of our immediate neighbors to get our dear pets. I will not read #259 as that comment does not deserve it. We lost all baby pictures, precious family heirlooms and part of ourselves. We never see a new fire break out that our hearts do not stop in a moment of prayer for the heroes and the victims.

Posted by Fred & Susie Thomas November 25, 08 07:10 PM

I am a Firefighter with 23+ years of service. God willing, I'll add 7 years to that total before I'm done. It warms my heart to read so many positive comments regarding my brother and sister Firefighters. In all my years, I've never considered myself a hero and I bet any Firefighter you talk to would say the same. Hero - no, Lucky -yes, very. We love our jobs and are willing to risk anything (even our lives) to do it right. As for the "haters" out there. Even after reading how you feel - Yes, we'de even risk our lives for you! Bet you couldn't say the same. And I can live with that. If it's heros you want, start here - 1434 - The number of on duty Firefighter fatalities from '98-'07.

Posted by CA Firefighter November 25, 08 07:19 PM

I hope and pray for the families of this most recent fire. I am originally from Calif. and remember all the terrible fires in Riverside, San Diego, Orange County, and L.A. counties. Every year Calif. is hit terribly. Good Luck and God Bless .

Posted by nancy November 25, 08 07:21 PM

I am not a fire fighter but my brother was one once and I was always proud of what he did at any fires whether the home could be saved or not was in God's hands and the severity of the blaze. I think they all deserve a BIG thank you for all they do. I remember a few years back when firemen and women were flown from our area to help out there with some of the wild fires and they came back with more knowledge and respect for others who do their jobs as well as they do. My prayers go out to those people who have lost their homes and God Bless them and the fire fighters.. Sickness,plague,or any thing else doesn't know if you are rich or poor it strikes any one at any time and we should always remeber where we came from.

Posted by P. McMahon,NY November 25, 08 08:09 PM

To all of you who bless us with your praise; thank you. May God provide to you all of what you have prayed for for us. Always remember that the strongest among us may never wear crowns, and we can not do our job if it wasn't for the support and affection constantly bestowed upon us from you. May God Bless all you and I wish you a wondeful Thanksgiving

Posted by A California Firefighter November 25, 08 08:16 PM

I'm praying for all the victims of this fire in California, especially the people in Sylmar--a lot of them are not well-off at all and won't be able to rebuild their house. It would be hard for them to start all over again. But I always believe that in every sacrifice & suffering that we experience, something good will happen at the end.
And for #259--GO TO HELL STUPID IDIOT!!!!

Posted by JOJO November 25, 08 09:25 PM

In 1971 I was on a large fire just east of the Monticito burn. We lost three firemen on that fire. The Los Padres Forest Supervisor immediately changed the entire forest focus from fire fighting to fuels management. He worked with every method he knew to involve the Santa Barbara area communities to support fuel reduction activities in their back yard. The communities would not support these efforts. Some 20-odd years later, after multiple warnings from Forest Service and fire ecologists, Santa Barbara lost hundres of homes from a wildfire just west of the current Montecito burn. Evidently the communities, including Montecito, will still not support fuels management in their back yard. So Robert (#553) I truly hope
that it was not Forest Service foot dragging that causes your frustration. I also
hope that you stick with your endeavor. The ghost of that long ago Forest Supervisor and I will much appreciate it.

Posted by Alon Carter November 25, 08 09:30 PM

A lot of this could have been prevented. Go to this company reduces the fire load and forest fuels for wildland interface situations.

Posted by Royce Horton November 25, 08 09:45 PM

And still the USA stalls on reducing GHG emissions. If this were contained to the USA, I wouldn't complain, but the nation with the biggest emissions per capita is taking us all on the road to hell

Posted by Pholigistication November 25, 08 09:56 PM

Great Spirit, For those that have lost their loved ones, homes and so much more - surround them with the Grace of Your Healing Light and protect them as they move forward.
For the Bravest of the Brave. For the Warriors that put their lives on the line everytime they step onto the field of a firey inferno - surround them with the protection of your heavenly Angels and send Archangel Michael and his Sword of Protection to guide them and lead the way for them and all they protect to safety.

Posted by Rene November 25, 08 10:50 PM

Great pictures, depressing comments.

Why do I get the idea that the vast majority of people here are simply repeating the same sentimental, chest-beating jingosism that they learned after 9/11? The whole thing reads like some weird pseudo-religious "militaristic-christianity" love-fest. Check out #445... wtf?

I mean seriously religious nuts, isn't God kindof responsible for this fire in the first place?

Great photos though.

Posted by Nick Taylor November 25, 08 11:36 PM


Posted by EMILIE AVERY November 25, 08 11:37 PM

I Wish I could heelp those people.I feel aBig hurt in my heart for them, Becase it could be me without a Home,Clothing, Car, and all the picture of there Family Members gone, People Keep the Faith GOd Will See you All Through it All. I will Be Praying for all of you, God Speed.

Posted by Hattie November 25, 08 11:41 PM

My heart goes out to all the people who losr their homes. We have all worked hard for what we have. An expensive home or an inexpensive home is all the same to the owners We love our possions our pictures and our memories.I know some people weather rich or modest income will have a hard time rebuilding some bacause of their age and some because no insurance. My heart and prayers goes out to each and every one of you. We have the best fire fighters here in California Weather it be day to day small problems or major fires. You all put your lives on the line for us may the Lord bless each one of you and your families.

Posted by Sharlene Stephens Chino Hills November 25, 08 11:46 PM

I spent 25 years as a Firefighter in SO.Calif.Spent many hours and days fighting fires. In the citys and in the mountains. Yes in our spare time we got to watch T.V. cook chili and enjoy our selves. But no one notices the hours we spent on training, Or the days stuck in some canyon in the mountains trynig to save homes and property. How many of you complainers have a bad back - bad lungs and bad hearing, job related, Now living on a small disability pension $2100. per month. I wouldnt have traded my Fire Dept. time for any other job. So you complainers get a life and dont KNOCK our firefighters.

Posted by Larry LaFontaine November 26, 08 12:45 AM

I was a sector boss on the 1971 fire that comment #562 refers to - the Romero Fire. Four years later, I was a District Ranger on the same forest, the Los Padres National Forest. His comments are accurate, in the context that fuel reduction is the most practical method to reduce these fires. But the political and financial reality is that fuel reduction is difficult to implement, as the general public does not want vegetation manipulation close to their homes. The forest tried numerous methods, including: grazing by goats, prescribed burning, machine clearing and hand clearing. - and herbicide treatments are not accepted.

Posted by Bruce VanZee November 26, 08 01:05 AM

All I can say after reading the comments and seeing the pictures Is God bless the fire fighters and families in this time of troubles and may we pray for those that judge others. Only God will in the end judge each and everyone of us. Trust in him and pray and believe that he will carry you through

Posted by Anonymous November 26, 08 01:29 AM

How much of these constant wild fires is due the fact that Bill Clinton at the behest of the nature Nazi's, or other tree hugging freaks, would not allow back burning, undergrowth clearing, and clear cutting areas to make fire breaks to avoid such catastrophes? Even the North American Indians understood hundreds-even thousands of years ago, that the fires would come yearly, and they would be wiped out by them if they did not manage there living area properly.

Posted by T Levek November 26, 08 06:31 AM

this is for # are the most gutless person on this earth..maybe you could'nt make the firefighters course..and MAD..well maybe you will be standing there watching your home or family..go up in flames..and just maybe they will ignore the alarm because they are working out..U R SICK.

Posted by lynn November 26, 08 08:25 AM

#259- You were problably one that could not pass the physical agility test and are still hurt. Maybe it was the psychological test you could not pass. Either way don't hate those that do what you can't.

Posted by Seth P November 26, 08 08:52 AM

It saddens me that people like #259 are out there. Regardless of the reasons for becoming a firefighter those that go out there and fight the fires DO put their lives on the line. And YOU and YOUR family may need them some time....Your ignorance shines brighter than So Cal flames.....Grow up...

Posted by Transplant to VT November 26, 08 09:02 AM

All the gov was trying to do is get rid of that massive pot farm.OOPPPPs Same thing happened in Berkeley and Santa Cruz I sure wish they were more acurate with the pre-spray,

Posted by slb November 26, 08 09:52 AM

I think #259 should go work with the "boys" for a month or so. He has no idea what's really involved in being a firefighter. To begin with, anytime a fire occurs there are risks (if not from the blaze itself from other circumstances surrounding it). He's also not taking into account the car wrecks that firefighters have to go to even if all they can do is pull a dead body, perhaps that of an innocent child, out of the wreck. They also have the "joy" of risking their lives to save idiots who ignore water barricades during flooding. The job is so far from what he talks about that it makes me wonder if he really wanted to be a fireman and couldn't pass the test!!!!!

Posted by Bethe November 26, 08 10:10 AM

I'm so tired of the self-righteous blaming the environmentalists, or President Bush, or anyone else for what happened here. I live in Yorba Linda. I was evacuated. The fires came withing blocks of my house. My family was very fortunate to have a home to come back to. I drove through the streets in my city, and saw first-hand the devestation this blaze caused. Anyone who is busy placing blame where it doesn't belong wasn't here. You didn't see the fire sweep through these hills, and claim these homes. I did. It wasn't a matter of various departments being ill-prepared. That fire swept through here so quickly, there was little that anyone could do. By the time I voluntarily evacuated (the mandatory orders came later), it looked like Armaggedon. To correct the self-righteous, Yorba Linda hasn't had a fire come through here in over thirty years. We have a very diverse community - yes, we've got multi-million dollar homes, but you've also got families like mine, who are struggling to make ends meet. It's still someone's home that has been destroyed. Have you no empathy for those who have been hit by a natural disaster? Are all the citizens of this community to blame for an arsonist's idea of a good time? Are we to blame for the Santa Ana's that blow through Southern California? This country suffers from tornado's, hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes... News flash - these are called natural disasters for a reason.

My husband has been trying to get in the fire service for six years. We've got several friends who are firefighters. Yes, they're little boys who love to play with fire. They're also the ones who voluntarily risk their lives constantly to run into a burning building, while everyone else is running out. You folks who are so incredibly condemning and judgemental obviously have never had a fire effect your life. You obviously have never walked down to a fire station during a disaster situation to give them food and bottled water. If you had, you would have seen the gratitude on their faces. They work for DAYS on end, with no rest, in heavy, hot gear, protecting YOUR homes, frequently in extreme heat. Our friend was one of the firefighters injured during this blaze. She didn't deserve to be injured, it was the most terrifying moment in her life, and she'd gladly do it again to save some stranger's home. So while you sit there, thinking that all they do is lounge around all day and play with fire, you remember that. THAT's their job. Get off your high horses, and have some appreciation, and some sympathy for the people who's homes were destroyed in this tragedy, to no fault of their own. So while you sit there at your computer, in your warm little home, remember that they now have NOTHING. Are we such a sad society, that we actually feel that justice has been served because someone with a pool in their backyard has had their home burned to nothing but ashes?!

Posted by GAT November 26, 08 10:16 AM

Thank god it is finally over and pray that the people whos houses burned live on.

Posted by Kyle November 26, 08 11:01 AM

Dave B. (comment #259), you sir, are a total ignoramous who knows nothing about what it's like to be a firefighter. I have been a volunteer firefighter for several years in the small communities I've lived in here in Kansas and while it's not exactly the same as a full time firefighter, we all do it for the same help people in their time of need. I don't know how many times I was woke up in the middle of the night to jump up and go try to help save someone's house or to fight a pasture fire that some idiot started by throwing his cigarette out the car window instead of using the ashtray like they should have. This was also after I had worked my regular job all day and knowing that I had to be back there that morning, but still getting up anyways. I didn't do it for the glory and I damn sure never got any girls either, but I DID get a good feeling of satisfaction from helping out my fellow man. All I can say is Thank God for the people who do these kinds of jobs, from the firefighters to the EMT's and police, to all branches of the military, who put their lives on the line for our society's protection and well-being. And Dave, I hope you never have to experience the heartbreak of losing everything you own in a fire, but rest assured that firefighters will show up to help you in your time of need, regardless of your personal disdain for them.

Scott Kraus


Posted by Scott Kraus November 26, 08 12:05 PM

In response to 259...I wish you had been a Bret Tarver's(Phoenix FD) funeral. He died when the roof of a burning building collapsed. Watching his widow was enough to chill you to the bone, especially when "time to say goodbye" by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brigtman was played. Bret wasn't playing cards or making chili, he was out trying to protect the property of the taxpayers who pay his salary...Get a life.....or better yet....become a firefighter if you have the b*lls.

Posted by CJ November 26, 08 12:27 PM

I think the firemen did a fantastic job against the strong winds, etc. Fire is so deadly and such a live living thing. We are blessed to have great firemen in California as well in all the other states , I feel thankful this Thanksgiving to have my home in tact and pray that the people that have lost their homes get the financial help they need to rebuild.

Posted by Heather Friend November 26, 08 12:33 PM

I can't describe my feelings for those poor people. I hope they get some shelter and food somewhere and I really hope that they have insuranc those poor poor poor people

Posted by Anonymous November 26, 08 12:39 PM

I will say this in regards to #259's comments, first I am a firefighter for over 18 years. I work in a large city in Florida. The definition of a hero is "one of ordinary status that does extraordinary things" I do not necessarily buy into the mindset that firefighters are heros, they do what they do because they love it. We enjoy helping others and like the action. We, unfortunately do not "get all the women" nor do we get "paid extremely well". Would you if offered the opportunity, go into harms way for 50K? knowing you may not come out alive.
Firefighters would not be arsonists, they do not workout everyday, they do not eat chile. They do however spend a great deal of time training perfecting their skills, they do have some of the best equipment at taxpayer expense, but then again I am sure you would not want us to use substandard equipment if you were in danger. At budget tiem, the fire department is the first one to take a decrease in funds.
So 259, one must look at the whole picture, and as for the fact that not many get hurt...I have 343 friends that would disagree with you in New York.

Posted by fireman Mike November 26, 08 12:46 PM

Thanks heaven I don't know where this country is!!!

Posted by Fonda November 26, 08 01:38 PM

Can never give enough thanks to all the Firemen and all the people who help.
I thank GOD everyday for the people so willing to help.

Posted by cajun girl November 26, 08 01:39 PM


Posted by cHAR November 26, 08 01:51 PM

Wildfire burning dozens or hundreds of homes in Montecito is nothing new to Californians, but the real tragedy is that most of them could have been easily saved if only the owners had been informed how. Note in the video that houses are burning but not vegetation. Experts have long known that most houses catch fire through flaming embers blown into the attic vents, and simply putting fine screening material over the vents to keep the sparks out will prevent the loss of two thirds or more. The reason for this problem is twofold; CA building codes have long required screening to be 1/4 inch or larger, which will not stop embers adequately, and our politicians and even media have steadfastly refused to acknowledge the problem. See for full explanation.

I have tried for months to warn as many people as I can, but I'm only one guy. Our city council members and county supervisors have refused to discuss it and media folks are defensive about it for some reason. Somebody has to inform the public of the situation.

Posted by Gus Davis November 26, 08 02:07 PM

My heart and prayers go out to the thousands that lost their homes and land during these fires. As far as the firefighters go, you are the best and the bravest of all my heros. My hat is off to all you do. Thank you, thank you thank you. needlepoint goddess Windsor

Posted by Susan Portra November 26, 08 02:21 PM

Thank You to All Firemen. #259 dave-you don't deserve a capitolized name- youmust be one of those people who has no skills at anything except to complain and live for yourself. You will find that your life is completely hollow unless you help others. Get a skill, go to school and learn something usefull to our country, or leave. Also, lots of thanks to the California government, builders and contractors, and homeowners who have done nothing to stop the fire dangers created by unrestricted building and endangered all homeowners and people and firefighters. You are responsible for this conflagration and should pay for it. Due to your negligence, hundreds of people are homless and millions lost. I am praying for everyone. God bless.

Posted by Anonymous November 26, 08 02:46 PM

This comment is to #259 (dave)

I don't know where you get your information from. "hardly any of them die or get hurt" You have GOT to be kidding me. In the last 10 yrs, there is been 372,035 + injuries and 1087+ deaths - and that is just in the USA!!. If you call that HARDLY, you need to give your head a shake. How many people out there that are not firefighters would risk their lives to enter a burning building to save someone? There are some, but not too many. Yes, they love what they do but its not "playing with fire" that they love. They also have extensive training and learning exercises. You definitly do not know what is entailed to be a firefighter. You should be only too happy to pay for the "toys" that they use to protect your home and property. One day, it will be YOUR life that is in jeopardy and will be begging them to help save you or a loved one. It is a JOB to them - but not just any JOB - a job that saves people. Gee what kind of job do you have that saves people? I do believe you are more envious of what they do because perhaps YOU don't have what it takes to be a firefighter. I would love to go on more but you are not worth it!!!!!!! You are a poor excuse for one of the citizens that these people try to protect.


From A VERY Proud Firefighter's Wife (who worries everytime her husband is out fighting fire)

Posted by Jennifer November 26, 08 03:35 PM

1as we near thanksgiving lets not forget all the people who lost everything and send our prayers and hope that god will look out for all in needs. and hope the goverment will help also. most of us do not know how bad it really was.

