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Firefighters' Assistance

August 24, 1994

Last Thursday happened to be an emotional day for me. I reside in Pismo Beach (just south of San Luis Obispo and the recent devastating Highway 41 fire). My oldest daughter and I had occasion to witness during the morning the countless convoys of Southland firefighters traveling back home.

My daughter asked why I was crying. I explained to her that I was very proud of the firefighters who left their communities and families to help save our community. I also cried for the sense of relief that I felt. I also explained to her that I cried for the families who suffered losses in this fire.

Later that day I had to travel north on Highway 101 and was able to view some of the damage. Ironically, a "Smokey Bear" sign with the phrase "Thank You" was along the roadside, partially charred and broken, one victim of the fire. However, there were also a number of handmade signs throughout San Luis Obispo and Atascadero, attached to overpasses and fences along the highway. These signs each had a message thanking the firefighters for their help.

I hope all the firefighting crews traveling down the highway had a chance to see the signs, and if not, please know from this note that the citizens of these communities sincerely appreciated your help. We thank you all for helping save our community and giving us peace of mind. As one sign along the roadside read: "God bless each and every firefighter." Amen.


Pismo Beach

* They must be giants, these men and women who stand in front of a roaring wall of destruction with a shovel and a trickle of water and say "not this house."

The mobilization of firefighters and equipment from El Monte, Sierra Madre, Covina and every other community in California is an awe-inspiring sight.

The stamina and courage of those that put themselves in harm's way will long be remembered in this county. There have been some tragic losses, but there were many more wins. It has been a Paul Bunyan effort. California is proud. San Luis Obispo is grateful.



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