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Fighting fire a most exhausting ordeal

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I begin by expressing my heartfelt thank you for the fire people coping with the Robbers Fire and thank you to all the people supporting their efforts. Back when I was in the Navy and stationed in Southern California, there was a fire in Laurel Canyon in July of 1959. The chief in charge of our barracks asked for volunteers to help with the effort. The chief told us it would be an all-expense-paid effort ? free meals, free sleeping accommodations and, of course, a chance to see a part of California we had not seen before. He was just joking, of course. He told us we would be given equipment and our effort was to follow behind and tamp down any flare-ups. To quote a present saying, ?a piece of cake.? Our barracks at that time was made up of young sailors. Those of us that chose to take part thought of the challenge and not of the reality. We were bussed to the staging area and given our instructions as how to proceed. This is where reality set in and why I am writing this. I was a young man at the time and full of strength and determination to help. This, perhaps, was the most exhausting thing I can ever remember doing. It is with this that I have so much respect for those that see to it that we are safe as humanly possible from the natural forces we can never control. In closing, thank you ? thank you ? thank you. DAN CAVANAGH, Foresthill