Posted by randy november 26, 08 1:00pm November 26, 08 04:07 PM

I think the firefighters and their family deserve a lot of thanks....not only do the risk their lives but the family takes a risk each time these men and women go to work not knowing if it will be there last day. Just to let you know some of the Los Angeles Fire Station are very busy they have call after call and do not have time to sit around like some of those suggest. They also have to keep in shape as part of their job can you image working in 90 degree weather and wearing all that extra grea the turnouts are very heavy. The firefighters also are greater risk of cancer because of all the chemicals they are exposed to but most people do not think of that only when a major fire happens, they are also there for the kids, medical rescues. Yes, there are some stations that are no busy but these Los Angeles firemen are and do deserve the thanks they are heros in my book for those of who think they are no you try to work in one of the busiest staions in Los Angeles and get only 2 or 3 hours of sleep when you are on duty and you wll think twice about your comments

Posted by Stephanie Smitch November 26, 08 04:56 PM

Our family is from Yorba Linda. It was such a relaxed and beautiful place. Our home in Tennessee burned shortly after we moved to Tennessee. It is one of the worst things we ever experienced. It is so sad to see homes of friends, my dad and brother, Parks where we took our children to play, the canyons we used to hike when I was a child. Our grocery stores, my childhood neighborhood...It is unbelievable. The people there are self-made and hard working. An event like that is like a death. Residents may never get over it - a part of them will always be gone. All of the people in Northern and Southern California need our prayers and any tangible help we can give.

Posted by Julie Pablo November 26, 08 05:01 PM

I was shocked at the comments of 259. Is this person for real? I would like to know what he does for a living. Sure firemen get paid to protect us and our belongings but what about the spouses and the kids of these firefighters?
You need to take a hard look at your comment! By the way the military gets paid also, do you have anything to say about them?

Posted by Jean November 26, 08 05:07 PM

Le tus this Thanksgiving and every day hold in our prayers the people who lost everything, thank God for the firefighters and all those who are there to help.

Posted by Joyce November 26, 08 05:52 PM

WOW!!!!!!!!! the 4th picture looks like something out of a vidogame kinda like call of duty

Drew Mustari

Posted by Drew November 26, 08 06:22 PM

Omg...i hope not too many people got hurt... thank-you to all you brave fireman!!! you really did a great job...thanx for doing your best!

Posted by Leah Blaeser November 26, 08 06:24 PM

It's amazing that today's firemen have such fine gear to fight the heat monsters with. It takes a lot of pure iron will to even want to get close to that conflagration, I've had that experience many, many times, and worked with a lot of very brave men in the process. The volunteers are exceptional, putting everything on the line for strangers, and they just keep on taking the heat and smoke! To the strange "259", all I have to say is that you need to get a life, go volunteer at a Fire Dept. that will put up with you, "do the duty", try out for EMT and Paramedic. After that, you might just qualify to talk to some of us old timers! Meantime, don't embarrass yourself any farther!

Posted by Gil Gibbs November 26, 08 07:12 PM

Gods and watch over the brave firemen invloved in this disaster.

Posted by Vicki November 26, 08 07:27 PM

I am interested in the sentiments of #589. Have anopther look at photos #2 and #17 closely? Some common elements - one house burning, another not. Unburnt fuel around, infering ingnition by embers/firebrands rather than direct flame.

More telling: swimming pools. A great source of water. But the pictures do not show portable pumps with hoses, and capable residents staying with their property to defend it? Even being able to go next door where a house was intact in it became more dangerous.

Or, to come back soon after the fire impact to put out any spot fires?

Without knowing all the circumstances - did mandatory evacuations apply in these particular locations? Would staying in place have made a difference?

Posted by Tony J November 26, 08 08:21 PM

Super Scoopers are twin engine sea planes which are in use in San Diego and Los Angeles this fire season. The planes are leased from Canada. The planes can be refilled with water on land, or while landing on water for about 15 seconds. During the 15 seconds, about 1600 gallons of water can be picked and flown to the fire area to be dropped. Super Scoopers work in pairs with a third, spotter aircraft coordinating the drops of the Super Scoopers.

Posted by Bob G November 26, 08 09:47 PM

603 To you #259 I am a 40 year retired Fireman. You are right, we do enjoy our jobs but not for the reason you stated. You obviously have no real concept of what we really do. Has it ever been your responsibility to pick up body parts from 144 dismembered victims of a airliner crash? Has it ever been your responsibility to give mouth to mouth to a SIDS baby, or face a fire coming straight at you that is the same as being shot out of a flame thrower? Yes this can be an adrenalin rush, but more importantly we are helping people we have never met and most likly will never see again,, and to not wait for or expect to be thanked.

Posted by Jerry November 26, 08 10:10 PM

Just so that you know, "NO FIRE FIGHTER" ask to be a hero, that title is given by those who were victims. As for a pay raise, why shouldn't they get one. They do a darn good job and wait many years before they are truly given a pay raise. Guess that many of you are not aware that they not only fight fires, they also respond to vehicle accidents, medical aide, earthquakes, mudslides, etc. Teachers get more pay raises than our men and women in Fire Uniform. I know for I am a wife of a Fire Fighter, who chose this career to protect others and over the 35 years on the job he has had 4 pay raises. Get your facts straight before you criticize our men and woman who protect your home. You may need them one day.
Proud to be a Firefighters wife.

Posted by Anonymous November 26, 08 11:36 PM

I can't beileve those fire fighters, watchin them on t.v. standing in front of a flames 3 times taller then them, and watchin them fighting those flames . It was amazing. I still can't get over those fire fighters. Thank you sooo much again. My neighbor lost her mobil home, after living there for 23 years in Brea. She was 93 years old.

Posted by Andrea Burns Brea November 26, 08 11:53 PM

Hey most of you forget that one important thing.... THAT is we are all family looking out for each other and if not we are nothing. We are built on tradition as a country, if you don't like it leave go someplace else where you think it is better and see how bad it is there!!! You will be back and be humbled to be back home in the great USA. We are very fortunate to be living the lives that we have and to have the things we do whether we live in california, new york, or iowa it dosen't make any difference. We are a nation of ONE people, Americans and we all need to support on another in all phases of life and or jobs. If we don't than we are nothing!!!! Get with the program it is a tragic lose to all the peolpe that lost their homes and all their belongings. How would you feel if someone came and emptyed your home aall your possesions that you valued dearly???? Would you just blow it off??? I doubt it. So give it some serious thought. the fireman that work to save "our" possesions in a time of need are truley appreciated and certainatley not given enuf credit for what they do! Remeber 9/11 think about it!!!! Thank god and the fireman for being there to save us all!

Posted by Rick Piatt November 27, 08 12:41 AM

wtf?! i gave many-many hard hours to save ungreatful losers a life!! i worked in hospitals busting my ass giving them my best of me & never heard a small thanks for my efforts! i was'nt paid well neither but thought i was " helping man" ! i sure never got my pic in a paper & would'nt have expected it! so where are the big$$$ for me & the "babes" i hear of!!?? i was a resp. thpst. & damn proud of it! i've even slept in a hosp. room to baby-sit & coddle these bums! just thought you'd like to see another HERO!!

Posted by sugar bear November 27, 08 12:44 AM

dang! that is wicked!

Posted by kesh November 27, 08 01:19 AM

My heart goes out to the families affected by this natural tragedy. I am thankful for the lives spared. I pray that those who lost all are able to gain once again. I also want to say a special thanks to the firefighters that risk their lives on a daily basis. Also, it is not just the brave men and women of California out there. Men and women from search and rescue squads and fire stations all over the nation are out in Cali right now. Some are even there with their faithful search and rescue dogs. The job you all do is too amazing for words. God bless you all and you are one of the reasons many people will be able to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. Much love to all. Mike and Cooper, come home safely!

Posted by Toriana Blade ~ Georgia November 27, 08 01:23 AM

It's really sad to watch anyone's home burn. My heart goes out to all the people who lost their home. GOD BLESS FIREFIGHTERS!!!!!!!!!!! YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING. ALL OF YOU ARE HEROS!!!

Posted by CONNIE HAMMETT November 27, 08 01:24 AM

What is wrong with you people???? I live in Yorba Linda, and NOT in a multi million dollar home, and FIVE of my immediate neighbors homes were destroyed. How easy for you to throw stones until you experience first hand the devastation Mother Nature can inflict!! The winds picked embers from the hillsides and RAVAGED at random. Thank you God for the brave firefighters, police officers and random strangers who pulled together to ensure the safety of everyone in the area!! Shame on those of you passing judgement and sneering at those who have lost everything. May you NEVER have to endure a natural disaster!

Posted by L. Miller November 27, 08 03:32 AM

Thank God for socialized fire fighting!

Posted by Daniel Hoffmann November 27, 08 04:17 AM

Comment number 259, Dave B. You are obviously an overweight idiot that probably couldn't get into the fire service so you know spend your time slagging them off. It may well be a job to firefighters, after all it is in the title. Also, you write, they spend almost all their time working out, playing cards, and cooking chili? So what would YOU want them to be doing in the time between call outs? God forbid they should keep fit in their spare time. You also say they play with the toys you tax payers pay for? By 'toys' do you mean life saving equipment? Sorry if we have to use this every now and then my friend. We also pay tax you know?
You sound like a very sad, jealous little man to me. I notice you never mention what you do for a living, is this because you are ashamed? How many people die in the line of service in your job?

Posted by Matt Yardley November 27, 08 06:29 AM

"Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there." Just like in Florida, when they almost got thrown out of the state and banned from selling Insurance for unethical practices.

Posted by bob llou November 27, 08 09:42 AM

they are real firemen. real HEROS.

Posted by Anonymous November 27, 08 09:51 AM

I am a 76 year old native Californian. I lived in Southern California most of my life.
Every year we see the burning of the hills and canyons of the brush, homes, commercial properties, wildlife, people and dreams. Why do they still allow hills and canyons to be built on. It makes No sense. If you build there then you will be, sooner or later be burnt out by wind and fire.
I really can feel sorry for these people that have lost everything, but I blame the land developers, the building code and those who allow them to build in those areas that know they will be burnt out. The hills of Southern California WILL BURN! NO DOUGHT ABOUT IT.

Posted by RICHARD (DICK) ELLIS November 27, 08 11:06 AM

We just moved a couple of months ago back to Ohio from Lake Forest, Ca. and we remember all to well the devastating fires of Oct. 2007. I feel very sad and bad for all of the people affected by these fires. I just want tol wish everyone a very special Happy Thanksgiving.

Posted by Stanley & Beverlee Jewett November 27, 08 11:43 AM

Que Dios bendiga a mis hermanos de CA. reso por ellos y por todas las personas que han perdido sus hogares.
God bless my brothers I pray for them and for the people who have lost their homes.

Posted by Luis Firefigther from Guatemala City, Central America November 27, 08 04:48 PM

You would think after all the times fire has swept California that more people would build underground... ecologically sound, heating cost is low or non-existent, and it's quiet, and I'd bet the fire insurance is a fraction of being above ground. Still gets a view for those on hillsides too. Unfortunately this disaster will be met with another one starting in about 4 years and lasting 8 or more years... while the whole west coast sinks into the ocean, to 1200' initially and then another 200' somewhat later. (This will all be previewed in a new radio program due in early 2009 called Hope'n'Harmony on a new Canadian campus radio station.)

Posted by Alan Harmony November 27, 08 05:38 PM

To #259, Dave B: You are an idiot! You also sound jealous - eating chili, playing cards and (most revealing) getting the girls! That is laughable! The firefighters I've known all bust their butts doing a job that most people simply don't have the huevos for! And regarding your comment, "Hardly any of them die or get hurt." So unbelievably callous and dumb!
Next time there's a fire, I dare you to run INTO it, you stinking coward!

Posted by Chela November 27, 08 07:01 PM

First; gotta get # 259 out of the way. If he only knew how many times over a 44 yr span of FireFighting and Community service that comments like that will boil the blood and then shake my head in disbelief, that after the Calif FIres And 9-11 there are still half wits like him passing judgement of Firefighters and EMS>, Police and soldiers. I still get a bit angry but Ive mellowed over the years, knowing he is worthless. To his family, community and probably his God.
I joinded a Jr Volun Fire Dept at 15, along with my dad who joind the 'Seniors'. 12 yrs later he died on the scene of a fire, his heart pounding as he searched for a missing little girl.. 13 yrs after that, I had lung cancer surgery and a bad back. I

then had to settle back with doing administrative responsibilities. Exactly 20 more
yrs I again had Lung Surgery and two back surgeries. I tell you this in total response to # 259 and a few others who dare question my forms of entertainment and stress relief, IE; Company meeting night card games, family cookouts with one or more of the 300 person membership, or to exercise fighting off all of the Women who just cant wait to get me in their grips. And who can really forget the constant training on or off duty.. And to all of the youngsters who know at 15 what their lifes calling is,,,GOD BLESS YOU and to those who arrrive a little later in life to this very close Faternity and Sorority, I wish you all of the best in life..

to this

constant training

yrs i agin had lung cancer surgery and 2 back surgies. At this point, I have to just enjoy all the friendships I had made in the Fire Service.

Posted by Bobby November 27, 08 07:41 PM

# 259

You are by far the most ignorant human being on this post and you are truly pathetic. I feel sorry for you and hope you can get your self some help.

Posted by A Larson November 27, 08 07:44 PM

David Bierly 525....Your ignorance is astonishing, I have been a Fireman for 10 years and let me assure you I have never made double time and a half nor has any other Fire Dept.. Generally we work 3 day shifts 72hrs, then go on overtime at time and a half which after 10 years for me is $22 an hour. For those who's houses did burn down we are all regretful as we take a great deal of pride in our job. The truth is during catastrophic events there just is not enough equipment or Fireman to save every house. I guess its easy to be self righteous from the safety of your home

Posted by Anonymous November 27, 08 07:49 PM

I appreciate the work that fire fighters, policemen, teachers, mailmen, carpenters, the military and many other professions do. However, all professions are voluntary, i.e. one does a profession by choice, and one is paid for the work one does. Going to work every day doing the job one has volunteered to do and is paid to do does not make one a hero. A hero is someone who does some extraordinary act far beyond the call of duty at great personal risk - that is what makes one a hero. The label "hero" is tossed around much to freely today to the point is has almost lost its meaning. I admire those who do risky work, but they do that work by choice and for a variety of reasons including feeding on the admiration of others.

Posted by Charles November 27, 08 09:24 PM

Unbelieveable that someone can even say that about firemen #259. My fiance is a fireman and I must say that he does the job because he loves it, not for the money. There are 24 and 48 hour shifts that he does not sleep because he is running to every beck and call of the city ,hoping to make somebody's day a little bit better or even better yet, to save a life. Maybe you're thoughts will change some day when you have to look to a fireman to save your house or your life, though I hope that is never the case. My prayers go out to you and your ignorant way of thinking because all firemen are heros.

Posted by Andi RN November 27, 08 09:29 PM

It breaks my heart to see what people think about fireman. We do a job thats is open to anybody to come and try. I just hope that the young people today educate themselfs before making uneducated comments like were made here. Try and not judge what you don't understand. I will continue my 24hr. shift here at the fire department and hope I make it home to my family, and comment that were made here will never chage the way I feel about my job. Please pray for all of those in CA. Thanks Lt. K

Posted by Lt. K November 27, 08 09:35 PM

David "B" aka 259
Do you have any concept of what we do as a firefighter, the equipment, engines and trucks are not replaced according to standards. Might you be the first to go to your boss and request equipment replacement!!!!!!!!!!!!. One small point, we just don't fight fires, a lot of times we are the first on the scene for a shooting.
I will post my name:::: Henry Jebe
Retired Capt.
Engine 43 San Francisco FD

Posted by Henry Jebe November 27, 08 10:20 PM


Posted by RANDY November 27, 08 11:14 PM

I can't belive that. I feel so bad for all the people that lost their homes. Just think if you lost your home. Where would you live

Posted by Taya Freeman November 27, 08 11:28 PM

Omg!! that is a horribly terrible thing to see, the statue of the man almost looks real!! ( well the arm acctually does). !!HOLY CRAP!!
I wouldnt let people just stand there and watch that close i would probably tel them go FAR FAR AWAY becuas i know thats what i would do!

Posted by Cheryl November 27, 08 11:58 PM

May God bless and keep all of you involved in this tragedy safe during this time of sorrow. I'm so very sorry for the loss of homes & possessions that each of you have suffered, but at the same time sincerely thankful that there was no loss of human life. My prayers will be with each of you.
My prayers also go to the ignorant comments made by some. You need prayers as well, rapture is coming soon. As we grow up, we find out which fields we want to work in. Some are professional, requiring a college degree, others are service positions that take years to perfect. I would never bash one occupation over another. My 22 yr old son is an engineer, graduated from UC Davis, and my 17 yr old daughter, currently a senior in high school as well as a lifeguard, will be headed to boot camp in August to become a munitions specialist aka (sharpshooter) enrout to an FBI position, While their single mom (me) sits behind her desk all day doing Human Resource work.
The positions held by firefighters, policemen, EMS, Doctors, Nurses & coroners are those that I hold in the highest esteem, for I myself don’t have the “guts” for their positions.

Thank You, to the firefighter, sheriff, police & volunteers that kept the living still living.

Posted by Lynn November 28, 08 01:04 AM

To Dave B-
Where did you get that impression of firefighters? I am a GIRL who is both a seasonal and a volunteer firefighter. I teach EMT and lifesaving classes and I am an ER/Trauma nurse. I am not even close to being overpaid, can't play cards or make chili. I do love my "toys" because they allow me to help people safely and efficiently. I ever pull your dumb ass out of a burning structure, out of an accident or you end up in my ED, I suggest you keep your mouth shut because I will find the biggest IV just for you and I will probably miss the first time or two....

Posted by ally November 28, 08 02:14 AM

May God Bless all of the victims and the rescue teams. I will be praying for relief to come.

