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Emerald Fire first responders recognized

On May 4, a grateful Emerald Bay community expressed appreciation to some of the many first responders who successfully battled the Emerald Fire at an event held at Station 11.

The wildland fire broke out on February 10, 2022, in Emerald Canyon at approximately 4 a.m. The fire was fanned by Santa Ana winds recorded at 15-22 miles per hour with gusts up to 43 miles per hour with a relative humidity of 31 percent. The fire rapidly spread prompting evacuations. Although the fire burned 154 acres, the massive response by the Orange County Fire Authority, Emerald Bay’s Station 11, the Laguna Beach Fire Department and fire departments in Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Orange, Brea, Fullerton, Fountain Valley as well as other stations in Orange County, LA County and Riverside County, in addition to Cal Fire, prevented any loss of life or property.

In 1993, a wildland fire resulted in the loss of more than 60 homes and damage to many more within the community. A representative of the Orange County Fire Authority indicated that the defensible space through annual fuel modification made a significant difference in the outcome of the Emerald Fire.

Emerald Fire Bartlett

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Submitted photos

(L-R) Captain Dave Skarman, Station 11 with Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett and Orange County Fire Authority Chief Brian Fennessy

Proclamations were presented to Chief Fennessy of the Orange County Fire Authority and Dave Skarman of Station 11 by State Senator Dave Min and Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett. The individual firefighters from Station 11 and Emerald Fire Incident Commander, Division Chief Rob Capobianco, and 40-year veteran of Station 11, Jim Waddell, were also recognized.

Emerald Fire Min

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State Senator Dave Min (center) with Chief Brian Fennessy (far left), Captain Dave Skarman (second from left) and Station 11 Firefighters

Station 11 is a Reserve Station and welcomes new recruits. Reserve firefighting can be an exciting and rewarding experience, providing a valuable service to the community. Reserve firefighters are trained to respond to a variety of emergencies, including fires, traffic collisions, rescues and more. Joining this program provides the opportunity to work as part of a team while helping to protect the community.

Emerald Fire Firefighters

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(L-R) Station 11 Firefighters Matt Watson, Darrin Trudeau, David Skarman, Jim Waddell, Brennan Slavik, Nick Mester and Grant Flores

If you are interested in joining the Reserve Program at Station 11, call 949.494.6933, or visit www.ocfa.org.