Samoan firefighters helping battle Calif. wildfires sing to lift spirits

The National Park Service’s Samoa 61 Fire Crew traveled 5,000 miles from American Samoa to help battle wildfires and spread positivity along the way


By FireRescue1 Staff

REDDING, Calif. — A group of Samoan firefighters are lifting spirits in California with their harmonic voices.

CBS News reported that the National Park Service’s Samoa 61 Fire Crew traveled 5,000 miles from American Samoa to help battle the California wildfires, and are spreading positivity along the way with traditional songs from their culture.

"We try and bring back our culture, our fa'a Samoa," team veteran Anthony Wyberski said. "We try and stay positive. What a lot of people tell us is that they've never seen a fire team so positive."

Wyberski said the team will break into song no matter where they are, and they end the day back at camp with the same spiritual melody.

"It's a church song and it's just something that's part of our culture. Our belief in God is very strong," Wyberski said.

Federal fire crew coordinator Nate Gogna said that while the crew can earn almost half a year’s salary in one month on the fire lines, that’s not entirely why they endure the grueling work.

"They feel like they're helping America … They feel like they're part of this country right now," he said. "And these guys have so much energy that people just want to be part of it."

 

This is Samoa Crew 61 from Hawaii and Samoa. They volunteered to come here to help us with the Carr Fire. Bless their hearts!

Posted by Marjorie Isabelle Strain on Friday, August 10, 2018

 

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