Vice President Kamala Harris thanked firefighters in her Brentwood neighborhood on Sunday morning as she began her July 4th vacation.
“Thank you very much for your work,” said Harris, noting that she had visited the site of the 2018 Paradise fire, the deadliest in state history, and that this year’s fire season is expected. be worse than last year, which is the worst on record. “Your courage is extraordinary, just extraordinary. You save lives and you do it with a lot of selflessness.
Firefighters were among the essential workers who could not stay at home during the pandemic, Harris said.
“… Take care of yourself,” she said, adding that on July 4th, “it’s important to remember … the nature of who we are.”
Harris’ 13-minute shutdown at Los Angeles Fire Station 19 came as three large fires burned down in northern California, the salt fire in Shasta County destroying more than two dozen homes and at least 14 outbuildings on Saturday.
The station’s firefighters are well versed in fighting forest fires; last year, they were among the responders to the Getty fire that forced thousands to evacuate.
President Biden announced on Wednesday that his administration would increase federal wages to at least $ 15 an hour for these frontline firefighters, a recognition of the growing severity of the fire season, especially on the West Coast.
Harris and her husband, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, said they had already had to evacuate their neighboring house because of the wildfires.
“On behalf of the neighborhood and on our behalf, thank you for everything you do,” Emhoff said, adding that his brother was a firefighter.
The couple brought a box of cookies from Deluscious Cookies & Milk, a small local women-owned business, and were accompanied by Rep Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) and his wife, Betty. The elected officials and their spouses took photos with the firefighters in front of a red fire truck; the eight men bowed as Harris’ procession moved away.
This weekend marked Harris’ fifth visit to California since becoming vice president. On Saturday, she raised the administration’s infrastructure proposal in Las Vegas before landing in Los Angeles in the afternoon.