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"His parents were proud. In their living room, pictures of Robles in the uniform were displayed near portraits of him with his girlfriend at the high school prom. The only thing missing now was a paid firefighting position. It was a job Robles would never get. He scored below average on firefighting exams and eventually was asked to leave his volunteer unit."

"Being a volunteer fireman is like being a minor league baseball player," said Kenneth Elliot, Robles' defense attorney. "If you are not going to move up, they move you out. He was not going to be a firefighter. When it was taken away from him, he felt he could create his own success."

"He tried to do that, Madruga told a jury at Robles' 1998 trial, by setting fires."

"It was in this hope that Robles had set, then fought, the Escondido fire in 1997. One of the two homes lost that day belonged to Adnan Derbas. His 1930s-era house sat on 350 acres with a view of Lake Hodges and the foothills and ranchland northeast of San Diego."

And so the story begins...

This place is set in the hills and known only to the locals. I remember the fire well, having lived only a few miles away. All in all, Robles set fires that burned over 25,000 acres, destroyed over 130 homes and killed one person. I've been to this site before but in it's pristine state. It was sad to see it covered in graffiti. The hike is a nice one but I couldn't help but feel I was being watched. It was a bit of an uneasy feeling, like I shouldn't have been there. I didn't stay long and it wasn't until I returned to my parent's house and looked at my photos that I realised most of the graffiti was in fact the markings of gang bangers. Nobody wants to get caught on someone else's turf...

 

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View from the terraced garden

 

 

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Wow what a view that is to have your toast and marmite. 

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2 hours ago, Tbolt said:

Wow what a view that is to have your toast and marmite. 

I'd forgotten over the years how pretty the area was and eeewwww! No marmite, more like peanut butter and jelly :D

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