On this weekend of family, friends and reflecting on the birth of our great country, I had to remember that there are a group of people defending our way of life on this holiday weekend. Of course we remember our troups in harms way around the world, but we also have to remember the brave group of men and women protecting our homes, businesses and way of life from the ever present danger of wildfire in the west.
I was at a popular truck stop in Northern California near Red Bluff and I met up with a group of firefighters from Orange County, California. The firefighter I talked to said he has been fighting fires west of Red Bluff for the last 14 days straight. This was their first break and were looking forward to a well deserved day of rest and relaxation. He told me that they spent the first 16 hours of their fire assignment performing hand crew duties such as building fire line, cutting trees and cutting brush. These duties are not totally unfamiliar with this fire crew, but it was quite a change from the normal duties encountered in their day to day activities in their home town of Laguna Nigel.
No sooner did we finish our conversation and the BC who was with the group notified them that they were to report back to their fire engines and were being dispatched to the complex of fires near Big Sur and Santa Barbara. Apparently fire resources were low and the winds were very high today. The strike team was due to be in Santa Barbara before sunrise encountering another round of firefighting and protecting life.
I ask that fellow truck drivers, who happen to be in California this week, turn on their headlights while driving down the freeway in support of these hometown heroes who risk their lives every day to make the rest of us safe. If you happen to see one of these strike teams on the highway, give them plenty of room and let them have the road.