SHAVER LAKE, California (KSEE) — On Sunday over 100 Texas firefighters arrived in Fresno County to help fight the creek fire.
On Tuesday they hit the ground running. The ironic part is they are protecting the childhood home of an Austin resident.
Alan Bare grew up in just a couple of miles from Cressman’s General Store and actually attended Sierra High School where the command center for the Creek Fire is set up.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Bare.
Bare realized the crews were in the area through a tweet on our station interviewing one of the fire captains.
“You were interviewing them right there on the 168 below Cressman’s where I grew up. It is an incredible coincidence,” said Bare.
The Austin firefighters traveled over 1300 miles to help battle against the Creek Fire.
“Once we get here you see the ominous weather,” said Austin Firefighter Josh Portie. “And the haze that is looming over us.”
The crews hit the ground running on Tuesday for taxing work. A mile hike took over an hour because of the steep terrain.
“This is one of the critical places in the area,” said Portie. “Super steep, very dry, and very rocky.”
Their biggest tasks are to create fire breaks and water lines in case hot spots start to pop up.
“I am not looking a big fire behind me,” said Portie. “Although it may not look impressive, we understand and can appreciate what it might be. What I can’t see is what makes me nervous.”
Bare forever grateful to see first responders come from all over to protect his hometown.
His parents have evacuated from the home and are staying with his sister.
“She is expecting her first child in January,” said Bare. “We are just waiting to see the house. But Structures can be rebuilt. I am glad they are safe.”
The Red Cross is assisting those impacted by the California Wildfires. You can help. Click this link to donate online: https://www.redcross.org/donate/cm/ksee24-pub.html/