This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," October 22, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Joining us now with more on the scene is fire inspector Edward Osorio for the Los Angeles County Fire Department and Father Greg Hughes of the Malibu Presbyterian Church, which burned down in the fires. Before we hear Pastor Hughes' story, Edward, we just heard a woman say, as we saw this horrible picture, this is one of many. I guess the pictures we're seeing can't begin to address the enormity of what's going on. Would that be accurate?
EDWARDS OSORIO, L.A. COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT: Most definitely. It's still a very dynamic situation here in Malibu, and we're not out of the fire, so to speak.
COLMES: What predictors do you have, Mr. Osorio, about where this is going to go? You can't predict the winds; you can't predict certain weather conditions. So can you give any idea what happens over the next 24 hours?
OSORIO: Well, the best thing we can do is we can take into consideration what we do know. We do know that we have Santa Ana conditions that are coming in out of the north. Unfortunately, once they hit these ridge tops of these canyons, that wind is redirected in several directions. So once it gets here, it's a little bit harder to predict, but we do know that predominantly they're coming out of the north.
We do know that, right now, our busiest aspect of the fire is the southeast portion of the fire, where we've been working pretty much all day to protect the homes in the canyons there, particularly Rambla Pacifica. And the firefighters have done an excellent job. There was an additional home that was lost this morning. Apparently, we had some very strong gusts of wind, and the fire was just a little too intense for our firefighters to handle.
COLMES: Pastor Hughes, let's talk about what happened at your church, a 60-year-old church, [that's] been around for a long time, not the first time you've experienced this kind of thing, but this was devastating for you. What did you go through over the weekend?
FATHER GREG HUGHES, LOST CHURCH IN FIRES: Well, it has been devastating. We were preparing for worship services on Sunday morning. And to turn around and see the church demolished by the fire was devastating. It felt like the wind got knocked out of us. But our congregation is resilient. We'll rebuild. We'll regroup.
COLMES: As I understand it, you were called to the church and went to the church. You thought things would be OK. At a certain point, you had to evacuate. Tell us about that moment where you knew you had to leave.
HUGHES: Yeah, we got there about 6:30. The flames were not yet approaching the church. We thought it was safe. A fire truck said we were safe, so we went in, retrieved computers, hard drives, papers. And then when the police vehicle came through and said we needed to evacuate, and by the time we got out, there were embers that were flying over our heads. So we knew it was a desperate situation. Things and winds had changed.
OLIVER NORTH, GUEST CO-HOST: Reverend Hughes, let me — a quick question for you. Is there any materials that could have been used or might be used in the rebuilding of your church that would make it less likely that this kind of thing happens in the future?
HUGHES: Oh, I'm sure. You know, I don't know what those are. I'm not a builder or an architect, but I'm sure we'll rebuild it differently. It's a 60-year-old structure, you know, things have changed.
NORTH: What are you going to do in the interim?
HUGHES: Well, you know, we're an Easter Faith people, so you know on Friday, it looked like things were bleak for Jesus, but we saw that Jesus rose again. And our church is a resurrection church. We'll gather again. We're going to regroup again. We're right now in the process of finding an appropriate location for us to meet where we can all gather together.
The community here in Malibu has been tremendous. The synagogue has offered help, Pepperdine [University], everywhere, I mean, all of the other churches. So we're going to find a place where we can meet, and we'll regroup and re gather. And we believe that we'll be stronger as a result of this.
NORTH: Well-put. Edward, tell me about your firefighters. How many do you have out there?
OSORIO: Well, right now, we have approximately 1,400-plus firefighters that are still combating this blaze. They're doing an excellent job, given the situation with the wind and the steep topography and the tough terrain that they have to deal with, not to mention a lot of these guys are now operating off of 24 hours worth of work, with very little sleep and very little rest. So given all that, they're doing an excellent job, and I'm just hopeful that we don't have any more injuries. We've had one minor injury, dehydration to one of our firefighters, but we've been very fortunate thus far.
NORTH: Edward, tell me, you know, we constantly hear about things like "backfires." Explain to our audience what a backfire is. I think I know, but I'd rather hear it from you.
OSORIO: OK, well, that would be an operation where we would feel comfortable enough and weather permitting where we could actually fire off some of the fuel in front of a fast-moving fire to diminish that fuel in front of it so that it does not gain any more momentum or force, if you will. By removing that fuel and having it burn back upon itself, it will then basically extinguish itself by removing the fuel.
COLMES: Edwards, good luck to you and your crew. Pastor Hughes, best of luck to you. And I love your positive attitude in the face of such challenges. Thanks so much for being with us tonight.
HUGHES: Thank you.
Watch "Hannity & Colmes" weeknights at 9 p.m. ET!
Copy: Content and Programming Copyright 2007 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2007 Voxant, Inc. (www.voxant.com), which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon Fox News Network, LLC'S and Voxant, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.