On the line: First-hand accounts of the devastating summer of 2018 wildfires
Firefighters on the line in California and Oregon, who are “saving a lot, but losing a lot at the same time,” speak with FireRescue1 Executive Editor Marc Bashoor
To try and grasp the real humanity of the wildfires, I wanted to talk to people on the front lines – from fire chiefs and firefighters, to community volunteers. We’re grateful for these responders, for their efforts to help the communities affected, and for the time they took to share their experiences, and to Chris Baker, western volunteer advocate director for the NFFF, who was instrumental in helping facilitate most of these interviews.
Our support is with the families, friends and colleagues of the firefighters who have lost their lives fighting these wildfires.
Catastrophic. Epic. Historic. Unprecedented. Cataclysmic. We’ve heard all these adjectives describing the 2018 wildfire season in the western United States. California, in particular, is quite literally under fire and smoke. In an effort to understand what these communities and our brother and sister firefighters are enduring, I’ve reached out to some of the firefighters facing these fires in California and Oregon.
In this article, we won’t try to quantify the costs or the acreage, and we will merely brush over the causes and remedies. Through the first-hand interviews, you’ll see the humanity aspect – gaining a better understanding of the enduring effects on everyone involved.
Where wildfire containment currently stands
The Carr, Ferguson, Holy, Taylor Creek, Klondike and Mendocino Complex fires are just a few of those impacting the region. Most of the 53-plus fires in the western United States continue to burn with varying degrees of containment. While California is taking the brunt of the damage, fatalities and fires, the destruction spreads over many states.