Wednesday, September 2, 2009

LOS ANGELES: Fighting fires is outreach for Sierra Madre priest

From Episcopal Life Online-

The Rev. Michael Bambergerwas on high alert September 1 as Los Angeles County's "Station Fire," which had already charred an area the size of Las Vegas, roared unchecked within four miles of his Sierra Madre church.
Bamberger, a priest for 28 years and a volunteer firefighter for 20, had spent the last several days juggling both vocations.

While praying for families of two firefighters killed battling the blaze, he also substituted briefly as acting fire captain and served as volunteer battalion chief in Sierra Madre, about 20 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

His Chevy Suburban was parked at the curb outside his office at the Church of the Ascension, loaded with fire-fighting gear in readiness in case "I have to go physically fight the fire," he said.

He also fielded concerns from anxious residents and helped coordinate contingency plans with local city officials should evacuation become necessary. The fire had already destroyed at least 50 homes and forced evacuations of residents from more than 10,000 others in Los Angeles County.

"We're in a wait-and-see mode," said Bamberger, during a telephone interview. "The fire would appear to be moving in our direction. I've been dealing with a lot of concerns in the community about that."

Record triple-digit heat in some areas and shifting weather patterns also made it "a dangerous day, a critical day in terms of being cautious because the weather patterns are changing and that can mean changes in the fire's behavior," he added.

More here-

No comments: