Firefighter veteran Joe Kerr remembers the first time he battled flames where Canyon Fire 2 now rages and shakes off a shudder.
That particular wildfire was back in the 1980s, Kerr recalls, and everything — except training, equipment and courage — is worse now.
More homes don’t mean less fire fuel, the former Orange County Fire Authority captain explains. Instead, more development means more urban-wildland interface to defend.
It’s not just the front line of a wildfire that firefighters face, experts explain. Because of terrain and changing winds, firefighters also have to flank a fire on both sides. But first, they must ensure residents are safe.