August 30, 2009: Two Los Angeles County firefighters battling the Station fire were killed this afternoon in a vehicle crash.
Officials announced the death at an emotional news conference, saying that the families of the fallen firefighters had been notified and that department chaplains were with them.
The accident occurred near Mt. Gleason earlier this afternoon. Details of the crash were not immediately available, but TV footage showed a truck rolled over on a mountainside.
[Updated at 8:29 p.m.: County Deputy Fire Chief Mike Bryant fought back tears when he announced the deaths. He said the accident occurred during a period of intense firefighting near the northern edge of the fire near Acton. He did not release the names of the firefighters.
During the news conference, officials said they were growing optimistic that the fire would not sweep through Acton.]
Officials also announced that at least 18 structures have been destroyed by the Station fire, but they added that number will probably grow.
The fire burning in Angeles National Forest is approaching the historic solar observatory and television transmission towers atop Mt. Wilson, according to Los Angeles County fire officials. The communications towers house transmitters for every major television station in Los Angeles.
Crews were clearing brush around the structures Sunday evening, but fire officials were not sure if they could leave personnel on the mountain to fight the flames because of the danger and limited escape routes.[Updated at 8:29 p.m.: Crews are still at Mt. Wilson. TV footage shows fire on two sides of the peak.]
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Tags: los angeles fires, california fires, firefighters
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States (load item map)
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