Skip to comments.Update: Now 4 Firefighters Perish Battling Cabazon Blaze (Investigators: Arson Fire Palm Springs)
Posted on 10/26/2006 11:48:53 AM PDT by kellynla
CABAZON, Calif. -- A fast-moving fire killed at least three firefighters, prompted mandatory evacuations and burned more than 4,000 acres in Riverside County this morning, officials said.
The Esperanza fire in Cabazon, some 90 miles east of Los Angeles and about 20 miles northwest of Palm Springs, was reported at 1:12 a.m., Becky Luther, a spokeswoman for the Riverside County Fire Department, said in a telephone interview.
"It's a very serious fire," Luther said. "There are Santa Ana conditions and the fire is fast moving."
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told reporters that three firefighters were killed fighting the blaze. The U.S. Forest Service confirmed the deaths, adding that two firefighters were critically injured.
The exact dimensions of the fire were hard to determine because of the thick smoke and the relative lack of access, according to Capt. Julie Hutchinson of the Riverside County Fire Department and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Television images showed houses and other structures burning, but the exact number could not be confirmed.
Wind speed and heat are the twin dangers at the fire scene. Winds were running 18 to 25 mph with steady gusts of 30 mph, Luther said. Temperatures are expected to be around 80 degrees.
More than 300 firefighters were battling the blaze, though that number was increasing, fire officials said. More than 27 crews were at the scene along with 68 engines, six air tankers and seven helicopters.
There were reports that at least one firefighter and some residents required medical treatment. But fire officials stressed the reports were unconfirmed.
A mandatory evacuation was ordered for the Twin Pines and Poppet Flats areas, Luther said.
About 150 homes were threatened in the areas with the majority, about 100 homes, in Twin Pines.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
How awful. Prayers for them and their families.
hey, mister, try dogging someone else
we have 3 dead firemen, two more in very bad shape, plus friends and loved ones in danger
and we don't need some anonymous clown in Iowa making wiseass remarks.
May the firefighters RIP.
Prayers for the families of the three firefighters who have answered their last alarm and for the injured. God Bless them all.
I wasn't dogging anyone until you responded from your gut instead of your brain.
Get a grip.
God Bless the fireman and thier families..
Santa Ana winds blowing pretty good right now, bad time for hot and dry Southern California..
I am mourning these brave men.
We here in Western NY do not have to worry about these fires, but we respect the heroic efforts of our neighbors to the west who risk all to protect life and property.
Please, all Freepers, keep the families in your prayers.
Please don't argue on this thread. This is a horrible thing. Let's just do the right thing and pray for these guys (and possibly gals) and their families. Thanks.
let it go.. for the love of my fallen family, please!
God bless these members of your family and comfort their loved ones.
Are you safe?
You mentioned last night you're in that area.
Wow! What a picture. Thanks, I didn't know that.
How close is all of this to Rancho Cucamonga?
The winds are really heavy up here in the Angeles Forest today and the alert is Extremely High.
Mourning our heroes on the fire line and praying for the safety of all the rest.
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