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Firefighters Receive Thanks, but Onlookers Are Criticized

July 13, 1989

I would like to say thanks to all the brave firefighters who valiantly battled the Turnbull Canyon fire this past week. You did a fantastic job, and I know that my neighbors join me in thanking you. We all hope the rest of the fire season will be a little easier, but I'm afraid it won't.

I would also like to extend my sincere sympathies to those neighbors across the canyon that lost their homes or had damage. It isn't the material things that count, but the memories attached to them. My heart goes out to the families that lost everything.

My own neighbors deserve a big thanks. Not only did we work together to keep our hill wet, but the emotional support was great. Thank you.

However, to all those who invaded our neighborhood to view the happenings--thanks for nothing. You blocked our driveways, made us nervous with so many strangers, and left your litter all over our front yards. Many of you were rude and arrogant to us when we asked you to leave. Around 6 p.m., the winds shifted dramatically and we feared we would have to evacuate. You would have made our job very difficult and prevented the firefighters from moving in. Why you felt the need to view such a disaster is beyond me.

When there are situations such as the Turnbull Canyon fire, onlookers should stay away. If you can't help, don't go near the area. You are only in the way!

I know that this letter will have little to do with the actions of people, but I predict there will be a real disaster if this attitude does not change. We are all neighbors and should do what we can. That means staying away from areas where you will be a hindrance.

Again, thanks to the 1,000-plus firefighters who so bravely protected our homes. We appreciate it.

CAROL HAMILTON

Hacienda Heights

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