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Lance Cpl. Austin Hubbar, an aviation mechanic with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 169, places burnt debris into a garbage bag during a Carlsbad cleanup, Oct. 18. Marines and local volunteers helped cleanup a fire-damaged area to support its ecosystem returning to normal.

Photo by Cpl. Michael Thorn

HMLA-169 Marines help Carlsbad community with post-fire cleanup

20 Oct 2014 | Cpl. Michael Thorn

Marines from Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 169 aid local volunteers by cleaning up a fire-damaged area, in Carlsbad, Calif., Oct. 18.

Back in May, 2014, one of the most destructive San Diego wildfires, the Poinsettia Fire, blazed a path across 600 acres of land, causing more than $22.5 million in damages.

“The local firefighters did an amazing job stopping the fire before it could do anymore damage,” said Liz Ketabian, planning manager with the Carlsbad parks and recreation department. “It was a miracle that so many homes and lives were saved.”

Marines dispersed into four different divisions along with volunteers to cover as much of the area as possible. The main goal for everyone involved was to pick up as much large debris and trash as possible from the affected area.

“The community cares for us, so it’s our turn to show we care for them,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jason Edwards, quality assurance chief with HMLA-169. “It feels good to be giving back to our community.”

The efforts being put out by all of the volunteers will help the local ecosystem return to normal according to Ketabian.

“I want to thank everyone that came out today to help us with this cleanup,” said Huckle Berryman, a captain with the Carlsbad Fire Department. “I especially want to thank the Marines for coming out. Not only for this, but thank you all for your service.”


3rd Marine Aircraft Wing