Los Angeles County firefighters paused Friday to remember two of their colleagues, who died 10 years ago on this date while battling the Station Fire, the largest wildland fire in the county’s history.
Capt. Tedmund “Ted” Hall, 47, and firefighter Specialist Arnaldo “Arnie” Quinones, 35, died while trying to protect about 60 people at a fire camp near Mount Gleason south of Acton. While looking for a safe way out of the camp as the blaze approached, their truck went off a steep mountain road, plunging about 800 feet into a ravine.
“It was a heavy day for our department and one that continues to fill us with a profound sense of tragedy and sadness,” Capt. Tony Imbrenda said. “Today, and always, we have vowed to `never forget’ Ted and Arnie’s dedication and commitment to wildland firefighting and acts of heroism in giving their all to protect the residents of Los Angeles County and their team members at Camp 16 that fateful day.”
A memorial ceremony was held on Wednesday at a newly erected monument in Acton Park.
The Station Fire broke out Aug. 26, 2009, and burned until mid-October, scorching more than 250 square miles of the Angeles National Forest. The 161,000-acre blaze, which cost about $90 million to fight, destroyed 89 residences, 26 commercial properties and 94 outbuildings and caused significant damage to air, water, cultural, land and other resources in the San Gabriel Mountains region.