Culver City firefighters and other Southland emergency workers were honored at an impromptu parade in Central California, as they rolled out for another day on the fire lines near Hearst Castle.
Firefighters from Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and Culver City have been on the lines at the Chimney Fire, a stubborn fire that has lapped up to the edges of the Hearst Castle and burned through the Santa Lucia Mountains, from near Big Sur to the wine country west of Paso Robles.
Over 15 days, the fire has consumed 45,000 acres of the oak-studded Santa Lucia Mountains. As of sunrise Saturday it was 51 percent contained.
The firefighters are camping at the California Mid-State Fairgrounds in Paso Robles, 140 miles north of Los Angeles. And after plans spread by word-of- mouth and the Internet, hundreds of Paso Robles residents lined up on downtown streets today to wave flags, signs and yell in thanks as the shifts changed.
Kari Wagner and her daughter brought a sign that said “thanks firefighters” and told the San Luis Obispo Tribune “thank you firefighters for protecting our homes and land.”
Culver City firefighters posted video shot from their fire truck of the impromptu parade. It can be viewed at www.facebook.com/culvercityfirelocal1927/?fref=hovercard .
A fire command spokesman, Brian Steiger, told the San Luis Obispo Tribune that the show of support meant a lot to the firefighters, who are working long shifts and sleeping on the ground at the fairgrounds.
“This may be their second or third fire they’ve gone to this season,” Steiger told the newspaper. “They’re away from their families, they’re tired, and they continue to give 100 percent to this incident.”
The fire incinerated the rolling oak hillsides around Lake Naciemento, a popular boating destination for Southern Californians west of Paso Robles. But it was stopped about two miles short of the priceless artworks and architectural landmarks at Hearst Castle, the most-popular state park in California.
—City News Service
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