Reporter from VICE embeds with a fire crew

In this video Thomas Martin, a reporter from VICE, gets a close-up look at what it’s like to thin trees and construct fireline as he embeds with a crew from Grayback Forestry for a day, and gets outfitted with gear and swings a Pulaski for a few minutes.

At then end he sums up his impression of the work wildland firefighters do. And keep in mind during his time with the crew, it appears they were nowhere near a fire.

Firefighters around the world are universally acclaimed, and considered heroes. Forest firefighters, though, are in a league to themselves. They basically go into one of the deadliest situations in nature, something that we have all been instinctively hard wired to avoid on site or smell, no matter what. And get right up against the flames, and then do one of the hardest jobs imaginable, which is digging a ditch. It’s some of the hardest work I think that exists.