Posted by GingerNelms November 28, 08 09:14 AM

The fireman have done a marvous job. I don't live in Santa Barbara anymore.. but thanks for everything you have done. you guys work so hard. Barbara Hook

Posted by Barbara Hook November 28, 08 11:31 AM

We don't live in Santa Barbara anymore but we did live there for over 40 years , these pictureres bring back memories. The one thing the pictures don't tell is the noise connected with a big fire, it is terrifying.

Posted by Helen Tafejian November 28, 08 12:56 PM

To John E... where the hell is your compassion? Blame the victim! Yeah... I hope you're never the victim of a violent crime or a natual disaster and have some bone-head suggest afterwards that it was your fault, and that by receiving aid you just expect everyone else to pick up the pieces!

Posted by emc November 28, 08 01:23 PM

I'm waiting for the prize patrol to come to 424 Kilkenny Ct Saint Cloud Mn 56301Mn

Posted by Mre Jerome Malikowski November 28, 08 01:42 PM

God save and help all the poeple they are victims of the wildfire. Jesus protect all the firemans they fight agains't, fire, fear. God bless you.

Dominique- Belgium.

Posted by Dominique November 28, 08 01:43 PM

I think it is so funny that so many of you post your comments. So few people, I mean so FEW read them, yet, you post your comments like people are going to actually read them. Why don't you go write a song, or donate your time, or say something nice to a loved one. You guys actually act like any cares what you think. Like your comments are "published". They aren't. And by the way, for the 9 people that actually read THIS, I will never be visiting this site again, and have no desire or care to see what you 9 people write about this comment. I am out making money, living life. Bye bye.

Posted by Dan Phillips November 28, 08 01:58 PM

It sucks to think that all those people lost thier homes. I would hate losing my home. All those people have to pay money to get thier homes back. For all those people i want you to know that we will be here for you. God we beg you to be there for all the people who lost friends and family in the wild fires. I know that most of the people hope that you can be safe. Jesus help the fireman be safe. May god bless you all.
Taya Freeman from Tonganoxie

Posted by Taya November 28, 08 02:10 PM

DAWN I'm sure you don't REALLY mean to be a "downer." Do you?

Posted by Scott November 28, 08 04:38 PM

The question that has to be asked is---- why would anyone build (or buy ) a timber house in a fire-risk zone? Ex student / friend of mine, who now lives in OZ , a
country also known for devastating fires, is worth checking out.
See " The Bushfire Architect "

Posted by Ian Imlach November 28, 08 06:05 PM

# 259 You are such a heartless no good SOB. Firefighters do their job right. And yes their are alot of them who volenteer their services to keep your house from burning to the ground. Look at all the ones who lost their lifes 9-11 or do you care. You seem like a person who is a very true low life. But GOD BLESS you anyway. Me I am proud to have a fireman in my life and town.

Posted by Terri Dice November 28, 08 06:40 PM

I can only say "THANK GOD" for the fire fighters, pilots and police that put thier life on the line when they get up in the morning. I have dear friends that work for CDF, CAl Fire and I have ween him go thru rehab after his D88 Cat rolled on him whil cutting a fire break to save a housing tract. We sweat bulolits watching the news because out family is in aYorba Linda. I have been a resurve Deputy Sheriff for 30 years on the Marine Patrol in Northern calif and have worked with fire and rescue personel for all of those years and can only say all of us would be in deep do-do without them.

Posted by Al Neblett November 28, 08 07:13 PM


To the many of you who made the VERY CRITICAL COMMENTS, such as:

***7.hmm, everybody has a that big house, a swimming pool and 3 cars there? this is a retaliation for the unfair wealth... I can't feel sorry for them.
Posted by minime November 17, 08 01:03 PM


***23.Every Year they have fires, and every year the dunbasses go back for more, what idiots. only americans can be so stupid
Posted by John November 17, 08 02:37 PM
I find it hard to understand how Fellow Americans, can be so HARD at HEART towards the hardships, devastation and destruction of other AMERICANS, or for that mater ANY HUMAN BEING!!!! TO YOU FEW THAT THIS COMMENT APPLIES TO AND I SINCERELY MEAN FEW...... SHAME ON YOU AND MAY YOU LIVE A PERFECT LIFE WITH NO TRAGEDY OR DEVASTATION SUCH AS THESE HAVE.



I PROUDLY SERVED my Country and Fellow Americans for 16 Honorable years in The United States Marine Corps, and have been PROUDLY SERVING as a FIREFIGHTER (in Southern California) since then!!!


Posted by John November 17, 08 02:37 PM

Posted by FIREFIGHTER SOCALPFDT2/USMC, DAV November 28, 08 08:23 PM

I am a volunteer firefighter in Pennsylvania and my heart goes out to all of the emergency workers and the families that are going through he!! in California.I thank god that we don't have the conditions that the western firefighters have.Keep up the great work and god bless you all.Lake Ariel Pennsylvania fire fighter.

Posted by jason rossignol November 28, 08 08:38 PM


Posted by CARL J. RANDALL, RETIRED U.S.N. November 28, 08 09:13 PM

I live in Ohio so I have no idea of how bad a fire like the ones in CA can be. They are devasting in so many ways. My heart goes out to the people that have suffered this type of situation. I know their loss is heavy on their hearts and minds. They will be in my prayers always. God Bless you and all the firefighters that tried to help everyone. They are truly heros!

Posted by Betty List November 28, 08 10:38 PM

Having lived in California, my heart and prayers go out to all of those who lost their homes, had homes damaged or were forced to evacuate, but had a home to come home to. No matter the size of the home, it was home. You will never be able to replace the family pictures, artifacts and other items you so cherised. Those who were evacuated and have a home to go back too will sleep a lot lighter and will have emotional items to deal with. These types of disaster affect those near and far.

Posted by Kele November 28, 08 10:53 PM

To Dave B. 259 I have done my job for 28 years and yes! I have been burned, hurt etc. etc. The things that hurt most are the birthdays, holidays, and events that are missed. Sounds to me that YOU JUST DID NOT MAKE THE CUT pal. GROW UP! What have you done for your community lately?

Posted by Brent November 28, 08 11:13 PM

A Comment to #259 i hope and pray that you never have to use the services of the California fire Dept, and if you do i hope that all your stuff burns, and you loose all your stupid son of a bitch.....may god have mercy on you when( or if ) you reach heaven.. for the dissrepect that you showed the men and women that sacrificed there lives for people that they don't even know

Posted by Brian I, November 28, 08 11:58 PM

To #259: I'm not a boy, and I don't spend all day working out, playing cards and cooking chili. I don't even know how to play poker and I don't make the best chili. I think I'd make a terrible arsonist if I weren't a firefighter, and there are actually lots of firefighters who die and get hurt on the job. 343 on September 11th alone.
I'm a girl, I don't want glory, and I think you're jealous. : ) But that's ok, not everyone knows what we do at work. Not all of my job is fun - I hope you never have to see some of what I've seen. You know there are people who expect us to die to save their HOUSES? I hope you aren't one of those. God bless those affected this year and always. If you, #259, are a firefighter, you're making the rest of us look bad.

Posted by Northern California Firefighter November 29, 08 12:27 AM

633 NICE Henry Jebe SFFD

Posted by Anonymous November 29, 08 02:18 AM

I am very grateful for ALL the fire fighter's that worked near my home in order to keep it safe from the recent Yorba Linda fire. I was eating dinner in Keno's restaurant after the fires and sitting next to us was a table full of fire fighter's. When we were done and walking by their table I made sure to stop and tell them thank you all for being here and doing a great job in fighting the fires and for God to bless them all. Come to find out they were all from the San Diego area. I will always be grateful for their presence in my city and risking their lives for our safety.

Posted by Eileen Irons November 29, 08 02:31 AM

To the idiots posting comments out here who don't have jobs and depend on the government for their handouts, you guys should spend your time working instead of playing on the internet all day. My sympathies to the people who lost their homes and memories. Thank GOD the United States of Amreica has liberty and freedom. When you work hard and look for opportunities you get the chance to make money and afford these expensive houses. But you also have the right to make sometimes dumb decisions. I probably would not rebuild in a danger zone. But if the government lets you build there and insurance companies continue to insure houses in those areas then go for it. But mainly besides giving sympathy to those that lost their houses, I just wanted to point out the idiots writing bad commen ts on here should get jobs and get out of their parents' basement and become real men. Don't pick on the firefighters just because you are jealous. Maybe if you didn't live in your mothers basement and didn't drive her car you could get a girl someday. And for the comments about people starving in Etheopia, maybe they should move to where the food is. We should take care of America first, let foreign governments take care of their own people.

Posted by illinois mikey November 29, 08 09:03 AM

In response to #259 - what a jerk!

Posted by Anonymous November 29, 08 09:31 AM

These are fantastic photos of the horrendous California fires. While the forces of nature blew them out of control, noone can convince me that threy were originally a product of arson. Every year they appear to be geting worse and I don't know if they are properly being investigated. ny person convicted of arson, connected with these fires, sh ould be sentenced to a long prison term'

Joseph F. DeFina

Posted by Joseph F. DeFina November 29, 08 02:51 PM

I would like to see comment 259

Posted by Lois haines November 29, 08 02:55 PM

I don't know if Dave B and David Bierly are the same. Sure seems like it. Also seems like you have some jealousy or anger maybe because you have been wronged somehow or you just couldn't make the cut.
For Dave B, my chief sends us emails of what happened every time a firefighter dies in the US and let me tell you it's often. If you'd like I could send you the same every time I get them. These aren't even counting the fireman who go off the job from cancer, hep c, or physical injury affecting someone for life. Some have unfortunately brought stuff home for there family to get as well. I would say to come by check it out and start testing again. But you probably already gave up a long time ago. If you're unemployed I'm sorry but that's your fault. If I lost my job I'd work at McDonalds if I had too. I guess that's another difference between you and firefighters. They never give up and have more character and integrity than you'll ever have in your pinky with that attitude.
David Bierly, there is no such thing as double time and a half. When I worked as a wildland firefighter I made $10 an hour and as a city firefighter I make $20. Most professionals make a lot more. The only reason some firefighters make bucks is because they put in the time. Yes, like overtime, which is mandatoried sometimes. Have you ever worked 21 days in a row or 100 hours a week for a long time. Didn't think so, probably couldn't hack it huh. Don't worry it's not for everyone. Some people actually enjoy working and don't feel right when they are out of work. Get off the computer and go find some employment rather than whining about it. You'll feel better about yourself. So many apply because they don't know what the job is about and they end up washing out. Of those that get close they understand the unity and family aspect of it and probably have been volunteering there time helping others out in someway. Probably don't do that either huh. It's alright, it's not for everyone. Some people feel so bad about what they have become that they just complain about everything. Good luck with your life and I hope you find happiness someday.


Holidays are usually spent away from your family helping others who have very bad things happen to them on there holiday.

Posted by Anonymous November 29, 08 03:03 PM

I live in Georgia, but have family in Yorba Linda, our churches and throughout our community pray constantly for all affected by these horrible fires. I do hope that justice is served for anyone responsible for this

Posted by Sandra J November 29, 08 03:17 PM

The huge majority of homes in these fires were track homes with tile roofs and very defendable space around them. When you add tremendous low humidity and a wind event, any small grass fire on the side of the freeway can cause this damage. Please don't blame these people for living in any particular area becasue these were just normal communities, not mountain communities. And for all the death updates just visit or FireEngineering magazine to find out all the deaths and near misses Firefighters experience monthly that most do not ever hear about. Thank you for all that support us.

Posted by Steve Brown, Jr November 29, 08 04:32 PM

May all of us be thankful for what we have not lost this holiday season. We need to pray for all of those who lost their homes, regardless of their financial circumstances. May god bless all of the fireman, they are real American Heroes.

Posted by Crazy Kat November 29, 08 04:46 PM

I live in VT but I thank God for the work that the firefighters do in CA. I have my son's (that died in the Navy Spec. Forces almost 2 years ago) family that live in Southern CA and when I hear of those terrible fires, I pray for everyone out there. I believe, except for the brave work done by those firefighters, there would be much more destruction. May God be with them.
Judy Blish, Spfld., VT

Posted by Judy Blish November 29, 08 04:58 PM

Thank you firefighter for all that you do each and every day to help other. God Bless all the family that have lost it all . My family has taken time to pray for all others and the freedom that we have .

Posted by Susan Volin November 29, 08 05:16 PM

God bless all firefighters and EMTs. You and your families definitely deserve our thanks for putting your life on the line .
thank you so much,. Unfortunately, there are so many ignorant people out there, we have to pray for them. I am glad all of you are there - look at the firemen in NYC during 9/11 - hurricanes, every disaster, firemen are present.
Bless you and your families.

Posted by helen November 29, 08 06:18 PM

it is terrible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by James November 29, 08 06:20 PM

Rent the movie, "World Trade Center." Your watching "World Trade Center" will help put all of this into perspective. Aside from that, God bless and protect all the sincere firefighters and EMTs and police officers and others like them who fight fires, deal with disaster, protect the people, and risk their lives for the common good. "Blessed are they who die in the LORD. Their joy shall be everlasting."

Posted by Bob Romanelli November 29, 08 06:59 PM

I pray for all the people that have to go though this. i went though Katernia,and others. my heart hurts for california. stay in prayer.

Posted by Katherine November 29, 08 08:45 PM

Nobody knows what it is like to be a fireman besides a fireman and their families. For all of you people that don't get what a fireman does and what they have to give up..... Say you have a brand new baby celebrating its first christmas and the dad is a working fireman...he will have to miss christmas... Say you are at the fire station and you just made a big dinner for you and all of the crew and the bells go off...Guess what!! The dinner is going to be left sitting on the table until you get done with the call and most likely it is cold when you get back....I am pretty sure that any one of you complainers out there would not want to wake up at 3:00 in the morning to help a 72 year old woman with her chest pain...SO STOP DISSING all fireman!!! I know plenty of fireman that were gone for 144 hours fighting these fires...It's their job and what they love doing...protecting people...God Bless all fireman and people who agree :)

Posted by anonymous November 29, 08 11:56 PM

To #259...What's the matter Dave...are you upset because the firefighters are trying to put out the fire YOU probably started. I'll bet you and Bin Laden write love letters back and forth. YOUR PATHETIC!!!

God Bless our firefighters.

Posted by Rob November 30, 08 01:26 AM

These photos are spectacular. God Bless All those brave folks who face these fires and all emergencies head on for the protection and betterment of others. What a tremendous sacrifice. Whatever you are paid is not nearly enough for that level of skill and bravery. You are true Heroes and Heroines and I pray for you and your families to be blessed beyond measure. I am sure you don't hear enough, a huge Thank You! Bless each one of you.

Posted by Jeff November 30, 08 01:29 AM

Gosh, I love firemen.. they are great.. not arrogant like policemen.. Firemen are genuine.. they really want to help and I saw that in the articles written before..I wish to thank everyone of them in trying to put out that California fire.. I have seen some of the winds in Calif. but at that time did not know about them.. but experienced them on going into the state from another southern route......
I will pray for all who lost houses and for all the injustices that you had to suffer to be resolved for the future residents.. not to have to experience your problems again..

Posted by Anonymous November 30, 08 03:45 AM

all these fires r scaring me badly! ~Olivia

Posted by Olivia November 30, 08 03:46 AM

Deze beelden roepen sterke emoties op. De kracht van de natuur tegenover de mens... Alles wat we bezitten, danken we aan het lot!
Mijn zoon is brandweerman en als geen ander weet ik dat het commentaar van "Anonymous" (November 29) volkomen juist is. Branden bestrijden is maar één van de vele onderdelen van zijn taak. Talloze keren wordt hij geconfronteerd met de machteloosheid van zijn beroep: mensen die niet gered kunnen worden, branden die niet te blussen zijn, enzovoort.
Ik wens alle slachtoffers, nabestaanden, gedupeerden en brandweermensen de kracht en sterkte toe om door te gaan.

Posted by Cornelis November 30, 08 04:34 AM
676. NorCal the CalFire folks have urged people to clear extraneous brush from within 30' of any structure & over the past couple of years have extended the clearance zone to 50' & 100' where in any wholistic dynamic, prevention & maintenance aid the organism...certain types of trees & shrubbery adjacent to a structure are, in fire country, counterproductive to safety...that's what fire depts. should be doing during those periods of inactivity rather than polishing equip...seems too many homeowners not informed enough to take preventative action...why?...

Posted by stever November 30, 08 09:45 AM

I had no idea the amount of destruction the fires inflicted. It doesn't matter
who you are or how much income you have, when something like this happens
it is a tragedy beyond comprehension.
God Bless those brave firefighters and citizens who fought such a gallant fight
against this monster fire storm. You are amazing.

Posted by Rosemary November 30, 08 10:31 AM

Re; 259. It appears that your vision is being obscured by the inner walls of your rectum

Posted by mblbt November 30, 08 11:39 AM

I feel very sorry for all the people who have lost their homes and personal items
that cannot be replaced, and also, I commend all the fire-fighters who were there
helping with all these fires, and helping all the people-GOOD job. This is something that is really serious for all tose people, and we should all pray for them,and hope they can get back to their lives of living as soon as possible
I certainly feel very sorry for all of them. May God Bless all of you.

Posted by Laura November 30, 08 12:01 PM

David B. #259.......You are a sad, pitiful person! Obviously you have no clue what it takes to be a firefighter, or what they see. Granted, everyday is not like the photos we see in this article, but the media does not advertise every single call fire station personnel respond to everyday. Some firefighters are volunteers. Do you understand that concept David B.? VOLUNTEERS DO NOT GET PAID! However, they will still stop cooking the chili, playing cards, working out, or meeting women, so they can respond to your burning home, or loved-one trapped in a vehicle.
Just so you understand, you the taxpayer, like the rest of us who actually pay taxes, contrubitute a small portion of your sales tax and property tax to pay for emergency services......In case you are not aware David B., you have to OWN property to pay property you? Even if you don't own your home, therefore you don't contribute to the property tax base, the firefighter will still respond to the fire that is burning your home! The firefighter will not ask, "Sir, do you own your home, because if you do not, then you are not paying our wages, therefore we are not obligated to contain your fire." In your case, maybe they should!
Thank GOD that "hardly any of them die or get hurt" as you put it, but you are obviously clueless with that information too.
It would be interesting to know how old you are and what you do for work!
I will keep this as professional as possible David B., but you suck!!

