Eleven Dallas firefighters touched down at Dallas Love Field safe and sound on Wednesday after spending two weeks battling one of California’s deadliest and most destructive wildfires.
When Texas has faced catastrophe, help comes from across the nation. This time, Dallas firefighters had the chance to return the favor.
The firefighters left two weeks ago to battle California’s Carr fire that was only 43 percent contained at the time.
FOX 4 was there as Dallas Fire-Rescue loaded up. Several trucks and lots of equipment also made the trip west.
The Dallas crew was part of about 100 Texas firefighters who went to California, including some from Southlake.
Six fire fighters lost their lives fighting the wildfires. One Dallas firefighter said kids helped him get through each day.
“They wrote me notes every day,” said Dallas firefighter Mike Guilkey. “So every time I got up in the morning, I pulled it out and put it in my pack. When I got a lunch break, I could pull it out and read it and keep me going for the day.”
The California wildfires have claimed 14 lives, including the 6 firefighters, and 23,000 acres of land.
Firefighters say they worked 24 hours on and 24 hours off to help get the fire 90 percent contained where it stands now. The exhaustion was so extreme at times that some of them actually slept out on the line.
What also stands out in their minds is the gratitude they were shown by people in California. They say people often picked up the tab for their meals and told them face-to-face how appreciative they are for all their hard work.