Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

White Earth firefighters 'right on the fire line' of California wildfires in a record-setting season


October 5, 2020

White Earth Wildland Fire crew members Dawson Winter, Shawn Neisen, Billy Fletcher and Jeremy Londo (left to right), in front of their pickup truck in the Klamath National Forest in northern California, where they've been fighting wildfires for the past two weeks. (Submitted Photo)

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. - In the 14 days since they first sank their boots into the rugged ground of the Klamath Mountains in northern California, 50-pound backpacks pulling on their shoulders, four wildland firefighters from the White Earth Reservation have worked to stop the fiery devastation surrounding them.

Dawson Winter works on a fire line to help stop the spread of a wildfire in northern California. The state is in the middle of a record-setting and devastating year for wildfires. (Submitted Photo)

Thanks in part to the work of this Minnesota foursome, a nearly 2,200-acre fire that once threatened lives and caused an evacuation order is now 100% contained. The White Earth Wildland Fire crew, along with as many as 200 other firefighters from all over the country, were dispatched to Fox Fire, several miles southwest of the small town of Callahan.

With that fire now under control, residents of the area have been allowed to return to their homes and resume their normal routines. Yet the White Earth firefighters are still more than 1,800 miles from their homes, and their daily routines right now are far from normal.


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