Posted by David W. November 30, 08 12:16 PM

#259. Dave, I spent 30 years working for the phone company. I never put out one fire, or saved one life. I did get paid over time if I worked past an 8 hour shift. I even got double time if I worked over 50 hours in a week. I don't believe I've seen anywhere that Firemen get any of that kind of compensation for their 36 to 72 hour normal shifts, let alone their 100 plus hours on a fire line. I guess I was paid more to insure that I maintained phone service for people like you to make ignorant statements on the internet. I will tell you Dave, what I do know. In my 30 years in the phone company, I made many service calls to fire departments through out Orange County. You may find this unbelievable Dave, I never saw one card game being played, or caught one wiff of chile. What I did see were men and women maintaining the exspensive toys, so when they showed up at your home they would work properly. What I did see were men and women taking classes in life saving. What I did see were men and women practicing fire fighting technics. In a country where we have freedom of speech, why do you care if we call these people, HEROS or ANGLES? I'm sure you would agree if we call you "ASSH*LE". Dave, every town, every village, has an idot. I guess Dave, you are ours.

Posted by Mike K. November 30, 08 02:11 PM

C-you should read comment #259. Anything ring true about it?

Posted by Jan November 30, 08 04:00 PM

I am so thankful for all our firefighters and medical personal. THANK YOU ALL!!!!!

Posted by Marilyn Mueller November 30, 08 06:38 PM

Some of these photos are pritty some of them show how unforgiving fires can be. When I first saw the photos I soon felt so bad for the people who lost every thing they had in that fire. Just look at those pictures how would you feel if that was your house. I meen just look at those pictures doesn't it just make you feel wellthy.

Posted by Kaelyn November 30, 08 06:41 PM


Posted by CALI November 30, 08 07:30 PM

Ref Comment 259.....Dave B..... Wow.... your comments....Way off Base...
I'm a VOLUNTEER firefighter....I started at age 54.. smaller force in IN. We train weekly, we run ambulance service at all hours of the day/night....we volunteer because WE CARE it's on the back of the truck....Sure, we have some newer equipment...We have older equipment too....We run ~'74 Dodge P/U truck to put out grass fires ... We run to the station if beeper goes off for false alarms at 4am or 11pm.....I sleep with beeper under pillow so as not to wake family. We cut injured from wrecks to get to hospital.............WE CARE......

Posted by Mike November 30, 08 08:16 PM

dave/ #259.............Couldn't get on with a fire department eh?

Posted by dr November 30, 08 09:05 PM

525 dave....what department pays "double time and a half" for hoilidays? I'm working for the wrong city, I get straight time for working Christmas eve and Christmas day this year ( as well as all holidays). Yes 48 hours at straight time. Have you never asked for a pay raise?

Posted by apparently a sucker!?! November 30, 08 09:26 PM

617, nobody was forced to buy in a high fire danger area! You would have to be living under a rock not to know California burns. If someone chooses to buy a house there it is not the governments responsibility. I too am native to Southern California, am a firefighter. Almost lost my home to a fire in 2003, nobodys fault but my own! If someone chooses to live in a potential disaster area, there are accountabilities that go with it.

Posted by Shane November 30, 08 09:47 PM

I'm Canadian but have been following the news closely. Has anyone ever been able to prove that these fires were set by mother nature and not some terrorist organization?

Posted by Frank Dee November 30, 08 10:17 PM

To #259 Dave... you are a coward.... i hope that you will never be in need of the fire department.. just imagine you are driving down the road and get into an accident, you become traped in your vehicle, you are injured and need to get to an ER ASAP... i bet your ass you will be hoping and preying that firefighters come and cut your silly ass out of the car and provide care to you... JERK OFF !!!!

Posted by Keith November 30, 08 10:51 PM

I know many friends that live in Yorba Linda, Ca. and 2 lost their homes.
I pray for all of them. It was a very wicked fire.
God Bless you all
Debbie Nelson

Posted by Debbie Nelson November 30, 08 11:00 PM

this is sad

Posted by thu November 30, 08 11:09 PM

My thoughts of love and prayers go out to all of you who went through these horrible fires. Thank God for the love and dedication of the Firemen and Fire Fighters who risk their lives to help during treacherous times like this. Thank God for the extended families and friends of the victims of these fires. My heart and love is sincerely extended to you all. J. B. Sachse

Posted by Joyce Sachse November 30, 08 11:36 PM

You know what # 259? You're probabily just saying that nonsense because you're jealous...GET IT?!? Firefighters are saving people from risking their lives and helping the society while're just sitting on the couch, getting all drunk and watching T.V. WHY DON'T YOU TELL EVERYONE WHAT YOU DO FOR A LIVING?! I guess you're afraid, next time... don't think about judging firefighters because YOU MIGHT NOT BE MORE USEFUL THAN THEM!! You should be ashamed of yourself, GOSH! God bless America and the firefighters who put all their effort into putting out the fires.

Posted by Joy D. December 1, 08 02:39 AM

It's sad that there are so many people in the world like Dave B. Assh*les like this are to chicken sh#t to stand up and confront people face on with these comments. He is probably sitting in a dark room wearing his mother's panty hose.

Posted by Steve December 1, 08 08:15 AM

Yeah, No. 259 is an idiot. That's one of the few jobs where EVERY time you go out on a call, you could die. Granted there are a lot of false alarms and low risk events, but they do not know what they are facing until they get there. Heart attacks and stress are common. And if he thinks that they don't die in the line of work, have a look at this site: My father-in-law died of brain cancer and my uncle died of skin cancer from exposure to smoke.

Posted by David Brown December 1, 08 08:37 AM

I saw this in Australia where they have a lot of wild fires. You must have a small electric generator and water supply for this to work. Along the ridge lines of his house a half inch perforated copper pipe was placed connected to a small water pump. During the fire storm water was sprayed onto the roof and his house was the only one left standing on his road when the fire moved on. The water supply can be mains water as long as the supply will last through the fire storm. A retention pond or underground pump. This system cost a few hundred dollars and should be mandatory in high risk wild fire areas.

Posted by Keith Vinnicombe December 1, 08 09:03 AM

I was a wildland firefighter for 4 years! I mostly did it to pay my way through college, but there were times that I risked my life to save peoples property and to other's lives....My college degree was not worth that, but I did it because it was my job! Most of the men and women I worked with fought fires to support there family! There were gone for weeks at a time and their families let them go and risk their lives for others so that they could EAT and pay ther MORTGAGE! For the most part they are not born heros, but they were for one important reason! They love their family so much that they will do anything for them....even risk their lives for others and others properties....

Posted by Shy H. December 1, 08 09:45 AM

I can't believe posting #259 could possibly feel the way that he does, he should certainly be ashamed of every word that he wrote. You really are very uninformed when it comes to what a REAL firefighter does. And they are grossly UNDER paid for their YES heroic battles. They risk their lives everyday to save many and possibly one day the life of #259. GOD BLESS FIREFIGHTERS! I'm a VERY proud mother of a firefighter!

Posted by Susan R. December 1, 08 09:48 AM


Posted by NANCY D'SILVA, M.D. December 1, 08 10:51 AM

In response to #259 -

as one who has worked in a full time fire department for 24 years, I understand what you are saying, although you go a little far in the last half of your comments.
I personally do not like all the talk about being heroes. I get up in the morning and thank God for my job and pray that I would put in an honest days labour and ask no more or seek no more. If it involves medical, fire, or a simple lecture to school children, I pray I do it to the best of my abilities seeking no reward or pat on the back. What ever I accomplish, I deem it my responsibility with an eye toward God only seeking His approval and reward and in an earthly reward sense, my pay check.
It is not fair to say we are overrated anymore than it would be to say doctors, mail carriers, garbage collectors....are overrated. We simply do our jobs and put our lives on the line for "you", if need be. Although I will admit there is a special emphasis put on this kind of work or any type in that one is willing to die if need be. And I guess, that is where the sometimes special attention comes from.
Let’s not forget the many emergency response personnel running into the world trade center while you #259 would have been running out.

Yes its nice to have all the fancy equipment and the nice stove to cook our chili on, but when the call comes in for a World Trade Center or any fire, it is nice to have the equipment with a full stomach to the start of what may be a long night with no sleep while you lay your head on your soft pillow.

Don't paint us all with a wide stroke of what is portrayed through the media to simply say thanks. Unlike times of past, we are actually educated having to go through military style boot camp prior to ever setting our foot on any fire hall floor.

We are not arsonists in hiding. Arson is the crime of intentionally setting fire to another's building or property, or to one's own. We come to this job to do the opposite. Envy is such a wicked thing, not only wanting what others have, but wanting to see there downfall as well, this is the way you come across, instead of intellectually debating your point.

One day you will need this service weather you like it or not, at which when the paramedic is standing over you, or the fire fighter, you will remember your words and think how foolish you were.

#259 - "FIRE FIGHTERS ARE WAY OVERRATED! I'm so sick of hearing them called "altruistic" and "angels." It's a JOB to them. They don't wake up every day with big, benevolent smiles, aching to protect your house and your car. They love what they do because it's FUN. They are boys who get paid very well to spend almost all their time to working out, playing cards, and cooking chili. They love to play with all the expensive toys that the government (we taxpayers) give them. Half of them would be arsonists if they didn't have an acceptable way to play with fire. They are not heroes. But they sure don't shy away from all the glory or girls bestowed upon them by you sentimental dummies. Hardly any of them die or get hurt"

Posted by John December 1, 08 11:15 AM

Leider kann ich kein Englisch.
Ich habe die Fotos erhalten und bin sehr geschockt von diesem Feuersturm.
Wie schnell alles Leben, sowie Hab und Gut vernichtet werden kann, macht mich sehr ängstig. Die Traurigkeit steckt in meinen Knochen. Allen beteigigten Helfern in der Not möchte ich meinen ganz grossen Respekt kund tun. Es ist sehr schön liebe helfende Menschen in dieser Situation zu haben. Möge Gott zu allen Toten, leidenen Verletzten und Hinterbleibenen stehen.
In grosser Traurigkeit
Helmut Arndt

Posted by Helmut Arndt December 1, 08 11:49 AM


Posted by ROGER VANDECAR December 1, 08 12:11 PM

#259 fire fighters are heros u must not know anything they cant immediately stop a fire its not thier fault they cant save a car who cares its a car life is more precious. Im fifteen and thanks my dad was a fire fighter and hes a hero to me and my family they are one of the most important ppl in the world. and i wanna be a fire fighter when i grow up because i know they help ppl out the best they can a fire takes its course no matter what. they try thier best. and if u say ur a fire fighter u r doin it for all the wrong reasons if u think its fun. and honestly fire fighters do get injured and killed at fires risking their lifes to save anothers.

Posted by Beverly December 1, 08 01:04 PM

259 - Seriously? Wow you are truly stupid. Ya I said stupid. First of all, men are not the only ones who fight fires... woman do too ... now that I got that out of the way. You obviously have never had the need for a firefighter .... and thats great and hopefully you never will .. but if you do lets hope none of them read your comment because who knows maybe they would let your house burn down while they play cards and eat chili. No, actually they wouldn't because they are amazing and are heros. They wouldn't be cruel they would save your worthless ass! Grow up

Posted by Ashley December 1, 08 02:43 PM

just unbelievable...I will share these photos with a Fullerton resident I was able to see the fires from where I reside but could never capture anything like this. Ty for sharing and thanks to all the hard work the firefighters did. My prayers go out to all the people who have lost homes and personal effects.

Posted by Bobbie December 1, 08 02:59 PM


Posted by Anonymous December 1, 08 03:06 PM


Posted by Sal C December 1, 08 03:23 PM

I just the comment of # 259. His statements ae so left field that they are beyond foul! My Dad was a New York District Chief, Befroe he retired, his District was where the twin towers were located. I can not tellyou how many times we were called to say Dad was in serious trouble from a fire incident. If one recalls 9/11 firemen and women were going up while others were going down. As for me I spent 25 years in the military as a combat officer and as I read you your nasty comment, I decided you are a class a COWARD and never risked your life for anything or anyone. Desi Arnaiz, COL USAF ret.

Posted by Desi Arnaiz December 1, 08 03:48 PM

To all who post: Just stop commenting on Dave B. #259. As a firemen, We do not hate these kinds of people. We, are not above anyone else, cops, plumbers, carpenters, fitters, etc. We do not ask for anything above what provides us only to do our jobs to the fullest. No man gets into this lifestyle (It's more than just a job, it's a lifestyle) to make money. Trust me on that one. What's sad is that he'll never be able to see that mother's face when we pull her daughter out of her burning house, or successfully revive someone's Grandfather after he has a heart attack after seeing his grandkids for the first time, he'll never be able to witness the brotherhood and loyalty and compassion while attending a fireman's funeral. We do die, on average 100 a year! That's only in the line of duty. That's not guys who die off the job, I'm sorry not "on the clock." It's OK though Dave, one day you'll need us, and guess what, we'll be there, anytime any place, we'll be there. Remember one thing: Courage is not the absence of fear, it's recognizing it's presence and acting anyway. Dave, if fightin' fires was easy, the cops would do it!!! God Bless.

Posted by Kevin December 1, 08 04:25 PM

Yes, we know; there is good and bad in all occupations. So lets sift out the bad and get behind our Firefighters as a country. They are doing jobs some of you refuse to do. Maybe we should sift out the bad in the White House first so we can truly give honor to our Firefighters as a Country.

Posted by Linda December 1, 08 05:37 PM

That was scary but yet awesome bye.

Posted by Kaylee Kirk December 1, 08 06:15 PM

I just want to say thank you to everyone who respects this profession. We can all expect there to be those who do not. As many have said before when you need us we will be there. Whether it be for an MVC, MI, or to pull you out...we will be there 24/7. To all my brothers in CA...stay safe and "Everyone goes home!!!".

Posted by BRB December 1, 08 06:17 PM

Why does the government continue to pour money and risk the lives of firefighters in areas like this where it is a certainty that wildfires will eventually do just what they do every year? Homes in these areas should be uninsurable and buyers should be told up front that they are entering at their own peril..and then stick to it. I have little compassion for supposedly intelligent people who behave like idiots. And, by the way, if their children are harmed, they should be held accountable for putting them in jeopardy.

Posted by Jake Harrison December 1, 08 07:00 PM

My niece lives in Southern Calif and she emailed photos of the fire to me. After looking at the photos I started reading the comments. I couldn't believe the comments made by John. Dude, get some help! There is something behind those comments and it has nothing to do with firefighters.

Posted by Vickie H. December 1, 08 07:14 PM

I'm pretty sure you're an ass because you tried being a fire-fighter and got rejected for being too slow and clumsy. Their "jobs" involve them risking their lives to save our property and lives. So go back into your mother's basement and play with your Star Trek guys and leave your unintelligible comments to yourself. Thanks.

Posted by Dan Ritter December 1, 08 07:23 PM

We should thank the firefighter. For saving any homes they could save!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Carol December 1, 08 07:35 PM

Here is comment #259 from 'Dave B.' let me add - aka Dave B. A "coward"
259.FIRE FIGHTERS ARE WAY OVERRATED! I'm so sick of hearing them called "altruistic" and "angels." It's a JOB to them. They don't wake up every day with big, benevolent smiles, aching to protect your house and your car. They love what they do because it's FUN. They are boys who get paid very well to spend almost all their time to working out, playing cards, and cooking chili. They love to play with all the expensive toys that the government (we taxpayers) give them. Half of them would be arsonists if they didn't have an acceptable way to play with fire. They are not heroes. But they sure don't shy away from all the glory or girls bestowed upon them by you sentimental dummies. Hardly any of them die or get hurt.
Dave, the next time you need anything from an underpaid, underappreicated public servant - please, please, take a pill or two or more and put your self to bed - you no longer have a right to call crying asking for help, protection or courtesy from our 'everyday Heros'.

The Fire Departments in the different states and communities I have lived in have come to the aid of the elderly, the sick, a scared Mother or Father, a scared child, I have seen them hold hands and embrace those who have just lost someone dear to them or worried it may happen. They don't 'just' fight fires and rescue people at their most desperate hour....
So..'Dave'..... seriously, shut down the warcraft game you've been playing for Lord knows how many years, take a shower, brush your teeth and go out and do something to earn the air you are breathing....

No - I am not a public servant, I don't work for the government, I am a self employed individual that pays a large chuck of my business earnings to support these people, I do so gratefully.

Posted by Amy December 1, 08 08:22 PM

i gave the fire department my favorite possession in the world my chainsaw an orline mustang that was vintage unused in the box for saving my house in the oakridge mobil home park fire 11-15-2008. the stand they took in that firestorm was an incredible act of heroism i won't soon forget. i hope they display it in their station as it remained untouched in a sea of ashes. no one has ever seen a fire like this sweep through 200 acres of houses in one hour. i knew all these little homes and i knew that the fire plug standing in front of mine would someday come into use. and it did. they set up a line of trucks and made the finest stand they could, there was no way out the park had one exit and it was a half mile away and it was closed by flames. what courage it took to stand together there in that hell. i am crying tears for all that was lost but i saw the bravery that remains.

