Local firefighters return home after fighting California wildfire

Local firefighters return home from fighting California wildfire (KOMO News)

MONROE, Wash. -- After more than two weeks away from home right before the holidays, firefighters from our area returned home from helping battle the largest wildfire in California history.

The firefighters were gone for 16 days, and the drive alone took two days each way.

As one firefighter told KOMO News, these fire trucks are built for sprints, not marathons. But they made do, and once they got down there the strike team of 18 firefighters from Washington was in charge of protecting 1500 structures.

And they say they only lost 13 of those structures. The firefighters worked 24-hour shifts and slept in tents in the heat, but they said they were just happy they could do their jobs and help others.

"Obviously we came back with heavy hearts...we lost one of our own down there," one firefighter said. "It's going to be on our minds definitely."

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