Remember this photograph from the L.A. Times that I posted on Monday, at the start of this week from hell? It's still the strongest fire image I've seen, because you know it captured a true life-or-death moment. NBC's Brian Williams must agree. He and reporter Don Teague devoted a few minutes to the photo tonight on the news, calling it a silvery Stonehenge-like scene and talking to the Orange County firefighters pictured and photographer Karen Tapia-Anderson. She said that as she watched flames trap a dozen members of Engine Company 22, then saw them deploy their flimsy fire shelters as a last resort, she started to cry. "I felt that they weren't going to make it," she said. "I began to pray for those guys." After fifteen minutes they emerged one by one, a sight that Tapia-Anderson called "awesome." It was the first time ever that Orange County firefighters had to use the shelters to save their lives. The NBC video includes the live radio calls of Engine 22 asking for air support and being told it would not be coming. Watch the video.
LA Observed on KCRW: My radio commentary today was about the fires.
There in Malibu: Veronique de Turenne thanks the firefighters.
Photo: Karen Tapia-Anderson / Los Angeles Times