Posted by michael conaway December 1, 08 09:48 PM

I have been there and done that for over thirty years. Please don't take all said by # 259 as being untrue. Our stress while waiting for the tone controls to activate was usually covered by an abundence of levity. This was constrewed by many as "having fun". It was the best way for us to retain our sanity. However, please allow me to say that he is misguided while trying to get his point across. If he were there and had done that I believe his attitude would be more in-line with reality.

Posted by John Bokenko December 1, 08 10:18 PM

A comment for # 259, It is true that departments cook food. Some may relax by reading, watch DVD movies or play table games. Yes it can be concidered fun to be a firefighter. But when that alarm rings, that pager squawks out a call, you can be damn sure that they will be out there putting life near harms way, to protect and serve their communities. Training is a big part of their lives. working in shifts usually three: A, B, & C. They take classes when time allows, do required maint. on equipment, provide public services to schools. Volunteer firefighters work just as hard to achieve these common goals.I am a third generation volunteer firefighter and proud to fill those boots.When hackers find you Dave, sleep if you can.

Posted by Michael Spitznogle December 1, 08 10:50 PM

There must be an action that can be taken to prevent these ongoing destructive fires in California. Homes should be put together in clusters which are surrounded by water. I am not simplifying this tragedy. The firemen are doing the best they can. It's a thankless task.

Some of the wealthy people who keep rebuilding in these areas should get together with experts to keep this tragedy to a minimum.

Posted by Paul Mandel December 1, 08 10:59 PM

My father is a retired FIREMAN from the City of Los Angeles going on 24 years. He might be sucking on an oxygen bottle now, but he spent the best years of his life protecting lives and property. Always the real #1 hero in my books. Thank you to all of you Firemen and Fire Fighters. You are your own Family's Personal Hero.

Posted by Phil Olson December 2, 08 12:12 AM

I just wanted to say Thank you to all those men and women who are firemen. You are truly the Hero's in our Nation. I'm so proud of all of you. There are three Volunteer firemen in our family, my son, his son, my 17 yr.old grandson , a junior volunteer, and my son-in-law. They go out all hours of the night , and then go to work, beside all the time they put in during the week to learn how to save people and their homes.. They have tended to the elderly, heart attack victims,etc.etc. besides fires. They have seen unimaginable things from murders to drownings, they have seen people die and tried to console their loved ones. They have sympathy and empathy as all Firefighters do. God Bless you all, and I hope that people give to their local firefighters, and appreciate all they risk they take for you and your safety.

Posted by Sally Hoffman December 2, 08 02:03 AM

who in their right mind is ever going to read through all these comments before they get to mine. If any of you do, let me know and I'll tell you what I think of these fires.

Posted by Carol December 2, 08 02:34 AM

Don't waste your time on 259. My time is put to better use then thinking about that piece of sh...!

Posted by Pat December 2, 08 03:35 AM

c'est vraiment impressionnant. on imagine sans peine le désarroi des habitants devant leur maison en cendre. dans le sud de la france nous avons chaque année des incendies dus à des actes de malveillance. ceux-çi sont attisés par un vent fort qu'on appelle mistral. heureusement seules quelques maisons isolées et souvent avec un terrain mal entretenu partent en fumée.
chez nous aussi les pompiers font un travail extraordinaire et prennent beaucoup de risques.

Posted by fabrice : marseille-france December 2, 08 05:27 AM

To Dave B (#259)
My husband and several of his friends are volunteer firefighters. Our community is staffed primarily by men and women who don't get paid to save our butts in time of trouble. They respond to fires, tornados/severe storms, blizzards, injuries and may other "tragedies". You really need to do more research before you spout off your uneducated mouth.

Posted by kathy December 2, 08 09:29 AM


Posted by HAROLD WAKE December 2, 08 10:46 AM

I am sorry that those people have to go through this terrible time. I hope the best for all of them.

Posted by Anonymous December 2, 08 12:15 PM

WOW it is sad to see how fires can come in and destroy all the things you work so hard to get. Poof it's gone in a flash. God bless thoes who are working to stop the fires and for the one that lossed any thing and every thing.

Posted by Shane P. December 2, 08 12:58 PM

These men and women risk their lives for all of us.
So give them a big Thank You, and all the support you can.
I know how hard they work non stop at every event.

Bless them all and may our lord protect them.

Posted by Paul H Behrens December 2, 08 01:09 PM


Posted by R ANASTASIA December 2, 08 01:23 PM

Reminds me of the Cedar Fire we had in 2003. Will it never end?

Posted by Marvin December 2, 08 01:53 PM

I now look with a little regret back over a life in which I will never be able to be a firefighter. I am no longer ambulatory, but for forty years, I could have done something like this. Reading the comments and look at the images gives me a new appreciation of firefighters. I would not have it except for all the responses, and poster #633 ally made me grin at the incredibly crass #259 post.

Posted by David Madison December 2, 08 02:06 PM

WOW- the John dude here is such an A--. Amazing - says he wont be back to see comments- bet he does. Perhaps to call him an A-- is coming too close to behaving like him - Suppose he is just a sad person, full of bitterness and hate. Very sad.

To all others - Yes, Blessings to all those that serve our country in whatever capacity they chose to do so - and blessings to all that CARE, pray, and act upon these sort of situations.

Posted by Saylor December 2, 08 03:02 PM

To all who posted and to our country. A lot of you seemed to have put a lot into your comments,some thoughtful, but a lot of bashing. These are circumstances that we can only do so much to prepare for...the rest is left to hope and the courage of those protecting us. When you read my post I ask that you just close your eyes for 10 seconds and pray not only for those who are sufferring first hand, but for all of us. No matter the situation, the devastation, or the hardships and it seems like all has been stripped from us, we do still have one thing...each other. So please say a prayer to whoever you pray to that we reamain in each others corner. cornerthankfulthankful

Posted by Steve Breier December 2, 08 03:48 PM

At least each house on the block still has their backyard swimming pool. I mean this is about material things isn't it?... There is nothing like a car wreck to keep us entertained. Someone emailed me a link to this... these are beautiful photos of senseless people. I don't swim were the sharks repeatedly attack, so why build homes were fires repeatedly ignite? I would hate for all of my belongings to burn to the ground and I feel for the victims of the flames, but please have some common scene. And make sure you think these brave, noble, fearless photographers for bringing you into the eye of such tragedy with these beautiful photos, so that you have something to gock about.

Posted by Jim December 2, 08 03:56 PM

Wow. That guy Dan Phillips is a jerk (comment # 640). Why does he think anyone would be interested in his opinion? I regularly read the OC Register, because I live in Orange County, Ca. Residents read stories and then comment on them, often offering addition information that the reporter initially missed. I have participated in one of these discussions before and it was helpful to the community it served... and what does "getting published" have to do with anything? Dan is weird.

Keep on commenting.

Posted by Mara December 2, 08 05:00 PM

So saith Dan Phillps above # 640 ".I think it is so funny that so many of you post your comments. So few people, I mean so FEW read them, yet, you post your comments like people are going to actually read them. Why don't you go write a song, or donate your time, or say something nice to a loved one. You guys actually act like any cares what you think. Like your comments are "published". They aren't. And by the way, for the 9 people that actually read THIS, I will never be visiting this site again, and have no desire or care to see what you 9 people write about this comment. I am out making money, living life. Bye bye." ^^Thats FUNny^^

Posted by Dan Phillips

Posted by Darvish Blathsnocker December 2, 08 06:21 PM

I'm Really SCARED!!!!

Posted by JACOB HANCOCK December 2, 08 08:13 PM

Post #259 downplays the risks that all firefighters face daily: each year, across the US, about 100 firefighters die in the line of duty. From 1990 -2006, 310 wildland firefighters died.
Yeah, it's challenging, fun, pays good and is a lifestyle that we've chosen. But, when things go bad, the consequences are different than being an accountant for AIG or Bear Stearns.

Posted by Hundekot December 2, 08 10:30 PM

God Bless All the Firefighters and everyone else who put their lives on the the line
to help battle these horrible fires and try and save other's lives..

God Bless you all...

Posted by Brenda Hensel December 3, 08 05:17 AM

Why do these fires occur year after year , in the same places and areas, and why are the destructive forest fires appearing to occur more often now than before.?

Maybe why should thank our tree hugging environmonsters? A lot of the reason is that as logging and other activites decreased, the small underbrush trash and non-useable planlife was allowed to flourish. True, animals do live in that stuff but even more would have been living had all that land been properly handled as it is the trashey underbrush that gets the fires going, makes them hot, and helps them to spread. Trees rarely burn if allowed to grow to maturity and not overheated by brush fires below them.

Posted by plb December 3, 08 08:51 AM

to #259 it is painfully obvious to everyone that you are emotionally handicapped and could not pass the firefighters exam to become a fire fighter yourself. instead of behaving like a stubborn child try to do SOMETHING good and stop trying to make yourself feel better by putting others down. the # of people who die in this job is not as important as is the fact that they go to work knowing that they may die trying to save someone like you and they still try!
and to #640 if nobody reads these then why did you???? if you dont care then go elswhere where you will fit in, like Somolia. You have made me embarrased to use my last name. I know we are not related and that makes me fell better.

Posted by Robert Phillips December 3, 08 12:51 PM

I will pray for the families daily.

Posted by mn December 3, 08 01:40 PM

We all need to leave #259 alone. This person obviously has issues that need to be delt with on an mental health basis. (Or a 9mm basis!!) It is a terrible thing that happens to us as people, but it is nature. And we are just ashes in the fire of Gods will. We should not hate, but we still do. This person is wrong, but it is his (Dave's) belief. To the rest of us 'normal' Americans, lets continue to praise the people who put their lives on the line to help others. It is a "sickness", I know because I have it. I have been a firefihgter in my area for 15yrs. And proud to be!! My Father for 34yrs. Sorry Dave that you feel this way, but you are wrong, and that's that!!! Great to hear from the rest of you!!!

Posted by Tom Campbell December 3, 08 01:56 PM

wow that look devastating i have never seen anything like that before, i think that this website rox thanx and byebyebyebyebyebyebyebyebyebyebyebyebyebye!!!

Posted by Dylasiaharris December 3, 08 04:03 PM

As a veteran of WW2 and Korea and a life-long resident of Sourthern Calfornia I couldn't help but read all of the mostly generous and heartfelt comments re these incredible scenes. As a USAF combat correspondent/photographer in Korea I witnessed some rather horrific scenes, but none approached the gravity of these photographs. Besides thanking the heroic and brave efforts of the wonderful Firefighters, I would also like to salute the intrepid "combat" photographers who covered the disasters. We used to say " if the picutres weren't good, you weren't close enough" .... these guys were TOO damned close at times!!

Posted by Cpt. Don Kader, USAF (Ret) December 3, 08 04:17 PM

I'll take Western New York snow any time!

Posted by tmd December 3, 08 04:38 PM

I was a logger in Oregon and Washington for several years, I considered myself a steward to the land. I was involved in thinning projects, and was a true enviromentalist I am proud of the young health trees that are growing today because of my practices. I unfortionatly left the logging industry several years ago to better care for my family. I see familys loosing there homes and every thing they have built threw the years in the matter of minutes. It does not have to be this way. If the forests and lands were properly cared the fires would decrease. I have a plan that if implimented will save homes and more importantly lives. I hope the governer reads the letter I am sending him. My prayers are with all of you that have experienced loss

Posted by Rick Taylor December 3, 08 05:14 PM

I am a former for mer resident of so.Ca. ,(65yrs.). I experienced many of Ca.s
annual fire seasons.To say, as some would, that people should not build homes there, is pure socialism. and ignorance. It would be like saying that we
should permanenently evacuate housing from,say Florida,La.,or Miss. due to
annual hurricane activity. Think about that one!!!
When we lived in Brea, and later Chino, (near Corona), I used to commute
thru Carbon Canyon Road,which I understand is pretty much burned out. I saw many of the pix' s & they were very sad indeed! Despite artistic talent,how can a pix of someones life savings gone up in smoke be called beautiful.
As for #259 Dave, let's hope that there aren't that many of him around,because that would be 259 too many!!!!
Gary Cave La Porte In.

Posted by Gary Cave December 3, 08 07:41 PM

3 little pigs comes to mind

Posted by john gray December 3, 08 09:16 PM

Dear "Dave B." aka, #259
It saddens me greatly to hear of people who can only see the negative in this world. I'm sorry to hear you have such a low opinion of the great men and women who protect our homes to the best of their abilities, as i believe you are severely misguided to say so. I hope some day you will realize the error in your opinion, preferably before your house is in danger of loss.
To the men and women who put their lives on the line and enter burning buildings for the safety of others, THANK YOU!
The world could not function with out such wonderful people. Have a wonderful holiday seasnon with your families, You are Heroes

Posted by Annek Smith December 4, 08 12:05 AM

I worked the fire in so cal and i am disapointed in what #259 thinks of the excruciatingly long and cruel hours that i worked down there. not to mention the 10 hour drive on the engine from sac metro(smfd). you are one misguided s.o.b. and hope that you get help sometime soon so i dont have to unfortunently help your crazy ass one day.
Thanks to all that appreciate the job!!!
good work to all that helped!!!

Posted by sac metro December 4, 08 01:02 AM

I agree with Dave #259. It's almost impossible to get a fire department job
because they are such cushy jobs. Outside the large cities, 90% of high
school grads would love to be firemen. If they're so brave why don't they
join one the armed services where the real heroes are.

I live several blocks from a fire house, in a city of 90,000 these guys do crap.
I've seen them waxing their cars, fixing their boats trying to hide behind the
station. If that job is so hard how come it's so hard to get on.

Posted by Harry B. December 4, 08 02:48 AM

All individuals who criticize those who immediately respond to an emergency situation should be required, just once, to don incredible pounds of equipment/a face mask...possibly a weapon....and walk/climb into an unknown situation where they could be burned or shot at. Their objections would be immediately quelled. I salute our heroic police/fire department and all.

Posted by janet orr December 4, 08 02:50 AM

I for one am thankful for all firefighters do. They are the salt of the earth...are their jobs cushy sometimes...why not? There isn't one of us who hasn't at one time been thankful for a lull in our job when we put in an 80 hour week...I've seen the rages of what a fire can father died trapped in a crane surrounded by burning metal...Thank you firefighters...

Posted by Joanne Z December 4, 08 08:57 AM

Comment #259
To: Dave B.
I take it you didn't make it as a fire fighter, A bit jealous are we???

Posted by I luv frfghtrs!!! December 4, 08 09:26 AM

In response to 673 and I quote "Gosh, I love firemen.. they are great.. not arrogant like policemen" My husband is a police officer and he is not at all "arrogant". He is the most humble, geniune, hardworking man I know who does anything to help people. I guess you are coming across the wrong kind of police officers. The ones I know are all very hard working people who care about others and make big sacrifices. They too work a ton of hours and are away from their families on special occassions/holidays when everyone else is home celebrating with their loved ones. I come from a family of firefighters & police officers who are all heros.

Posted by Heather December 4, 08 09:55 AM

259, if you think firefighters do it for the money and cushy down time, then you are discounting the huge compliment of volunteers. Ally 633, Mike 686, and me... a 55 yr old retired woman. We drill, train, study, find and maintain equipment, and respond to 911 on our own time. 24/7. We get not a dime, or even a bowl of chili. We usually get thanks. But hey Dave 259, if a drunk runs you off the road in my district, I'll still splint and bandage you just the same as I do for good people.

Posted by Di December 4, 08 10:36 AM

This country would be in terrible shape without the brave men and women who fight our fires and come to our rescue when called to do so. I pray for them and their families who go without seeing them sometimes for hours at a time. The danger they face is real, just look at the pictures. They do this job and sometimes lose their lives leaving wife and children alone. It is not an easy job and to think they have to take criticism from certain people makes me sick. I pray also for people who are so quick to criticize while not walking in the shoes of the fireman. Maybe they are to be pitied.

Posted by Mary Ellen Obenhin December 4, 08 11:00 AM

God bless each and everyone of those brave firefighters, putting their lives in harms way to save others (lives, homes, etc.) hmm sounds like our brave military people too. THANK YOU is hardly enough but I do say thank you and may God protect you. May God bless you and your families as the Christmas season approaches and into the new year.

Posted by Donna from IL December 4, 08 11:10 AM

To my brothers in CA, God's blessings and safe days to all of you. S. Jackson, Pres., IAFF L 4309, Orange Beach, AL

Posted by S. Jackson December 4, 08 11:21 AM

Let's all forget what an idiot #259 is and focus our energy towards Thanking all the Fire Fighters for a job well done. I have many friends and relatives that are fire fighters and not once (in my many years) have I ever heard them comment or brag about what tools or equipment that they need to do their job properly. These are not toys to them. These are neccesary tools to get the job done...just like any other jobs that require tools, equipment etc..., I loved and respect all the comments our Fire fighters made...genuine and articulate and never expecting a pat on the back...well from me and from alot of other Thankfull citizens...I pat you on the back, I salute you, I commend you for choosing or selecting a job that many of us woudn't consider for the dangers that are involved. My tax dollars are not near enough to Thank you... Thank you guys...Thank you for always being there for us. May GOD bless you all, and help us all to understand what it takes every time that "Bell" goes off...Lets us focus our energy, our compassion and understanding towards the victims of the CalFire tragedies. May GOD Bless you all. Can anyone suggest the best way how we can help these unfortunate people?

Posted by Larry December 4, 08 11:47 AM

Lose the bloggers!!!!

