Fighting fire on Thanksgiving

firefighters wildland fire wildfire

Above: A briefing at the Springs Fire, Banks-Garden Valley, Idaho, Boise National Forest, Idaho Dept. of Lands, August, 2012.

Tomorrow, November 24, 2016 is Thanksgiving Day in the United States, a time when most Americans, in addition to having a fine meal and enjoying sports on television, are thankful for their blessings.

There will be about 4,100 firefighters in the southern states that will not have those pleasures. They will be constructing fireline, burning out, installing fire hose, applying water, driving across the country, attending briefings, providing logistics, dispatching personnel, completing time sheets, and making plans for the next day of putting out the 120,000 acres that are currently burning.

Please keep those men and women in your thoughts on Thursday.

firefighters wildland fire wildfire
Cascade Complex, Idaho, 2007
firefighters wildland fire wildfire
Houses inside of the Fourmile Canyon Fire near Boulder, Colorado in the wildland-urban interface. The 7,000 acre fire claimed nearly 170 houses in the first days of the blaze. Several of the houses that were saved had properly prepared their land for the potential of wildfire, including building with fire resistant materials as well as preparing defensible, fuel-minimized spaces in the areas surrouding the structure.

firefighters wildland fire wildfire
Castle Rock Fire, Ketchum, ID, 2007
firefighters wildland fire wildfire
Castle Rock Fire, Ketchum, ID, 2007
firefighters wildland fire wildfire
Castle Rock Fire, Ketchum, ID, 2007

These photos are from the archives at the National Interagency Fire Center.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

13 thoughts on “Fighting fire on Thanksgiving”

  1. I will keep them in my thoughts and prayers as my son is fighting fires in North Carolina and this is the first year we have not all been together. God Bless them and they are doing a great service.

  2. Spent Turkey Day in SoCal in late 1970s-early 1980s with Guv Jerry Brown, girl friend Linda Rohnstadt and 2000 close friends, dining on turkey loaf in fire camp. Ah, the memories! Glad to home in Montana these past years with family.
    Best wishes and be safe to Southern firefighters this year.

    1. Oh yes, 1980 Panorama Fire, San Bernardino, all the State folks were eating turkey with the Gov. the rest of us ate turkey loaf.

  3. As a retired Senior Forest Ranger from the state of Florida (Wildland Firefighter) I wish all my fellow firefighters a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

  4. I returned yesterday from NC from the Boteler Fire. Some of the finest, most generous people I’ve ever met. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their hospitality!

    1. Also special thanks to the folks at Mary’s Southern Cafe and the lake Chatuge Lodge in Hiawassee GA!!

  5. We are so grateful for all of the fire fighters who have come to our aid here in far northeast GA and NC.
    I can’t begin to thank them enough for their service. They remain in my prayers for safety – and hopefully a return to their homes and families very soon.

  6. As a Disaster Relief Volunteer/Head Cook, (Have cooked for the firefighters in other disasters) through Southern Bapitst I know how hard it is to be away from home for an extended period of time. Praying for the fighterfires, those on the front line, their families. Praying for safety.

  7. Spent Thanksgiving in SoCa in the mid 70’s on fires. Hope the public understands and appreciates the work the men and women who are working the fires are doing.

    May they have a safe assignment and return to their families soon.

  8. Keep up the good and tiring work! Happy Thanksgiving and stay safe! From the brotherhood at Douglas County Georgia Fire Department.

  9. A special thanks to all the fire fighters from all the different states that came to North Carolina to help fight the fires in our area. Your service is appreciated more than words can express. May God keep you safe and traveling mercy when it is time for you to return home. Thanks to all volunteers from Baptist On A Mission for all they have done.

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