Ex-Action Hero Vows to Douse California Fires

The Governator gets an up-close look at his latest foe: the Lockheed Fire

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Broward County Sheriff's Office

California is burning and on Saturday the state's action star turned governor promised to put the flames out.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger got an up close look at the Lockheed fire in Santa Cruz County as fires continued to rage across the state. Schwarzenegger promised swift action and support from the state to put the fires out.

The Governator promised to terminate the flames by sending more than 6,800 fire personal statewide to battle flames across California. He also said 68 helicopters, 711 fire engines and 46 fixed winged aircrafts would be deployed to help fight the fires aross the state.

“My administration is doing all we can to ensure the state has the emergency response resources in place to respond quickly to the Lockheed fire and to fires that continue to burn throughout the state,” the governor said. “California has the best and bravest firefighters working on the front lines to protect our citizens and I am confident that they will beat back these fires like they have done in years past.”

The governor's office said on Saturday that more than 117,152 acres have burned across California since Aug. 1 and as many as 3,100 residents have been evacuated from their homes.

Locally, the Lockheed wildfire filled the air with thick, white smoke as firefighters continued to battle the blaze in steep, rugged terrain.

 The fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains has blackened close to 8 square miles of remote wilderness since Wednesday and prompted mandatory evacuations of the mountain communities of Swanton and Bonny Doon, which have about 2,400 residents and several wineries.

Lt. Gov. John Garamendi declared a state of emergency Friday for Santa Cruz County. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will be meeting with fire officals at the command post in Watsonville on Saturday.

The American Red Cross has established a shelter for evacuees at  Vintage Faith Church located at 350 Mission St. in Santa Cruz.

An evacuation center that was established at Pacific Elementary  School in the community of Davenport Wednesday night has since moved  elsewhere due to fear that the fire would head in the direction of that  community, the school's principal/superintendent Sharon Smith said.

In June 2008, the Martin Fire burned more than 600 acres and  forced the evacuation of 1,500 Bonny Doon residents.

The Lockheed Fire is still burning across 6,850 acres in the Santa Cruz Mountains, but crews had the flames 40 percent contained by Saturday evening.

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