Posted by Anonymous December 4, 08 02:03 PM

I am a victim of the Sylmar Fire on Nov. 14, which is also my birthday. I lost my home in the Oakridge Mobile Home Park. I lived there for 20 years. I cannot thank the firemen for putting their lives on the line trying to save what they could. Two of my good friends houses made it through the fire. Mine with my car, was burned to the ground. There were 600 homes, approximately 100 homes did not burn to the ground. The Red Cross were the first ones there to help. Shelters were opened immediately for us to flee with what we pretty much had on our backs. The out pour of help has been wonderful. Friends have opened their hearts and homes to us. We even managed to stay in business that we ran out of our home. We opened on Monday. No one got hurt, all my friends and their pets made it out. This is be a whole new beginning in the New Year for us all. Best wishes to everyone.

Posted by Dolly W. December 4, 08 02:41 PM

Dave B #259 -GROW UP! Firefighters ARE Heros, even though most of them don't like to think of themselves that way. They are doing a job that they love because they care. As far as eating Chili, well don't you eat dinner every night? Playing cards? What do you do after work? In a 24 hour or longer shift, aren't they entitled to some leisure time? Playing with the expensive equipment that the taxpayers bought? Thank God they have that expensive equipment that the taxpayers bought, so they can put out fires and save lives! My Dad was a fire fighter and over the years, I saw him burned and injured several times. He will always be my Hero!

Posted by Jill from Calif. December 4, 08 03:14 PM

Please, please do not recognize that mentally ill man anymore! I am a high school teacher..public servant and very grateful to the firefighters, police...all those who 'go in and brave the unthinkable"...hey, me too. Ignore the people that do not recognize the heroic behaviors that had to happen on those horrific days.
Thank you, thank you...a million times over guys and gals...we are sooo grateful. Nature is powerful...we forget. Many are hurt, people, animals, habitat, property...prepare next time...prepare! Again, prepare!
Do not buy in dangerous areas, no matter the price...not worth it!
Take care....and be safe in all that you do....

Posted by Connie B. December 4, 08 03:32 PM

Golly, Gee, "259"! Since it is such a "FUN" and "Plush" job, why don't you "try" to give it a go? NO GUTS?

Posted by DROWSSAP December 4, 08 03:58 PM

God Bless you all!

Posted by Gracie Lyn Gunnoe December 4, 08 04:25 PM

May God give strength to all the people and their families to recover from their losses and may God Bless All and Every Volunteer that assisted them.
Thank you to all the Firefighters and EMS personnel that assisted in the terrible fire.

Posted by Maureen Leo, NJ December 4, 08 05:22 PM

My husband and I moved from Santa barbara to north east Washington 2 summers ago only to be surrounded by horriffic fires for weeks, the pen cannot express the taste of adrenoline, the rush of fear smoke carries or the terror of the emmense red glow, especially at night. Firefighters, paid, and volunteer, camped in our yard. It was to us as the hand of God's protection. We lost nothing but gained a new respect. I would hope that firemen would never have to face a fire ever and still get paid above what they do. It is never enough. Thank you's can not convey the depth of gratitude or respect.

Posted by David and Cynthia Ahmadi December 4, 08 06:04 PM

Words in the English vocabulary are not adequate to express the horror and destruction, along with the heroism of the firemen and all others who helped to end that Dante's inferno. My prayers for the families who lost loved ones, and who lost their homes.
The only good, hopefully, if there IS any good to come out of such distruction, is that many involved will be the stronger in spirit for having survived it, and that life will have a much deeper meaning.
God bless,

Posted by Verna Plater-Davies December 4, 08 07:59 PM

The first time I saw photo 32 I thought it had to do with war. And, I wonder who that figurine was supposed to be?

Posted by Alex B. December 4, 08 08:04 PM

what a pity!god consolate you all!god is working good for you.8romans8:28)

Posted by akiyo nakamura December 4, 08 09:43 PM

HEY 259... HARDLY EVER HUH?? THIS IS JUST THIS YEAR........Ryan, Jr., Robert J. Brooklyn, New York 11/23/2008
Kline, Steve D. Stone Park, Illinois 11/18/2008
Snowman, Michael David Hartland, Maine 11/17/2008
Harris, Walter P. Detroit, Michigan 11/15/2008
Taylor, Carol Irene Goldsboro, North Carolina 11/14/2008
Sears, Jamel M Brooklyn, New York 11/11/2008
Clasby, John Hull, Massachusetts 11/11/2008
Turnbough, Cecilia Dale City, Virginia 11/09/2008
Smith, Jr., Roy McGaheysville, Virginia 11/07/2008
Riggins, Leonard St. Louis, Missouri 11/05/2008
Brown, Wayne D. Bristol, Rhode Island 11/03/2008
Renfroe, Adam Cody Crossville, Alabama 10/29/2008
Neville, Brian D. Towson, Maryland 10/16/2008
Miller, William Joseph Blue Mound, Illinois 10/13/2008
Falconer, Douglas Globe, Arizona 10/01/2008
Arabie, Ralph P Gretna, Louisiana 09/29/2008
Grider, Dale Wayne DeKalb, Texas 09/29/2008
Junginger, Edward Levittown, New York 09/26/2008
Hillman, Sr., Curtis Ray Redding, California 09/11/2008
Northup, Greg Gallipolis, Ohio 09/03/2008
Wahlstrom, Calvin Gene Missoula, Montana 09/01/2008
Gonsioroski, Gregory Missoula, Montana 09/01/2008
Vander-Griend, Zachary Jake Missoula, Montana 09/01/2008
Jessen, Curtis Asheville, North Carolina 08/21/2008
Hales, Robert A. Scappoose, Oregon 08/17/2008
McGough, Tony Amity, Arkansas 08/14/2008
Whiten, Sean T. Roscoe, Pennsylvania 08/09/2008
Blazer, Shawn Merlin, Oregon 08/05/2008
Charlson, Scott Merlin, Oregon 08/05/2008
Hammer, Matthew Merlin, Oregon 08/05/2008
Gomez, Edrik Merlin, Oregon 08/05/2008
Rich, Bryan Merlin, Oregon 08/05/2008
Steele, David Merlin, Oregon 08/05/2008
Renno, Steven Merlin, Oregon 08/05/2008
Ramage, James Redding, California 08/05/2008
Schwanenberg, Roark Grants Pass, Oregon 08/05/2008
Leduc, Gerald R. Tiverton, Rhode Island 08/03/2008
Packer, Dan Bonney Lake, Washington 07/27/2008
Palmer, Andrew Port Angeles, Washington 07/25/2008
Wichlacz, Frank Pulaski, Wisconsin 07/23/2008
Munz, Brian J. Fairbury, Illinois 07/22/2008
Hummert, Ryan Saint Louis, Missouri 07/21/2008
Meron, David Hoosick Falls, New York 07/20/2008
Bajusz, Johnny Long Key, Florida 07/18/2008
Barker, Ryan T. Elmira, New York 07/08/2008
Kear, Richard L. Harpster, Ohio 07/07/2008
Knight, Robert Leland Teague, Texas 07/05/2008
Jordan, Joe Pat Pickton, Texas 07/04/2008
Roland, Robert Boonville, California 07/03/2008
MacDonald, Michael Browning, Montana 06/29/2008
Studer, Gary L. Whitehouse, Ohio 06/28/2008
Powers, Jeff Mill Valley, California 06/26/2008
Crocker, George E. Pine Level, North Carolina 06/22/2008
Pryor, Kevin Patrick Newport Beach, California 06/17/2008
Thomas, Colin Gene Jacksonville, North Carolina 06/14/2008
Brinson, Jr., Rufus E. New Bern, North Carolina 06/06/2008
Topping, Russell Thomas Barnsdall, Oklahoma 05/31/2008
Burns, Richard Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 05/24/2008
Maddy, Jay C. Eaton, Indiana 05/23/2008
Eusden, Raymond Aston, Pennsylvania 05/20/2008
Mixon, Joseph R. Birmingham, Alabama 05/13/2008
Casey, Tyler Racine, Missouri 05/12/2008
Jylka, Jeremy L. Pine City, Minnesota 04/29/2008
Terrebonne Jr., Riley J. Springfield, Louisiana 04/21/2008
Morris, Rick Sedalia, Missouri 04/17/2008
Marais, Gert Fort Collins, Colorado 04/15/2008
DeVore, Terry Olney Springs, Colorado 04/15/2008
Schwartz, Jr., John Olney Springs, Colorado 04/15/2008
Fraley, Charlie Macon, Mississippi 04/12/2008
Crotty, Michael D. Erie, Pennsylvania 04/08/2008
Broxterman, Robin Cincinnati, Ohio 04/04/2008
Schira, Brian Cincinnati, Ohio 04/04/2008
Speed, Eric Shreveport, Louisiana 03/28/2008
Lovrien, Brent A. Los Angeles, California 03/26/2008
Grubor, Donald "Lee" Lewistown, Illinois 03/22/2008
Crockett, Terrance Kansas City, Missouri 03/17/2008
Delaney, John Mesa, Arizona 03/17/2008
Michl, Walter William Littleton, North Carolina 03/16/2008
Barrett, Sr., Raymond West Milford, New Jersey 03/09/2008
Monroe, Justin Salisbury, North Carolina 03/07/2008
Isler, Victor Salisbury, North Carolina 03/07/2008
Picozzi II, Nicholas V. Linwood, Pennsylvania 03/05/2008
Holmes, Brad Grove City, Pennsylvania 03/05/2008
Vazquez, Rafael West Palm Beach, Florida 03/03/2008
Dennis Jr., Roger San Antonio, Texas 02/29/2008
Stewart, Shane Ault, Colorado 02/23/2008
Turner, Joey Homerville, Georgia 02/22/2008
Tomaselli, Vance San Bernardino, California 02/21/2008
Hays, Michael J. Chama, New Mexico 02/19/2008
Lockhart, Jack Dayton, Pennsylvania 02/17/2008
Sheridan, Kerry Shorewood, Illinois 02/12/2008
Arthur, James Earl Concord, North Carolina 02/11/2008
Hubly, Matthew Kankakee, Illinois 02/07/2008
Sherfick, David Mooresville, Indiana 02/04/2008
Swander, Paul Ohio City, Ohio 02/02/2008
Hubbel, Donald W. Baltimore, Maryland 02/01/2008
Walker, Jr., Walter Clyde Collinsville, Mississippi 01/26/2008
Jones, Herman S. Raleigh, North Carolina 01/22/2008
Burchett, Christa Dawn Paintsville, Kentucky 01/22/2008
McAtee, Sr., Robert L. Huttonsville, West Virginia 01/20/2008
Berra, Louis P. Manchester, Missouri 01/18/2008
Dixon, Jarrett A Towson, Maryland 01/12/2008
Jordan, Harvey Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 01/07/2008
Robeson, James L. Scranton, Pennsylvania 01/06/2008
Martinson, John H. Brooklyn, New York 01/03/2008
Ellington, Paul Lewis Reidsville, North Carolina 01/01/2008
Paterson, Donald G. Kimball, Michigan 01/01/2008

Posted by Keith Roach December 4, 08 10:15 PM

My cousin Janet lives/lived in Yorba Linda. A letter sent after 11-15-08 remains unanswered. Her Father was a firefighter in Milw for many years. Families of firefighters are under constant suspense never knowing what a day will bring. #259 Dave should be doubly ashamed at his 'dumb' words at a time of such disaster.

Posted by Laverne M December 4, 08 11:28 PM

Hey everyone...I truly hope that 259 didn't mean what he wrote. But, I have heard those idiotic words from people before. Most people seem to stereotype without knowing truly what goes on in these jobs. My parents are retired police officers. Most of my friends thought they just ate donuts. I've seen my mother come home with bruises and blood on her clothing many times. I'm a registered nurse. Most people think I just stand at a nurse's station, screw doctors and give shots. What I truly find amazing is that these same idiots that sterotype are the first ones who want our services (firefighters, police, nurses, etc), and will throw a fit if they feel they did not receive it properly! Why don' t you try spending your holidays without your family taking care of ingrates such as yourself ? And personally, I have known several firefighters, policeman, and nurses killed in the line of duty. To everyone else, I will speak for firefighters and thank you for your support! I included police and nurses because they are accused of similar things.

Posted by Elisa G. December 5, 08 05:54 AM

To Dave B., comment #259,
These firefighters ARE heroes. Just like all of our public safety employees. When was the last time you had to face down flames to try and keep the home of a perfect stranger from burning to the ground. How many more homes would have been lost if they firefighters truly acted the way your comment says? Maybe if your house is on fire, they should just stay at the station and play cards while you try to put out the fire with your garden hose? Have you considered the other dangers these dedicated people face? A person who is having a medical emergency. Is an otherwise healthy person having a heart attack, or is it the drug addict with AIDS who just overdosed on crack? What about running into a burning building to save a trapped child who would certainly burn to death otherwise? What about when they respond to a traffic accident and have to cut a car apart to remove a badly injured passenger in the middle of traffic with gasoline pouring from the ruptured fuel tank? What about the nurse who gets bit by a violent person who has Hepatitis? The doctor who has to treat a person with tuberculosis? What about the police officer who faces the very real possibility of being murdered simply because of the uniform he is wearing? What about the highway patrolman who may be pulling over a regular person who was just a little inattentive or is it really the loser on parole who faces the rest of his life in prison for his third strike because he has illegal drugs in the car and has nothing to lose if he kills the patrolman? What about the correctional officer who is simply trying to check the welfare of the inmates under his supervision but one angry inmate decides to throw feces and urine on him simply because of the uniform he is wearing?
I think your comments were immature, uninformed and just plain wrong!

I personally want to thank every man and woman who have answered the call to serve their fellow citizen to help our lives be better and to their families, thank you for supporting these brave heroes while they do these jobs for the meager salaries the taxpayers give them.

To Dave B., one final thought. If you hate the firefighters, next time your house is on fire, ask the child molester living at the local shelter to run into your burning house to save your family and see what happens. If you hate the police, next time your house is robbed, call the crack addict from the halfway house to investigate the theft and try to recover your stolen property. The next time you break your arm in a fall off the roof, go see the drug dealer on the street corner to set the break and put it in a cast. Oh, and the next time you have to explain to a judge why you are fighting a traffic ticket for speeding and the judge shows no sympathy, remember your coments here and don't be shocked when you pay the full fine and your insurance goes up because you are are a riskier driver on the road.

Posted by DaveC December 5, 08 12:21 PM

Would like to Thank All the people for helping all those who needed it.....I live in the South Carolina and all my Family live there in the middle of all the fire's....I am so Very Thankful....Bless all of you....

Posted by Myra Barnes December 5, 08 01:13 PM

i praise all fire fighters for the job they do and would never say anything against them, but let nobody say that calfornia does not have four seasons, earthqakes
mudslides fires and crime.

Posted by chunky December 5, 08 05:40 PM

i have friends from NM who went and helped out in Calif. id like to thank my brother fire fighters for not quitting. God knows this is a glimpse of what they saw.

Posted by Brian, Lobo Canyon VFD December 5, 08 06:03 PM

All myy gratitude, praise and respect go to the fire fighters. I live in So Cal where we have these terrible fires every year and these brave individuals are there at a moments notice and some times for weeks at a time. They work in the worst conditions possible. Many times they have to sleep on the bare ground and miss meals to keep a fire at bay. The temperatures they work in at times are way over human endurence. They do this work knowing it is dangerous and they may not go home some day.
My prayers are with them on a daily bases and for the ungrateful who do not appreciate them I am more than sure God has a special place for you

Posted by Sheila McDougall December 5, 08 08:24 PM

David B who are you? This is too funny how you wrote what you wrote about firefighters. Do you know someone who is a firefighter that has given you this vision of what it is to be a firefighter? It may be that on a given day a fire fighter has fun doing what they love and gets paid to cook chili and play with cool equiptment and work out, get praise from old ladies and young sexy ones too.
But at the end of the day they would run into a burning building to save your dumb ass even if you are ahol and not very cool. It does not seem like you are capable of leading such a noble life. Or are you, why don't you expand on your thoughts for all of us whose attention you have so wonderfully captured.

FIRE FIGHTERS ARE WAY OVERRATED! I'm so sick of hearing them called "altruistic" and "angels." It's a JOB to them. They don't wake up every day with big, benevolent smiles, aching to protect your house and your car. They love what they do because it's FUN. They are boys who get paid very well to spend almost all

their time to working out, playing cards, and cooking chili. They love to play with all the expensive toys that the government (we taxpayers) give them. Half of them would be arsonists if they didn't have an acceptable way to play with fire. They are not heroes. But they sure don't shy away from all the glory or girls bestowed upon them by you sentimental dummies. Hardly any of them die or get hurt.
Posted by Dave B. November 21, 08 06:21 PM

Posted by Dave W. December 5, 08 09:39 PM

David B. We do our job because we want to help YOU and everyone else no matter what you say or do. If your house caught fire or you were hurt...guess what....we'd still help if you even if you continue to spit in our face as you have with your bitter comment. We don't play cards. We train everyday to do our job better. We DO workout so we stay in shape to do our job better. Our "toys" are not toys to us but a tool to help save your house on fire and carry the equipment needed to save your life or someone you love. We don't play with fire. We put it out one way or another. Firefighters have lost their lives to save yours.

Posted by K. December 5, 08 11:55 PM

I can't believe anyone would think firefighters are "having fun" the Photos I've just looked at..I SALUTE YOUR COURAGE AND PROFESSINALISM!!

Posted by James C. Lewis,MGY USMC RET December 6, 08 12:35 AM

I agree with #691 that #259 you are a coward and a jerk and what ever else we can call you. My son is a fireman and every day he puts his life in danger helping out all you are in need. And no he is not making and eatting chilli all day long or having fun with all the little girlies out there that have nothing better to do with their lives. He is working his butt off to save people. And ya hopefully one day you don't need a fireman to save you because you do not deserve there help.

