Injured Volunteer Firefighter Improving

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Fiery crash along Texas-Oklahoma border.

    A Bodega volunteer firefighter who was hurt at the scene of a  98-acre grass fire on Saturday is improving at St. Francis Memorial  Hospital's burn unit in San Francisco today.

    Ben Hakala, 37, was up and talking this morning, Cal Fire  communication coordinator Michael Selmi said.

    Cal Fire officials said Hakala was injured when he came into  contact with a downed power line.

    The fire started at about 12:30 p.m. Saturday near the 18000 block  of state Highway 1.  One woman said she said a downed power line spark the fire.

    The blaze was contained at about 8 a.m. Sunday. It destroyed one  structure and two vehicles, and burned a number of eucalyptus trees.

    More than 200 firefighters responded to the blaze. Firefighters  were still mopping up this morning, Selmi said.

    A trust fund has been established to help Hakala and his family  with medical expenses, said Sarah Molica, general manager of the Northern  Light Surf Shop in Bodega.

    Hakala has a wife and 2-year-old daughter, Molica said.

    Checks may be dropped off at the surf shop at 17191 Bodega  Highway, or mailed to P.O. Box 138 Bodega, 94922. They can also be dropped  off at the Bodega Volunteer Fire Department at 17184 Bodega Highway, or  mailed to P.O. Box 28, Bodega, 94922.

    The surf shop closed early Saturday because of the smoke. It  closed early again on Sunday because beach-bound motorists trying to escape  100-degree temperatures inland did not want to stop and lose their place in  the backed-up traffic, Molica said.

    Bay City News