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Manhattan Beach Firefighters Join Fight Against California Fires

Sep 13, 2020 08:37AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Photo via Manhattan Beach Fire Department

As fires rage across California, Manhattan Beach firefighters have joined in the battle to help their colleagues.

Currently, the Manhattan Beach Fire Department has one engine company out at Bass Lake (the Creek Fire), one firefighter medic at Big Sur (the Dolan Fire), and one firefighter medic in Azusa (the Bobcat Fire), according to Manhattan Beach Interim Fire Chief Wolfgang Knabe. 

Additionally, Knabe has two sons out fighting the fires; one in Big Sur and one near Oroville. 

The Manhattan Beach firefighters are scheduled to stay at those posts for 14 days, or until the fires are contained, whichever comes first, Knabe told DigMB.

Manhattan Beach Mayor Richard Montgomery said that the city was proud to be able to answer the call for assistance.

"We are so fortunate to have our own 'independent' fire department here in Manhattan Beach,"  Manhattan Beach Mayor Richard Montgomery told DigMB. "We have the ability to answer the call from surrounding counties to assist in a time of need. Between the pandemic and now wildfires all around us, I want to point out and thank - on behalf of the entire council and our community - how grateful and proud we are of our brave and fearless firefighters.”

Fires Across California

According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), since the beginning of the year, wildfires have burned more than 3.1 million acres in California. This year’s acreage burned is 26 times higher than the acreage burned in 2019 for the same time period, and the combined amount of acres burned is larger than the state of Connecticut. There have been 20 confirmed fatalities and more than 6,300 structures have been damaged or destroyed.

Those who want to help are urged not to send donations of clothing or other items unless they are specifically requested. (Following the destructive Camp Fire in 2018, there were so many donations of "things" that the city had to lease warehouses to store all of the donations. It took so much volunteer time to sort through all of the items - many of which later proved useless - that officials called it a "disaster within a disaster." )

To support firefighters and fire victims, consider a monetary gift to one of these organizations:

American Red Cross (Disaster Relief Fund)

California Community Foundation (Wildfire Relief Fund)

California Fire Foundation (Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergency (SAVE) Program)

Center for Disaster Philanthropy (California Wildfires Recovery Fund)

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