Posted by Arlene December 6, 08 09:12 AM

#259 is just plain and simple a JERK. I don't know how he or any one else could think that the Fire Fighters are not heros. Yes, sure that is their job, and under normal situations you could consider their actions all in a days work, but other times it is above and beyond the call of duty. Ask Dave where he was, when the towers fell, and the Fire Fighters, Police, and EMS workers rushed in, risking their lives to possible save just one life? I bet somewhere not being a hero!!! I am sure a Fire Fighter would risk their life to save even Daves' pitiful life.

Posted by Sherra Detamore December 6, 08 09:59 AM

To Dave ; (#259) // I totally understand your feelings of Jealousy, Ego, Hate and Pride. Such is the way of the Flesh. I'll do my best to pray to our Father in Heaven that He may convict you as He did me, that the ways of the world will go up in smoke just like the houses in these photos.

Posted by Paul December 6, 08 12:41 PM

To YOU #259
Its quite obvious you do not have even the brains to know what what you are talking about. Best to stay off a blog intended for intelligence of comentary!
To say such a thing as karma just might burn your ass, is an understatement!

Posted by D. December 6, 08 01:00 PM

Wow! Thank you all for being so passionate about public service workers. I started 30 years ago as a volunteer in order to be able to help my neighbors out if needed. The only way I was able to make it a career was to work other jobs on my days off, as did most others at the time.
I knew my family would be impacted and that there would be retiement benefits in the end. After spinal fusion ten years ago (from loading a CHP officer who had wrecked) and light duty, I recovered to complete my career. I live with the pain everyday and realize I will never be able to build houses as I had planned, but I have a great feeling of accomplishment for all the people we've helped. I've seen the destruction all around me from broken families to suicide and cancer. I was on duty when my parents and little brother were severly burned in a plane crash. Helping them recover was just another part of my constant training, not ot mention stress.
Ultimately we do all go home. It's my mantra, "Omnis Cedo Domus." My mom suffered thru 25 years with complications of diabetes, blindness, dialysis and the skin grafts. It is very gratifying to know you have the ability to help others, even off duty. Like one wrote, "it's a lifestyle", could not be further from the truth. Having the training and presence of mind to help others under dire circumstances is what saves lives. I've witnessed it more times than I can remember.
My kids are now both successful adults and productive members of society with compassion for others, that I believe were instilled because of the examples we set for them. Again, I thank each and every one of you that appreciate and understand the need for public service/safety employees. WGL

Posted by Wm Laybourne December 6, 08 01:49 PM

Firefighters RULE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Paul December 6, 08 03:14 PM

Dave B. #259 - I'm a VOLUNTEER, I don't receive money for helping and I'm a member of one of the best Fire Departments of the world, (LAFD). I'm not fight fires but I'm one of the members to support them while they are "working" but, men, what a job!! there is no money to pay what they do, you don't have any idea how hard is to fight a fire, or to provide emergency medical support or to rescue someone from a very bad traffic accident. You're right, it's a job, they get paid for what they do, but whatever work you do, you have to feel pasion for it, or you will quit. Oh yeah, they play cards, they do workout and funny things, but when the alarm sounds there is not a joke, will be the last one. My brother die in a fire as a VOLUNTEER while trying to rescue 2 kids from a house on fire. We don't received millions to cover the loss, we barely receive the money for the funeral but what he did is what any member of almost any Fire Department will do to preserve the life. I hope you never have a car accident, or suffer a fire in your house because if this happen you will have to "eat your words".

Posted by R. C. December 6, 08 06:54 PM

i think firefighters thru out cal. are really a group of super woman and men
thank god or whoever for the greatness they do!!!!!!!!!!!!!

bob from shasta county

Posted by bob schneider December 6, 08 08:16 PM

I live in Carbon Canyon, Chino Hills. I commend our AWESOME firefighters for their hard work and dedication to their job. My late brother-in-law, Richard Sewell started out as a volunteer fireman in Chino and ended up the first fire chief of the San Bernardino County Fire Department. Everytime there was a fire anywhere in California, if he wasn't there, he was on top of all the information, listening to the reports and ready at a moment's notice to help. He loved his work. I commend our firefighters...they risk their lives to save lives and our homes! I salute you!

Posted by Gail Griffin December 7, 08 03:33 PM

259 you are such a idiot I wonder what you do for a livivg and I pray that you never need the help of our emergency crews beceause clearly you dont deserve it !

Posted by kelly December 7, 08 08:17 PM

Comment to #715
I have know idea where in this country you must live. No matter where you are you will face a natural disaster be it flood, fire, hurricane, tornado, or earthquake whatever there is no part of the US immune to some kind of natural disaster!!! Oh and # 259 you really are an idoit withoiut a clue.

Posted by danny December 7, 08 11:43 PM


Posted by JIM December 8, 08 12:43 AM

All I know is GOD is in control and I am praying for all of our heroic firefighters and everyone who is out there saving lives and our houses! God bless you all and you will be rewarded in Heaven. Thank you all!

Posted by DaVada Garling December 8, 08 09:27 AM

I am a former Calif. resident and I witnessed many natural and manmade disasters.I thank God every day for the men and women of the fire and police departments. My husband was a Los Angeles Policeman for 32 years. He had the priveledge to ride escort for the fire department during the Rodney King Riots. He might not have fought fires but he sure did save lives, they are ALL heros, God bless them and the families who support and pray for them everytime they walk out the door.

Posted by Denise Nielsen December 8, 08 11:49 AM

WOW! #259 you don't have a clue. Do you even know what's going on in the world and not your F*&@ed up little world? You are such an asshole its not funny. These guys are putting their lives on the line to save your sorry excuse for an ass. You better hope you never need help from a Firefighter. Un_ucking believable!

Posted by John December 8, 08 12:40 PM

yo yo yo i love these pics! send to my myspace

Posted by Anonymous December 8, 08 03:43 PM

Unbelieveable pictures, either brave or dumb photographer. God Bless the Firefighters, they do a job that not many men and women have the nerve to do, they don't get paid near enough to compensate their braveness. I will pray for all of them and pray God keeps them safe for their families.

Posted by Diana December 8, 08 06:22 PM

i feel very bad for those ppl who had to evacuate adn those wildlife animals. That is just so sad to see a poor animal lose their homes cause of the fire including the ppl that got injured of the fire.It' so devasting to see that.

Posted by Taylor Wood December 8, 08 07:18 PM

OKOKOK, They may not post my orignial message to Dave just incase I will write a PG version.
Dear Dave,

You Suck


Posted by Elisha December 8, 08 08:58 PM

To Dave B. #259 it is obvious that you couldn't make the firefighter ranks! You don't know what the hell your talking about. It makes me sick to think there are people in this world who think like you do! Where the hell where you the day 343 FIREFIGHTERS DIED IN THE WORLD TRADE CENTERS trying to save lives! Did you forget about that tragic event!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am grateful to come home to my family after making it though another shift. We cannot predict what is going to happen when we report for duty! Yes, we run many EMS calls and our major fires are few, but the dangers of the job are always present. I cannot count the number of times I have almost been hit on the freeway from some idiot trying to see who's body is lying on the ground covered up, instead of paying attention to their driving... or going on a brush fire such as the sesnon fire or sayre fire and being over run by embers and the extreme heat wave.... Many firefighters are injured or die every year from EMS and other fire related incidents! Why don't you do a little research on "near misses" in the fire service. I have seen to my fair share of firefighter funerals over the past 21 years as a Los Angeles Co. firefighter/Paramedic. And for you to make such stupid comments, it just sickens me! I have pitty for you, because it is individuals like you that we risk our lives for only to be looked upon as over paid, woman chasing pigs... Yes we are well compensated for what we do, so what! I chose this profession and what a rewarding one it is to save a life or protect someones property from fire! Unfortunately, our families are the ones who pay the ultimate price by us being gone 24, 48 hours or longer! We miss our childrens birthdays, ball games, school events etc... but that is something that goes with the job. I doubt if you can say the same, if you even have a job!!! So next time you see a fire engine going by, be thankful that in your time of need we will be there to save your sorry ass!

Posted by LACOFD FFPM December 8, 08 09:20 PM

So sorry for all who had to experience this devastating fire.

Posted by lore December 8, 08 11:26 PM

Dave #259... You are partially right, we cook and eat and work out. We joke and give each other a hard time whenever possible. We love to play with our new expensive toy...even more so because our old truck was over 15 years old and didn't always work. We don't always show how we feel after we watch someone's history and belongings burn to the ground. Nor do we allow ourselves to just walk away after we see a dead child pulled from a building. The first time I saw that I wanted to never see it again, just quit. But that's not what the job is about. It's about showing up and doing your best and hoping in the end that it makes a difference. I doubt that is something you are able to grasp with your hate and envy filled mind. I go back every day because I love it, it makes me feel good to help someone, praise and thanks from an older couple who needed medical attention goes a long way, much further than a paycheck will take you. A homemade pie from someone whose house you saved tastes better than the best lobster on earth. And while we do make a good living doing it, as do so many other professions out's much, much more than a job! Also Dave, if you ever needed me, even if I knew who you would get the same service, to the best of my ability, that everyone else gets.

Posted by Pittsburgh Fire December 9, 08 09:22 AM

Dave #259... Where I live is no where near the fires. I've never even been close. But these men risk their lives like our men in the service. They don't have to do this as their vocation in life. They want to and do. I thank our God that they want to as the same for all the years of servicemen. I recommend you go on one of these runs with them and be part of of the solution. I'm grateful that they play with their expensive toys as by playing, they learn and by learning get experience and by experience "know" what to do. If they didn't, who would? Would You ?? Would you "know how" to put out a fire?

Posted by Marnie December 9, 08 04:48 PM

Thanks to the authors of BigPicture for collecting these amazing photos, tragic as they are for so many.

For those of you who question why some of us live in SoCal, where there are so many fires, I ask this:

- Why do so many of you live in the Mid-West, where there are so many tornadoes, lightning storms, and floods?

- Why do so many of you live in the Northeast, where there are so many storms: thunderstorms, snow-storms, blizzards, ice-storms?

- Why do so many of you live in the South, where there are tornadoes, heat-waves, hurricanes, floods?

- Why do so many of you live in the Southeast, where there are so many hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, etc.

In general, there are problems and dangers with living in any part of our beautiful country, and we choose to live there because of the better parts, not the dangers.

I have lived in OK, TX, WA, MD, DC, and now CA -- and each area has its wonders and beauty, interesting people and culture, and, of course, unique environmental issues to overcome.

As I look at the sun setting over the Pacific Ocean on a 68F "winter" day in Southern California, even with all the "fruits, flakes, and granola nuts" out here, I would not trade places with anyone, even if my house burnt down many times.

Posted by Alan S December 9, 08 05:20 PM

My husband is a volunteer firefighter and he loves it! I takes a special kind of person to be a firefighter. It may not always be bravery but just crazyness. I can see where #259 is coming from. They do love to play with fire and that is what usually attracts them to the job. I think God is just cleansing the earth of all the money drivin self-centered rich people in California. I'm not saying that is the case for everyone but it's something to think about. Repent for the end is near.

Posted by Annonymous December 9, 08 08:31 PM

Please drop the Heroism part of the Firefighter. It is a chosen job/career whether it be volunteer or professional.It did it for 7 years . It was fun, it was tough,.and yes it put me to tears . But please knock this Heroism part out of it .It was my choice to do the work that is needed. It's a frikkin job.

Posted by Frank Saa December 9, 08 11:13 PM

I still call firefighters, paid or volunteer, "hero." Of course it is a job, and a choice.
But all heroes are put in a given situation by chance, but do what they do in that situation by choice. Making the choice is the hero part!!

Posted by Bill Varnedoe December 10, 08 08:42 AM

Although this is devastating, I absolutely believe these are the best pictures I have ever seen. Great job photographers!

Victims, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Posted by Brittany December 10, 08 10:00 AM

I consider what we as firefighters do vey important, however i do not believe that either my or any other firefighters life is worth property. The fact of the matter is that folks in So cal have decided to live in a fire plain, that is the fires WILL return every 2-5 years, the ecosystem in the area (mainly chaparell) has evolved to propagate burning. Many of the plants in this ecosystem exude volitile oils much like turpentine and readily ignite under normal summer and fall conditions (RH

Posted by NM FireFighter December 10, 08 11:24 AM

#259…….First I would like to tell you that my fiancé is a fireman, and yes he does love being a fireman. Just as others choose their profession based on what they enjoy to do. They don’t get paid half as much as people would think. In fact I can guarantee that fire fighters, police officers, paramedics and all military personnel don’t get paid enough for what they do. Who are you to say who may or may not be a hero? Hero is defined as a person noted for feats (feat- a notable act or deed) of courage or nobility of purpose, a man celebrated for his bold exploits (exploit- an act or deed, esp. a heroic one). Everyone is considered a hero to someone. As to all the other comments towards firemen… may want to consider walking in their shoes before you judge them. How about you try working 48 hours straight and see how many times you get bored and decide to surf the internet or play cards. But first you need to understand that they have actual working hours. The same hours normal employees have. That time between 8-5 that work actually has to be done. It is only after that they are allowed to relax. But the day doesn’t end there. The station he is employed with, goes out on every medical call, responds to every wreck (minor and major) fires. Besides the constant trips out, they use their days to better themselves. They have to be able and ready for anything that comes their way. They are all EMT certified and have to go through one of the hardest fire academies in the United States every couple of years. They train every Monday and Saturday, whether it be in burn trailers, training using thermal imagers or packing up to see how long they can make their oxygen tanks last. Now you want to talk smack about them working out…..I guess we should take that away so they can be over weight and out of shape. I’m sure that would allow them to run up that flight of stairs or heck possibly carry your sorry butt out of a burning building in a timely manner. The expensive toys that we as tax payers provide them are out of date. But I guess we should take that away also. Wonder how long it would take to respond on bicycle carrying water? Define “getting hurt”? Because to me “hurt” is coming home after fighting a fire for 12+ hours with huge blisters on your feet, burns on your hands, heat marks on your face, huge bruises on your knees, or coming home with cracked ribs. So maybe they don’t wake up everyday with big, benevolent smiles, "aching " to protect your house, car or land, but you can guarantee that when that alarm rings, they are ready in less than 3 minutes to protect your belongings.

Posted by Anonymous December 10, 08 11:30 AM

The socialistic political climate in California (and in Washington) has resulted in the restrictive, and generally bad enviornmental policies that prefers to protect trees more than the lives and properties of people. Sound enviornmental policies find a good balance between managing what God gave us with the needs of people. It was the absence of that balance that caused these fires, and we will continue to see more of the same. California's irrational enviornmental restriction on fire prevention resulted in destruction of people's lives, their properties, the trees and the enviornment. Thank you very really smart representatives who were voted in by really smart citizens, huh? Socialism is merely Communism without a gun. The Obama Presidency is a guarantee that it will only get worse.

Posted by Silent No More December 10, 08 01:31 PM

Sure everyone gets the message some of the fires were fought by the firefighters who are in the busiest stations in Los Angeles and don't just sit around. They are extremely busy and sometimes come home with no sleep from being out on fires, car accidents, gun shots, stabbings they don't ask for anything in return and it saddens me to think people would bash them. They risk their health firefighters are more likely to get ill from certain kinds of cancer due to the many chemicals exposure some more than other depending on the amount of exposure. Heck just having the truck idle the fumes of the diesel fuel has cancer causing chemicals in ti so everytime you see a fire truck next to a fire hydrant remember to thank those men and women for doing just a great job. Pray that the chemicals do not cause them to became ill. It is a job with many hazords most people are unware of. Thank you to all firefighters across the county if you are in a small stations with very little calls or if you are one of the busiest stations. LA City has some of the busiest stations along with NY and Chicago a big THANKS YOU GUYS DO A GREAT JOB!!!

Posted by Steve Johnson December 10, 08 03:26 PM

I too am a fire fighter. We are not heros. It is arrogant for any of us to think we are heros. It is earned and a label for others to give. We chose this profession to help others. There 12 characteristics that define any first responder (fire, law enforcement, paramedic) and money is not one of them. These characteristics are very similar to those found in members of the military with the exception of the warrior crede. When we are called to stabilize an emergency, we go because we are needed. We also know we may not come back. Every year at least 100 fire fighters will die (Refer to #778). The stats are similar for law enforcment. We will see horrible things and be in bad situations that we will never forget. There will be more of the same....gauranteed. There are also heath risks that go with this job besides the accidents that can happen at any emergency ; increased risks of heart attacks and cancer. For us this is not just a job, it is a calling. This is especially true for volunteer fire fighters and paramedics who comprise 80% of the fire service. Our reward is knowing we made a difference when we were needed.

Posted by wji December 10, 08 04:09 PM

re: 153. I have had the same thought. With all the swimming pools one would think it prudent to utilize the water to wet the homes. Harbor Freight, Grainger and Honda sell stationary gasoline operated water pumps. I used to have one, about the size of a gasoline operated generator, easy to move, took a 2" water hose, 150 gal/min at 40 psi, just like standard house water pressure. A 12x24' pool has over 12,000 gal in it. That is almost 1.5 hours worth of water supply. Plumb the pump into a series of sprinkler heads on the roof and walls and one could wet down the home. High winds could be a problem, but the above is worth a try. I wish those affect the best of luck.

Posted by Will December 11, 08 01:40 AM

I live in NM but I think CA has some of the best firefighters in the world; I lived in Ca for 46 years so I saw and heard of their hard work and they saved many homes that others couldn't. They are the best!

Posted by Jo Bintz December 11, 08 01:11 PM

This message is for #259. I am 71 years old and a retired police officer who worked very closely with firemen and I only have one comment for you. Come and meet me somewhere and I will really let you know what I think of you when I kick your flabby A--. Firemen and policemen really put their lives on the line and would would do the same for you even knowing that you are stupid.

