They are the gladiators of summer. The 3,000-plus men and women who are working the front lines, flying the planes, fueling the helicopters, preparing the meals, fielding the public’s anxious phone calls. They are the true warriors.
They stand tall against walls of flame, burning trees and unpredictable conditions. They drive the bulldozers, operate the hoses and scout the territory.
They put themselves in harm’s way, subjecting themselves to injury. Or something worse. But they do so with pride. It’s what they do. And they do it to protect us, Joe Citizen. They are protecting our homes, our property, our families. They work 24-hour shifts, tirelessly trying to knock down something larger than life. Sometimes they win, sometimes it wins. But every small battle they win is a victory for our community. And our way of life.
They are fathers who were called into action on a day reserved for celebration. They are mothers, away from their children, helping protect the children of others. They are husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends. They are also firefighters.
They do their work in the memory of firefighters past. Those who lost their lives on Storm King Mountain in Colorado. Those who were killed by that collapsing building in Philadelphia. All the men and women who have sacrificed their lives to save those of others.
They have come from places near and far. But they have come to help our community.
And in the end, when their work is done, they move on to save the next endangered community, to protect a different family, to save a different home. We salute the men and women who have bravely fought the Martis Fire. We salute them for their courage and resolve. They know they will win this one. It’s just a question of when. So the Sierra Sun, on behalf of the Truckee community, thanks you. You are the gladiators of summer. But you are also our heroes.
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