2 firefighters die on Mt. Gleason **

StationFireTJ83009.jpgTonight's briefing at the fire command post at Hansen Dam began with deputy chief Mike Bryant of the county fire department announcing that two of his men died about 2:30 p.m. when their vehicle overturned on the Acton side of Mount Gleason. "This is a very difficult time for the Los Angeles County Fire Department," Bryant said, choking back tears. The firefighters' names have not yet been released. At the 8:05 p.m. briefing, the acreage total was raised to 42,500 — an increase of seven thousand acres just today. The number of firefighters dedicated to the Station Fire also swelled to 2,575, up from 1,800 yesterday. Since most readers probably haven't seen a large-scale fire and media camp up close, I'll have video up later. (Here it is.) There are so many trucks and crews arriving on the scene — I saw the Geronimo and Zuni hot shot crews roll in from Arizona and New Mexico — that Foothill Boulevard is closed to traffic between the 210 Freeway and Osborne Street. I couldn't see what Foothill was like east of the freeway in the heart of Lake View Terrace. Meanwhile, the NWS red flag alert for the mountains has been extended until 9 p.m. Monday but excludes the Santa Monicas.

* 10 p.m. update: Statement from Gov. Schwarzenegger:

Our hearts are heavy as we are tragically reminded of the sacrifices our firefighters and their families make daily to keep us safe. This is a devastating day for firefighters everywhere and Maria and I join all Californians in expressing our gratitude and sadness. Our hearts go out to their loved ones.

** The firefighters were identified as Capt. Tedmund Hall, 47, and Arnaldo Quinones, 35. More details

Photo: That cloud is all fire-generated — skies were otherwise clear. The view is through Century City from the Westside on Sunday, by LA Observed contributor TJ Sullivan.

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