As nice as California may be with it’s ordinary mid 70 weather and countless beautiful beaches, when summer comes around there’s one thing Summer always seems to bring along with it to California, and those are wildfires. Recently California has been suffering from a major drought that has seen the mountains and all its fuels become relatively low in moisture and becoming susceptible to ignition and with summer still being in the future and temperatures already reaching in the 90’s, the state is sure to experience these types of disasters over the Summer season.
I remember five years ago being on top of my roof and witnessing the mountains bordering the city of San Fernando and Lake View Terrace become engulfed with flames and being eaten away by rapidly spreading flames. At the time I was only studying to be able to join a Fire Department in which I could assist when any future disaster like this occurred, and the feeling of being on the sidelines was horrible. After years of training and attending a fire Academy my hard work paid off and I was hired with the United States Forest Service with a Hotshot Crew and for 3 years have been traveling across the U.S. suppressing wildfires.
The feeling of being in the face of the fire and being able to make an impact on what it does next is thrilling and very rewarding at the end of the shift knowing you made an effort to either save someone’s home or the green hillside of their backyard. As the fire season begins to get underway I am beginning to feel the butterflies build up inside me again, awaiting to see what this season brings and has me anxiously waiting to see where we will be responding to assist. It is unfortunate that these events seem to be a part of California but I feel a lot better at the end of the day knowing I made an attempt to keep California beautiful.