As more than 500 acres of brushland burned in Thousand Oaks on Tuesday, dozens of Oxnard firefighters crowded the council chambers to lobby the City Council for a bigger salary increase.
Without a contract for the past 16 months and unhappy with a 3.5% raise offered by city officials, union members took their case directly to the City Council.
Firefighters spent more than an hour detailing why they should be granted the 5% raise recently awarded another group of city workers.
"We're just tired of getting the leftovers," said firefighter Tom Sugawara. "We're putting our lives on the (line) in serving this community."