Porter firefighters return from battling California wildfires

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Four Porter firefighters spent the last three weeks in California fighting three different fires.

HOUSTON, Texas — Over 16,000 firefighters remain on the frontlines of 25 major wildfires in California. Crews across the country have headed out to help, including a few from our own backyard.

Four Porter firefighters are headed home after spending nearly a month helping our West Coast neighbors.

“We’ve been gone for 25 days. It’s nice to be back for sure,” Brandon Shafer said.

They’re all trained in wildland firefighting and have spent the last three weeks in California fighting three different fires.

“We basically were repair and suppression, but we also did quite a bit of burning operations,” Ryan Johnson said.

“We were really doing a lot of preventative stuff to kind of help contain, so firing operations, trying to use fire to fight fire, things like that,” Shafer said.

Under orange skies, the crew spent most of their time on the outer edges. They helped to contain both the Lightning Complex and Oak Fires before they headed North to the August Complex Fire.

“Which I believe that one is over 700,000 acres at this point,” Shafer said.

Their shift may be over, but they’ll stay ready to respond just in case.

“It’s just nice to help each other out. I mean, we’ve had resources from California come and help us in the past like during Harvey,” Shafer said.

“It feels good to be able to help out in any way I can,” Johnson said.