Great Gap Fire of 2008: 2,500 heroic firefighters from 28 states
For the first several of weeks of July in 2008, the Gap Fire scorched some 10,000 acres of land before it was extinguished. The many hundreds of firefighters who responded to the scene performed an incredibly heroic job of extinguishing the blaze, battling it for days on end to protect life and property.
On July 1, more than 200 firefighters rushed to the scene as the fire began to pick up steam. On July 3, the fire grew dramatically, from 300 to more than 2,000 acres in its wake, and county officials declared a state of emergency.
By July 4, 800 firefighters were focused on the flames. According to a Santa Barbara Independent article:
Several hundred houses along North Fairview Avenue and Camino Manadero off North Patterson Avenue were rescued from certain destruction by the unflinching work of fire crews who refused to give up their ground despite the advancing flames and hunks of still-burning embers falling from the sky. The firefighters, in some cases, had to catch breaths of fresh air and regroup inside the very homes they were saving. As Captain Iskow explained, “It’s not that we didn’t lose those houses-it’s that we saved them.”
On July 28 the fire was fully contained thanks to the 2,500 firefighters from 28 states who combatted the blaze fearlessly and courageously. Because of their heroism, no lives were lost and just four structures were destroyed. Slippery Rock Ranch, which was impacted by the fire, is forever grateful for the dedication of these valiant public servants.
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