Beekeeper Burned, 2 Firefighters Stung Repeatedly While Battling Beehive Blaze

 Daily News   By Susan Abram  6/15/13 

Two firefighters who were stung repeatedly by bees were recovering Saturday after battling a blaze that erupted on private land used for beekeeping.

Los Angeles city firefighters responded to the 8300 block of La Tuna Canyon Road at 10:42 a.m. where they saw a brush fire near a vehicle and a man described as a beekeeper suffering from burns to one arm and his face. Firefighters rushed the man to a nearby hospital and said he appeared to be in fair condition.

Despite a swarm of bees, the flames were extinguished in 37 minutes, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey.

At least one-half acre of brush burned across La Tuna Canyon Park, as well as a cluster bee hives, Humphrey said.

"The firefighters are OK, but our concern is with the beekeeper. He was in deep pain. He's going to be in need of continuing care."

Humphrey said all firefighters receive training in fighting fires where there may be a swarm of bees.

"They were quickly able to don individual bee hoods over their helmets, and operate with minimal deficit," Humphrey said.

The vehicle was not involved in the fire or in starting the fire, Humphrey said.