Posted by Jess Yates December 11, 08 11:42 PM

I never read such hate as displayed in these comments. And most of the haters seem to believe in God, too. Wonder if they reserve their religion for Sundays only?

Posted by Catherine December 12, 08 01:23 PM

To # 259 and any other bashers. If ya don't like the Police or Firefighters, next time you have a fire or injury or someone steals from ya or is trying to hurt you, don't call them. I know they would still come to your aid if called upon.

Posted by A former Police Officer/ Firefighter December 13, 08 10:30 AM

For #259...I sincerely hope that you read the comments where people have responded to your post and hope that you rethink your position. Our firefighters and our police officers are here to support and protect us...and they put themselves in harms way every day for us! I have needed them in the past, and they were there for me and my loved ones. They are angels to me.

Posted by Mary - Bothell, WA December 13, 08 10:38 AM

wow-#259-This Dave fellow is a dumbass.If firefighters aren't heroes to this guy, then who is?If his house ever burns down-I hope the firefighters crack open a package of Oscar Meyer's finest and cook up a feast, and let it burn. What a dipshit.

Posted by Cory Gnip December 13, 08 02:31 PM

I would comment on Dave B (#259) but can not think of a response that would stoop to his level of class or inteeligence. As a former Hotshot who used to trench the firebreaks in the San Gabriels, you are scum of the earth.

Posted by Jerry M December 14, 08 11:30 AM

To all the wonderful individuals in Orange County, and the many firemen, policemen, disaster relief volunteers, churches, girl scout troops, women’s groups, our loving neighbors, the Travis Ranch, Bryant Ranch, and Yorba Linda communities…………

THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts.

We moved to Yorba Linda in the fall of 2001. This happened quite arbitrarily, as we moved from half-way around the world, and considered many cities between Irvine and Malibu. At a Christmas party on San Antonio Road that first year, a neighbor said quite seriously to us, “Do you know how lucky you are to have landed in Yorba Linda?” We realized our good fortune immediately and have loved living here since, despite the constant threat of earthquakes, landslides, and fire!

The Yorba Linda Wildfire took everything we had collected from here and around the world, over the course of twenty-some years. That Saturday, when we fled from the out of control wildfire heading directly at us, will stand out in our memories as the most frightening, surreal, bizarre experience. But more than this, what we will forever remember is the aftermath.

What happened during and after the fire lifted us in such an extraordinary way. Instead of being engulfed by feelings of great loss, helplessness, grief or frustration, our family was immediately blessed with an enormous outpouring of love, support, generosity, thoughtfulness, kindness and caring from neighbors, the huge amount of volunteers, and this community in general.

Because there have been SO many people who have reached out to lift us up, and many anonymously, we are writing this letter to hopefully reach everyone with our sincere gratitude and appreciation.

We are extremely thankful for the incredible amount of amazing kindness and support we have received from all of you……For the prayers, the offers of home-cooked meals and babysitting, help with sifting the debris and sandbagging, all the gift-cards, checks, clothing and hugs, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts,

the Allison family ~ Anita, Bob, Leigh, George, and Neka

Posted by anita allison December 14, 08 12:16 PM


Posted by bob December 14, 08 03:10 PM

Wow 813. Your husband may be a special person but your true colors aren't so nice. I am a volunteer firefighter north of San Francisco. It is expensive where I live and there are a some rich people and some self-centered people but those don't always go hand-in-hand. Most folks I meet are kind and helpful. Nor is it exclusive to Califonians as you so well demonstrated by your remarks. So for you and others who are passing judgement on behalf of God and think we are going to burn, I will not be thinking of you while I eat my chili, play cards and count my piles of money.

Posted by ally 633 December 15, 08 03:34 PM

omg god bless them

Posted by CFD December 15, 08 07:43 PM

A big Bouquet goes to the Firemen & the men who fly those planes & helicopters.

Posted by Gilles George December 16, 08 09:32 PM

#259 is right-!-
I have 7 years experience as a Firefighter E.M.T.
Those of us whom saw the job for what it was called it...
Grand Theft Paycheck!
They lived for the overtime pay in excess of $450.00 for the day and this was in the 1980's.
They had manipulative methods to keep the overtime hours from the paid-call Firefighters (volunteers) They complained constantly about petty creature comforts and were self rightouse, egomaniacal Demi-Gods.
Sorry but it's just a job to them and they DO NOT endanger themselves for others.
I heard many a firefighter say---"If It's me or them--?-- I choose them---

Posted by DugLor December 17, 08 11:54 PM

As a Fire Captain who was there in Carbon Canyon protecting homes during this horrific event, it truly hurts to hear some of the comments here directed at the firefighting profession. Thank you to those who stand behind us. On that terrible day, many of us put ourselves in front of that fire, protecting homes as if they were our own. As quite an ironic twist, my home WAS in the path of the flames, and as my wife and child waited to be evacuated, I stood my ground with my crew protecting homes one mile away from them, unable to get there. Luckily, my brothers and sisters were there and able to fend off the flames from my neighborhood.

To those who believe that firefighters are fake, overrated, overpaid, over-glorified and such.....I will simply say that I will pray for you. As a veteran of the fire department, I have seen the peaks and valleys of the fire service and its relationship with the community. The one constant that will always remain is our commitment to you, and each other. We are still the ones willing to run past fleeing citizens, toward the danger. We are still the ones holding the hand of dying patients, telling a parent their child did not survive , caring for the elderly, the less-fortunate and the ailing. Much of this we do while most people are snuggled in their beds, late at night in the security of your daily lives.

Despite the need for compensation in order to survive, most firefighters I know would perform these same duties for free. Yes, firefighters do make a decent living here in Orange County, but this is not the norm across the United States. I also don't know many other people willing or able, to provide the services we do to the community. Please know that we perform our duty with pride and dignity for the human race. Each person, regardless of their situation, is treated like a family member and shown respect. We do this because we are good people and we believe there is still good in the world.

I am saddened by the critics, but rest assured when they, themselves have an emergency, we will respond with honor, compassion and professionalism.

A So Cal Fire Captain

Posted by Mike Liberto December 19, 08 11:45 AM


Posted by Anonymous December 21, 08 05:28 PM

Are these areas in California so wonderful that people are willing to put up with the cost of living, fires, mud slides, & homeowners insurance prices? How many times do ya all have to go through all these crazy things before ya say I've had enough? How do ya replace all your pictures & other memories when ya lose them like this every year or two. Why would ya put your families in danger on a regular basis. What is so great about California that makes it worth all these risks? The rest of the country doesn't get it!!!!!

Posted by Anonymous December 21, 08 09:06 PM

My son lives out there, and it is amazing how many fires have come so near to his home. His fence has been scorched. His truck has had melting in several areas, as well as terrible ash damage. Yet he and his property have been safe.
One time his whole neighborhood was the last one to be evacuated...then everything changed and once again they were safe.
Praise the Lord. Our son does NOT give credit to the Almighty...yet the fervent prayers of his parents and others...righteous men and women...have gone up and the Lord's safety and blessing have descended...again and again. Do YOU believe?Penny Williams

Posted by Penny in Ohio December 23, 08 04:19 PM

I live in Austin, Texas and the dummy that said all those things about firefighters not working, maybe he schould be made to work as afire fighter for 90 days and see what real work is, I admire all fire fighters for they put their lives on the line when they chose to be a firefighter.

God Bless all

Posted by Jimmie December 26, 08 09:05 AM


Posted by VERO December 26, 08 01:58 PM


Posted by Anonymous December 29, 08 07:24 PM

TO the guy that wrote comment 259,
im 15 and reading your message really pissed me off. my step dad is a firefighter and they really are heros, and they do die quite often, wen i was younger he broke his neck and we were lucky that he is still here with us and that same day he lost his best friend to the same fire that he broke his neck at. firefighters for what they do are great people and this might surprise you but they dont get paid very much there there are 6 of us kids, me being the oldest and he also has a daughter from a earlyier marriage and hes working to jobs and my mom works 2 jobs as well plus they have some of thier own businesses and we still have money problems. but i know alot of firefighters and they really are great people and they dont do it so they can be on tv or just cause they like fires its because they want to keep us safe. so next time you want to put someone down do all your research before hand. i hope you understand that they dont do it for the glory and they dont do it for the money cause lets face it they dont get paid much for what they do, they do it for you and the rest of the world.

Posted by Josie M. January 3, 09 06:39 PM

I feel really bad about the fire alot of people got hurt and some were killed and all the houses are burned down and i bet a lot of familes are sad so my name is jasmine and i want to pray for you and i hope god blesses you very much i got this email from a friend of mine and i thought it was it was really really bad so i want to bless who evers family was in that fire i will pray for them my name is jasmine and i am 10 and god blessyou

Posted by jasmine January 4, 09 03:44 AM

I was looking at tha pictures my mother sent me and i feel so horribly bad about wut happened to ever i feel so bad i could cry which i am cring everyone who had died should be left alone in peace i bless all who were hurt or killed i bless all
Micaela F. 10 years old

Posted by micaela f. January 4, 09 04:31 AM

This was very sad. I am very sorry for the people who had to go through this.

Posted by Brooke Zimmerle January 5, 09 03:00 PM

those pictures were sick.. i hope to get out to cali in the spring to help stop those fires need some more training and then i will be out thwere trying my best to help... my brother ty and i tyler hope to be out there in the spring and hope to help and survive the whole way ..i envy those who have risked their lives already and i am sorry for those who lost everything....

Posted by tyler January 6, 09 02:20 PM

Im sorry but #259 does have a point, I am a brother of a firefighter of over 25years as an L.A.F.D.. I have more stories than carter had liver pills way back when. Im just not sure he used the right words. When fire fighters work they work hard, and if you really want to be a F.F. you can, but you have to work hard to get it like any good job. They take pride in there work and the code of silence behind the doors. They might get away with more sh*t than others, there are some arrogant F.F., lets not talk about the L>A>P>D>which i also have stories about, the F.F. do some crazy sh*t and get away with it in deed. There job is cush at times, but they love what they do and they do it well. But you #259 may be a sh*t pumper and hate your job with no pride at all, now tell me have you ever had a beer at work, hit a doobe, screwed a chick in your truck or office, i think you get my drift, so listen ass h*le when your ready to harness up and stand next to my brother and i can trust you have his back without a question no matter what horrific cituation your in, shut the f*&k up get in your car, go buy a pie, go to your local fire station, invite your self to dinner, and get to know who will pull your ass out of a burning building or cut your sorry ass out of a car wreck and know what the f$#k they are doing to save your ass and their own so they too can go home and see their familes after a three day shift of burnt and bloody victims. They train hard to know how to respond, but maybe you havent seen the hard part of the job. Until you get to know them shut the f%*k up and let my brother and his F.F. brothers do their job without listening to crap like you have to say. My highst respect to all fire fighters around the globe.
And may god be with you,,,I got your back

Posted by lucky hoerner January 8, 09 04:20 AM

For those who are so down on Firefighters then call someone else when you need help, having been a volunteer for 14 years and seeing first hand how selfless many men and women are in the line of duty it makes me sick that the people we strive to protect spit on the memory of those who gave their lives for them. GO BUY A LONG GARDEN HOSE AND DO IT YOURSELF!

Posted by Ben January 8, 09 03:49 PM

It saddens me to read the low opinions that some have of firefighters. It is unfortunate that people belittle a group of people that are willing to do everything they can to save a life. However, regardless of your contempt, we will still be there for you and your family in your time of need, whether you believe in us or not.

Posted by DD January 9, 09 12:27 AM

i think that 259 you are the worst kind of person you dont realize the good that they do for you everyday firefighters are heros they put their lives on the line for us everyday and i respect what they do for us i have had many ppl i love and care abut dearly die because of fires.

Posted by joey January 15, 09 10:19 AM

I think how you guys reacted when the fire started was verry good.I think that next time theres a fire put more infromation.You firefighters really ROCKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by NICOLE COWAN January 20, 09 07:22 PM

I am only a teenager know, but I was in first grade when a fire in our San Benardino mountains went up in flames. My family and I evacuated, and went to a trailer park. Trust me, it was not fun!

Posted by Sade Flemming January 29, 09 12:52 AM

Living in an area that is constantly under fire threat year after year, the last being in 2003 we live in a constant state of be "packed up" waitng for the next evacuation phone call. Believe me, this is no way to live but it is all we have and we love our community so much! As for the firefighter end of things, they are definitely heroes in my book. My son is one of them! Don't you think I don't panic when he is sent to ANY fire anywhere? He has been in most of those places you showed in those pictures. Hey #259 how would you like your son to be out there? I have never seen my son just sitting around polishing his car etc. THIS IS A JOB HE TAKES VERY SERIOUSLY1 OUR LIVES DEPEND ON IT, YOU FOOL! Kathie, California

Posted by Kathie Darsey January 31, 09 02:39 PM


You life depends on many people from all professions, but you snub your nose at most of them and would stab them in the back if given the chance. Many people from all professions risk their lives in everyday jobs to keep you alive, yet none of them are ever labeled "heroes". Do I disrespect firefighters? No. But I'm not going to label them a hero for simply doing the job we pay them to do. More doctors have saved my life than firefighters ever have.


Posted by Anthony February 1, 09 01:27 AM

All I have to say is #259.....W H A T ??????? Are you really that STUPID?

Posted by Loralu Brown February 23, 09 02:35 PM

#855 Your almost as clueless as #259. Yes people may save your life. Doctors get paid a lot more money than fire fighters do and they don't always have to risk their lives in order save yours. You could give me all the money from a fire fighters yearly wage and I would probably watch your house burn and leave your family members in it. Fire Fighters are at work when you least expect them to be. The information they have provided over the years has saved many lives and homes simply by stating the obvious. Hey this coffee pot being left on caused another fire, hey people putting things too close to the heater caused a fire. Safety standards have been put in place by their feedback. They may have saved your life already.

Posted by David B February 25, 09 03:13 AM

Very nice site!

Posted by John115 March 24, 09 06:18 PM

#259 - I wonder if you would have the courage to run into a burning building - knowing you may lose your life to save a strangers life. You sound like a very bitter individual. I hope that you are never in a situtation that requires a fire fighter to make the decision to put his or her life on the line to save you - do you think you deserve that kind of sacrifice?
#855 - Doctors save lives all the time - but not at the risk of their life. I say again...You sound like a very bitter individual. I hope that you are never in a situtation that requires a fire fighter to make the decision to put his or her life on the line to save you - do you think you deserve that kind of sacrifice?

Posted by Geri K from NJ March 26, 09 11:01 AM

update: my home survived intact in the oakridge park, this is day # 133 and i haven't moved back to it yet. you can't believe it? well it's true. if this is how long it takes to get people back to their lives after a major disaster then we are in big trouble. the federal state and local officials have closed the area and i can't even walk to my home, or i'll be arrested. i appreciate any comments on this as i am up to my ears in this crap, excuse me. it's great that everyone is so concerned at the moment it happens, then they forget some people who were affected are not
too happy to be locked out, when they could be repairing their homes for use.

Posted by doris conaway March 28, 09 08:58 AM


Posted by hardy jassal March 29, 09 01:01 AM

it is cool

Posted by Anonymous March 30, 09 12:30 PM

it's now day #151 and there is still no return for residents of the park. that is 5 months including 2 months of FEMA action. many residents are fed up with this lock out . i am still wearing the same t shirt that i had on the night i left the park. all my clothes and personal items are not mine to use, the door is closed to the park.

Posted by doris conaway April 15, 09 09:40 AM

hello everyone! i have read all your comments and i was wondering if someone couild email me or add me on facebook chainie hamilton so i can get more information about what happened i am doing a project on this and begging for more information thank- you for nayone who could help me. chainie hamilton

Posted by chainie hamilton April 22, 09 12:18 PM

# 259 is probably not a Californian, or he would have realized how vital firefighters are and they do get injured.sometimes they even die. my house would have been lost if not for the brave efforts of firefighters.

Posted by devin April 25, 09 10:16 PM

This is a great website... great explanations of every picture and showing extraordinary sites of wildfires and what they can do to us humans, but not just us. There are also animals and such with us and we need to find a way to protect them as well... But living in southern california and actually seeing the red sky over our cities and knowing that the fire is right behind those mountains is pretty scary and people don't panic, which is good, but others don't take this situation seriously and right when it hits them its nearly too late to get all your family members ready, or all their stuff and all the important things to them... If you see those red skies you need to know that it is time to start packing and get yourself ready and plan with your family when and how you are going to evacuate... Now don't evacuate until they tell you to because what if the fire doesn't even get to your home.... If you get lucky and don't have to evacuate, all you have to do is unpack... Anyways seeing all those firemen there, trying to help us, it is surprising what a fire can do... it destroyed million dollar homes and habitats and now we have to repair it... just try your best to do anything u want and you'll know as soon as you get there... :)

Posted by gracie May 9, 09 12:23 PM

Very nice site!

Posted by John1021 May 21, 09 03:17 AM

#25 - amazing !!

Posted by mb September 4, 09 03:27 AM

wild fires are bad do not ever start a wildfire

Posted by 1212 October 27, 09 02:24 PM

What I see is HORRIBLE DISASTER!!! And... how to help?

Posted by Leonid December 6, 09 09:38 AM

haha This is awesome! Dave from comment 259 your in a elite group of really hated people and theirs only a few Hitler, Satan and now you.

Posted by flipnout December 15, 09 04:40 PM

very interesting

Posted by imi January 31, 11 06:27 AM

5231 bad

Posted by Anonymous January 31, 11 04:22 PM
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