Mark Sanchez is likely to be heading up to Oregon as the starter in order to take on the Ducks after ripping Notre Dame in South Bend last week. However, his father Nick won’t t be there to watch Mark play this week — he’s busy fighting the Santiago and Modjeska Canyon fires in Orange County, as a fire captain, and hasn’t been home in days.
“It’s going to kill him not to be there,” Mark says. “But just like he gets excited for my games, I’m excited for him right now. This is his chance to really make a difference in the communities around Southern California.
“I’m so proud of him. I look up to him. I love being able to say, ‘My dad’s a fireman!’ ”
Concerned as he is for his father’s safety, Mark has grown used to these scenarios. In 2005, Nick missed the Trojans’ game at Hawaii because of Hurricane Katrina. As a member of the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team, Nick floated from house to house in New Orleans looking for survivors before retreating to his “bed” each night at the SuperDome.
In 1995, Nick was summoned to Oklahoma City to help recover bodies from the rubble of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building after it was bombed by Timothy McVeigh.
“If there’s any kind of a national emergency, he’s on call,” Mark Sanchez says. “Locally, if there’s a house fire or a hiking accident or if a river overflows, he has to respond.”
Nick Sanchez is a bad-ass. That’s all you really can add after reading that, and he’s just one of the thousands who are logging some serious hours and consecutive days. Firefighters are logging days all over the state in order to help down south, and they’re earning it.
As Phillips at R&R already noted when he wrote about it, the firefighters are getting the upper hand on some of these blazes due to the winds taking a break. All the fires in Los Angeles County have been contained; firefighters are making good progress on the Ranch Fire in Ventura County. Regardless, those of you able to help folks in San Diego, Orange and San Bernardino counties who are still out of their homes, please do — especially since one of the fires near Lake Arrowhead in O.C. exploded today from 4,000 to more than 10,000 acres, and a lot of people are still out of their homes.