At 3:20 a.m. Tuesday, a small army of dedicated volunteers firefighters from Brookings and Harbor quickly jumped into their vehicles and rushed to waiting fire trucks that delivered them to burning trailers in a Harbor RV park within 10 minutes of getting the call.
Curry Coastal Pilot reporter Scott Graves was on scene a few minutes later. What he saw was nothing short of heroic.
Unfortunately, the situation was nearly unmanageable as early morning winds fanned the flames in all directions, thwarting firefighters' efforts. Their tactics quickly changed from saving the burning homes to protecting those nearby.
Firefighters, all volunteers, put their training and lives to the test. They carried hoses into the fiery wreckage, coming within spitting distance of burning trailers and vehicles that could have exploded at any moment.
The Pilot applauds the quick action and the efforts of these local firefighters who sweated in their heavy turnouts for hours while handling heavy water hoses and wearing gas masks.
Often, small explosions shook the air and sent sparks and debris flying. Clouds of black, potentially poisonous smoke engulfed the crews regularly as they battled the flames.
We are fortunate to live in a relatively quiet community where fire alarms are few and calls for service consist mostly of flue fires and unattended burn barrels.
Even so, our firefighters train hard and are ready to respond to a major incident at any given moment. Their response to this fire is proof.
Volunteer firefighters continue to practice and improve their firefighting abilities. They train regularly and put their skills to the test during local "burn to learn" events in which they burn down donated structures.
The Pilot is grateful to have such a dedicated bunch of firefighters. They are our friends, neighbors and co-workers. We hope the community appreciates them, too.
The next time you hear the wail of a siren from a fire truck, say a quick prayer for the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to ensure our safety.