Resources Diverted to Rescue Person Who Did Not Want to Leave Home During La Tuna Fire: LAFD Chief

A person who did not heed evacuation orders while the La Tuna fire was burning was rescued by fire officials, only after resources were diverted, Los Angeles Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas said Sunday.

A firefighting helicopter drops water in the evening at the La Tuna Fire on September 2, 2017 near Burbank, California. (Credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

He explained that firefighters usually stand by in areas where structures are being threatened, while aircraft make water drops when the blaze is being whipped by gusty winds.

In this instance, aircraft were diverted to make water drops when the victim’s life was in danger.

“Because of that person, we had to divert a lot of our resources, and it took a long time,” the chief said. “When we say, go, go.”

He stressed the importance of having a plan during a natural disaster such as a wildfire: to be ready, set and go.

The chief, however, said that there was no other choice but to rescue the person.

“It’s a matter of somebody’s life, and for firefighters and police officers, it’s an easy call: we have to save a life, and that’s what we did.”