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What was the toughest fire you worked this summer and why? 

click to enlarge Mike Ippoliti

Mike Ippoliti

Los Angeles County

“The Sand Fire [LA County]. That thing just blew up right onto us.”

click to enlarge Craig Vanderzwaag

Craig Vanderzwaag

Santa Barbara County

“The Sherpa Fire [Santa Barbara County]. The wind and fire came down the hills, and we fought it going up. The fuel is old and drought-stricken. That’s the common story around the state.”

click to enlarge Steve Klein

Steve Klein

Valley View Camp

“The Soberanes Fire [Monterey County]. I was up there for 35 days. It’s steep, ugly, nasty terrain and thick vegetation—by far the toughest fire I’ve ever worked.”

click to enlarge John Palozzi

John Palozzi

Los Angeles County

“Nothing this summer compares to the ’93 Malibu Fire. We got run over by it and had a lot of water issues.”

Editor’s note: This week’s Street Talk was compiled at the Chimney Fire base camp on the Paso Robles Fairgrounds.

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