Gov. Schwarzenegger Returns to California Amidst Fiery Landscape
At around 10:40 a.m. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger held a press conference at Hansen Dam regarding the Station Fire, and other fires currently affecting the state. Just home to California following yesterday's funeral services for his wife's uncle, Sen. Edward Kennedy, Schwarzenegger spoke immediately of his wish to continue to work to ensure the safety of lives, property, and memories.
The Governor first issued thank yous to the firefighters working on the Station Fire, lauding them as the "toughest, most experienced, best equipped and best trained in the world." He noted that the firefighting efforts have been all very well coordinated among the local, state and federal fire companies, and that "everyone is working together" along with each other and the law enforcement personnel who have been working tirelessly.
Schwarzenegger then urged everyone living near any of the fires, to "please listen and follow evacuation orders from officials," and mentioned yesterday's 3 burn victims in Big Tujunga Canyon as example of the perils of not heeding orders from officials in the case of a fire such as this.
Some statistics noted were that the Station Fire has grown to 35,000+ acres; only 5% containment; there are 12,500 structures threatened; 6,600 homes covered in mandatory evac; 4 shelters; 1 injured firefighter; 2,200 personnel fighting fire; 124 engines; 12 helicopters; and 20 bulldozers. Further, there are currently 8 "huge" fires blazing statewide, and there had been 89 smaller fires that were extinguished yesterday, which is why all of the state's equipment cannot be sent to the Station Fire because they are needed elsewhere in California.