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Lake Hughes foundation holds event to thank firefighters

Posted: June 23, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 23, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Firefighter Francisco Lomeli, right, meets Takoda, a five-year-old Shadowland Foundation resident wolf at the Powerhouse Firefighters Appreciation Day event held at Shadowland Foundation at Lake Hughes on Saturday.

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LAKE HUGHES — With hills blackened by the Powerhouse Fire looming nearby, a few dozen people gathered in Lake Hughes Saturday for a lunch event to thank the firefighters who battled the blaze.

The event attracted Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel from several nearby stations as well as local residents who just wanted to show their gratitude.

Phyllis Casper, a resident of Quartz Hill, was one such attendee. Though she doesn’t live in Lake Hughes herself, she said she has several friends who had their houses saved because of the efforts of firefighters.

“It’s just amazing,” Casper said of the work of firefighters. “My hat’s truly off to them.”

The event was put on by the Shadowland Foundation, which had its facilities serve as a staging area for Fire Department resources assigned to fight the Powerhouse Fire as it roared through the Lake Hughes area in early June, according to foundation co-founder Colette Pondella.

“We’re here because of the amazing people who jump into five-story-high flames,” Pondella said of the firefighters. “I don’t think that unless you see it you can even imagine what they go through.”

The Shadowland Foundation is devoted to educating people about wolves and the effects the creatures have on the natural ecosystem. The animals were a prominent feature of Saturday’s event as members of the pack and their handlers made their way around the ranch, much to the delight of attendees and firefighters alike.



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