'Heroes' mural that gives tribute to firefighters is unveiled in Idyllwild for Thanksgiving weekend


Last updated 11/29/2018 at 8:16pm


Keith Blum receives a proclamation from Riverside County in recognition of his mural, "Heroes," which he recently completed in Idyllwild to honor the Cranston Fire firefighters.

IDYLLWILD – Call it an early Christmas present, or a Thanksgiving blessing, but Idyllwild residents have a beautiful new mural to visit.

Riverside County 3rd District Supervisor Chuck Washington presided over the unveiling of Idyllwild's newest piece of public art at the Idyllwild Public Library, Tuesday, Nov. 20.

The inspiration of Palm Springs muralist Keith Blum, the "Heroes" mural pays tribute to the firefighting heroes who protected and saved the Idyllwild Community during the Cranston Fire in July.

On hand for the unveiling were Idyllwild fire Chief Patrick Reitz, Capt. Leonard Purvis of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department and Valle Vista Station and members of Cal Fire.

The painting of the mural, which spans the back wall of the library and features firefighters, was donated by Blum. Blum was originally inspired to paint an art-related mural while attending a pop-up art show in Idyllwild. When the Cranston Fire broke out, Blum watched the fire and smoke from his home in Palm Springs. 

"I saw the smoke coming off the mountain, thick and dark. Often blocking out the sun and dropping ash on us," he said.

When the fire was out, he returned to Idyllwild and witnessed the devastation caused by the fires.

"I saw how close the fire had come to homes. I was moved by the valiant efforts of the firefighters," Blum said. "Now I wanted to donate a mural paying tribute to the firefighters."

Blum began painting the mural Oct. 19, which took four weeks to complete. He just recently finished the tribute. The emblems of both Idyllwild Fire Department and U.S. Forest Service were included in the mural along with recognition to the local businesses and individuals who donated toward the mural completion.

"The mural represents the hard work that both law enforcement and the firefighters do to keep the community safe," Washington said.

The Riverside County presented Blum with a proclamation during the mural opening. Blum donates two to three murals per year to charities and nonprofits.

"We are so excited to have this. We are so blessed to have this in our town," Reitz said about the mural. "But let's not forget, we work together. All of us as agencies work together every day, regardless of the event. We all come together for a common cause and that is to help our fellow human beings."

The Idyllwild Branch Library is located at 54401 Village Center Drive in Idyllwild.

Submitted by Riverside County.


Idyllwild residents view the new "Heroes" mural during the unveiling at the Idyllwild Public Library, Nov. 20.


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