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Canyon Fire 2: The line is where firefighters make a stand, living or dying

By in Press Enterprise on October 10, 2017

By David Whiting

Firefighter veteran Joe Kerr remembers the first time he battled flames where Canyon Fire 2 now rages and shakes off a shudder.

That particular wildfire was back in the 1980s, Kerr recalls, and everything — except training, equipment and courage — is worse now.

More homes don’t mean less fire fuel, the former Orange County Fire Authority captain explains. Instead, more development means more urban-wildland interface to defend.

It’s not just the front line of a wildfire that firefighters face, experts explain. Because of terrain and changing winds, firefighters also have to flank a fire on both sides. But first, they must ensure residents are safe.

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  • These photos and videos show the damage caused by devastating Canyon Fire 2

“It’s very difficult to deploy resources,” says Kerr, a 34-year veteran. He offers that city departments must be maintained and that there were two unrelated home fires on Monday, one in Laguna Woods, the other in Placentia.

“The big goal is evacuate people and save lives,” agrees Garden Grove Fire Department Capt. Thanh Nguyen, deployed this week with the local […]    

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