First published in the Oct. 21 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.
Four San Marino Fire Department members who spent more than two weeks in September battling the Caldor Fire, which has burned more than 220,000 acres near South Lake Tahoe, have returned to their duties in the city.
Now listed as 98% contained, Caldor ranks as the 15th largest wildfire in state history, and its cause is still under investigation. It tormented the Alpine, Amador and El Dorado counties in California.
San Marino firefighters Alphonso Jimenez, Nathan Foth, Richard Fixsen and Dominic Petta took the department’s Engine 91 to the site, where they worked on a task force in 12- and 24-hour shifts to combat the fire. Much of the duty involved hiking through the mountainous terrain to extinguish dangerous ash pits, which are caused when a ground fire consumes underground fuels, creating an empty space that cannot be seen from the surface.
“Having the crew we had was a great experience,” said Petta, an SMFD captain. “I am proud to be a member of the San Marino Fire Department and proud of the hard work and dedication of the entire crew throughout the incident.”