Tribal firefighters battle California blazes

A charred bus lies in ruins on the La Jolla Indian Reservation. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times).

A tribal crew of volunteer firefighters has been at the forefront of one of the devastating blazes in southern California.

The Poomacha Fire started Tuesday on the La Jolla Reservation. The volunteers, led by a tribal member, kept working even as the blaze ripped through 50 homes.

"Since the resources are so thin, we developed our own," Joseph Ruise, 36, told The Los Angeles Times. "A lot of us just decided to stay."

Most of the 52-member crew are tribal members while others came from nearby communities. The state sent crews to the reservation and the surrounding area. The Warm Springs Tribe of Oregon just dispatched its crew to the state to help with efforts.

Get the Story:
Tribal volunteers tackle blaze (The Los Angeles Times 10/26)
Witch Creek fire fierce from start (The San Diego Union-Tribune 10/26)
Pechanga helping N. County residents, evacuees from other tribes (The San Diego Union-Tribune 10/25)
Warm Springs fire crews head to S. California (KTVZ 10/25)

Relevant Links:
After the Fires Fund -

Related Stories:
Two tribes among hardest hit by California fires (10/25)
Fires strike southern California reservations (10/24)
BIA cancels consultation due to California fires (10/23)