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Tue Nov 20, 2018, 02:03 PM

'I give Diana Credit for Saving Our Town,' Says Stirling City Fire Chief"

‘I give Diana Credit for Saving Our Town,’ Says Stirling City Fire Chief About Humboldt County Firefighter

As teams sift ashes in Paradise today searching for bone fragments of those who were killed in the deadliest fire in modern California history, not far away, residents of a much smaller town, Stirling City, return to their untouched homes after being evacuated for 10 days. They do so in part because of Division U Supervisor Diana Totten, a Humboldt County resident and one of the few transgender wildland firefighters in the nation. Totten and a Mendocino County man alternated the Division U Supervisor position–for over ten days, they traded off sleeping and doing paperwork while the other ran the line. At times they had close to 300 personnel under their direction battling the Camp Fire.

“I give Diana credit for saving our town,” Pete Cuming, Chief of the Stirling City Volunteer Fire Department, said warmly. Over the years, Cuming who has been chief since 1987 and been a volunteer firefighter since 1980, has poured a lot of love into his community. He has carefully restored the oldest house in town, built his own trucking business, and created a scale model of the old mill which he has lent to the local museum.


“We were there with a group of dozers operators,” Cummings explained. “She introduced herself as Division Uniform.”

Totten remembers the incident well. She said that one of the operators said something about Division Unicorn–a reference to her transgender status. “I don’t think he thought I would hear,” she said. From then on she adopted that as the group’s name–they became Division Unicorn.

“It was instant chemistry,” Cuming said. “Diana loves input. She asks for input and then can make an educated decision.”
Totten said the chemistry was mutual. She, like Cuming, had been a logger. They both came from small communities they were passionate about, and they were both determined to save Stirling City. “It’s a cute little town,” she said.

“We were trying to build a battle plan for the north side of the fire,” Cuming explained. He said he and his men worked to give the two Division Supervisors “as much local knowledge as possible.”

Cuming credits Totten for coming up with a way of reducing fuel between the town and the massive, deadly fire racing towards them by clearing out dozer lines and backfiring huge swaths of land. “She was able to build a plan and her plan worked,” he said.

“We use fire to fight fire,” Totten explained in an earlier interview. “Those backfires are a very good strategy…Now the fuels are gone ahead of the coming fire.”

Long article and many pictures at: http://kymkemp.com/2018/11/20/i-give-diana-credit-for-saving-our-town-says-stirling-city-fire-chief-about-humboldt-county-firefighter/

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Reply 'I give Diana Credit for Saving Our Town,' Says Stirling City Fire Chief" (Original post)
PufPuf23 Nov 2018 OP
Botany Nov 2018 #1
PufPuf23 Nov 2018 #2
PufPuf23 Nov 2018 #3

Response to PufPuf23 (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2018, 02:23 PM

1. Something is in my eye

Division U Supervisor Diana Totten

Stirling City, needs to build Diana Totten park.

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Response to Botany (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 20, 2018, 02:51 PM

2. Great idea for Diana Totten Park in Sterling City.

Out of the catastrophe, emerges narratives that are uplifting to the heart.

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Response to PufPuf23 (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2018, 07:21 PM

3. bump

Such a nice story.

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