A South Pasadena firefighter is among those battling the Holy Fire where California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for areas impacted by the aggressive wildfire burning out of control south of Los Angeles.
Firefighter/paramedic Justin Miller is assisting paramedic in the line of duty. “He’s pretty much a paramedic/EMT on the ground,” explained Anthony Porraz, a fire captain with the local department. “When crews go out, he goes with them, and if anything happens to that crew, he treats them. He has communications, radios to ask to air lift them out. But he’s there strictly for treatment of the guys.”
The Holy Fire in the Lake Elsinore area has burned 18,000 acres and is only five percent contained as of Friday morning. Twelve structures have been taken in its devastating path. Mandatory evacuations now cover more than 21,000 homes and 7,000 individuals. High flames could be seen Friday morning in the hills above Riverside County neighborhoods.
The fire, which has been out of control since Monday, has grown to about 16 square miles as a result of gusty winds and triple-digit heat, complicating firefighting efforts.
“It has really affected the air quality,” said Porraz. “I live in Fontana and I’ve never seen it like that. It’s really bad. With the high temperatures, above 100 degrees, it really has to be tough on the guys [fighting the fires].”
Miller is joining 1,200 firefighters fighting the out-of-control Holy Fire. The governor’s emergency declaration was issued on Thursday for Orange and Riverside counties because the fire was burning in the Cleveland National Forest.