Red Heat: Arnold amazed at Angora’s impact |

Red Heat: Arnold amazed at Angora’s impact

Adam Jensen

Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune / California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons and California Lt. Gov. John Garamendi tour the Angora Fire area Wednesday afternoon.

Skirting the ruins of two homes near the intersection of View Circle and Lake Tahoe Boulevard in alligator-skin cowboy boots on Wednesday afternoon, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger got his first glimpses of the destruction caused by the Angora fire.

“Look at this,” the governor said in astonishment, tossing the remnant of what appeared to be a bicycle rim to his deputy chief of staff, Adam Mendelsohn. “Liquid metal. The rim just melted.”

Continuing a walk to the back of what was once someone’s home, the governor discovered some auspiciously placed dumbbells.

Unable to resist the urge to relive his days as a professional body builder, Schwarzenegger hammed it up for the cameras, ripping through a couple of curls before continuing his examination of the rubble.

California Assemblyman Ted Gaines was among the crowd of government officials surrounding Schwarzenegger. Gaines briefly spoke to the governor about the monetary and bureaucratic battles that hinder policy decisions in the Lake Tahoe Basin, not forgetting to mention forest management.

“He says there’s not enough funding. It’s ridiculous,” the governor said in response, adding he will be examining the management of forest fuels across agency lines.

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“That’s why we’re here, to put the pressure on everybody,” he said.

Although little more than a blackened shell, Schwarzenegger immediately recognized the vehicle in the next driveway as an Austrian-made Pinskower, a small, six-wheeled tank that can be modified to drive legally on California streets. Schwarzenegger reportedly bought a Pinskower in March 2003.

Only four wheels were visible on the burnt vehicle.

Coming closer, Schwarzenegger again marveled at the extreme heat of the blaze, rubbing his fingers over the melted glass that had bubbled across the driver-side door.

After examining the wreckage of the two homes for no more than 15 minutes, Schwarzenegger quickly complimented the city of South Lake Tahoe and Mayor Kathay Lovell.

“I know this is a great place, I’ve skied here many times,” he said.

With this statement, Arnold hopped into one of the several black Ford Excursions in his convoy and headed to a press conference at South Lake Tahoe High School.