Forest Service firefighter honored for Williams fire rescue
GLENDORA, Calif. (AP) - A U.S. Forest Service firefighter has
been honored for saving the life of an inmate while working to
contain a 35,925-acre blaze that raged out of control last week in
the Angeles National Forest.
James Jones, 27, a firefighter based in the Cleveland National
Forest, received his commendation in the early morning hours
Saturday and then returned to the fire line.
The wildfire was 75 percent contained Sunday after a day of
cooler temperatures and some rain.
Jones was with his engine crew on Wednesday clearing brush and
lighting backfires, when an inmate working in a ravine above him
was hit by a falling boulder and fell into an active fire area.
"It was well over 2,000 degrees, and he went in there and
hauled him out like a piece of luggage," said Mark Miller, a
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection captain who
supervised Jones' crew.
Inmate Del Karnes suffered a broken ankle in the fall and was
taken to a hospital.
"I just ran up to him like anyone else and dragged him from the
burn," said Jones, a 9-year veteran of the U.S. Forest Service.
"With your adrenaline going, it's easy to do."
High humidity and drizzle helped firefighters on Saturday to
gain on the Williams fire, which once threatened several foothill
communities, including Glendora, Claremont and Mount Baldy Village.
The fire has destroyed 72 cabins and other forest buildings since
it began Sept. 29.
Firefighters expected to have the blaze fully contained by Oct.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press