Dave Dahlberg poses with his Forest Service patrol truck, still splashed with fire retardant from the afternoon of the rescue.
Brandon Yadegari

Los Padres National Forest firefighter David Dahlberg attended President Trump’s State of the Union address on 1/30, among a small group of special guests. Dahlberg played a key role in the rescue of several dozen kids and counselors on 7/8 as the Whittier Fire surrounded Circle V Ranch Camp, off Highway 154 near Lake Cachuma, in 2017. “David’s heroic actions in the face of grave danger displayed exceptional character, selflessness, and sound judgment,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a statement. “His story of heroism is just one of many exhibited by the dedicated men and women of the United States Forest Service, who risk their lives to protect lives and property. I am grateful that President Trump is recognizing David and the excellent work of the Forest Service.” Dahlberg received a Forest Service regional award for heroism; however, his nomination for a national award was turned down by Forest Service headquarters in Washington, D.C. Dahlberg was not available for comment before print deadline.


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