California Senate Recognizes Heroes of October 2017 Wildfires

The night of October 8, 2017, changed the lives of many who lived in the seven Northern California counties ravaged by wildfires. The firestorms are being called the worst disaster to hit California since the San Francisco earthquake in 1906; the fires burned over 200,000 acres, destroyed 6,000 homes, burned thousands more outbuildings and businesses and took the lives of 44 people.

On Friday morning, Senators came together to recognize the tens of thousands of first responders, non-profits, small business owners and residents who answered the call to help one another.

“Today we celebrate what truly makes the state of California so great – its people” said Sen. Mike McGuire “We also pause this morning to remember 44 ordinary Californians who perished in this unprecedented firestorm.”

NorCal Heroes Day And Remembrance Ceremony, CA Senate Chamber. Photo by: Lorie Shelley

All members were there to present a small token of gratitude on behalf of the California state senate to a gathering of courageous federal, state and local heroes.

“We are honoring individuals here today, but individuals who represent thousands of others who contributed as much as they did,” said Sen. Jim Nielsen.

Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci was recognized along with CHP Golden Gate Sector Chief BJ Whitten, CAL FIRE Chief Ken Pimlott and many others.

“And our emergency responders are absolutely magnificent at mutual aid” Nielsen said.  “It ever impresses me as I drive up and down Northern California area during crises, the streams of emergency vehicles from all over California coming here. And together we will then accept responsibilities of the future, not to ensure ‘never again’ but ‘lesser’ at least, a more humane and safe as we can, live through such tragedies.”




To see the entire presentation on demand, click here and watch Senate Floor Session, Friday, February 16th, 2018.

OES News


Shawn Boyd

Shawn Boyd joined Cal OES as a public information officer in 2014 after a 20-year career in television news as a reporter, anchor and executive producer. He's a Cal State Sacramento alum and former US Navy yeoman and Air Force brat.

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