The Oregon wildfires have consumed an unprecedented amount of the state, but a crew of firefighters found a way to keep its spirits up.
Wildfires in Oregon have been raging for days now. At the frontline of these blazes is none other than the state's dedicated firefighters, who have been working overtime to put the fires out. One group in particular spent 14 hours battling the wildfires. As you would expect, they were completely exhausted after their long shift. While taking a breather, they came up with a song to sing together in solidarity. The Grizzly Firefighters from The Dalles, Oregon, wrapped up their shift on Monday by making each other laugh with an impromptu concert, CNN reports.
The crew had spent their shift fighting the Lionshead Fire near the community of Detroit, according to crew boss Theodore Hiner. He shared that they had spent the day "cutting line," which means they were building a perimeter of mineral soil to keep the fire from spreading even further. After the absolutely grueling day, the crew members sprawled themselves across a street as smoke stretched over the backdrop. Taking a break, they came up with a parody of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," replacing the lyrics with firefighter terms and themes. They sang, "Take me out to the fire, take me out to the line. Bring me some sawyers and hazel hoes, I don't care if I ever get home."
Hazel hoes are used to trench and clear the area whereas sawyers are folks trained to down limbs and trees during wildfires. The crew members continued, "Root, root, root for the red crew. You know we want the most days. For it's one, two, three tool types out at the old fire line." The group laughed together, finding a moment of bonding in otherwise very challenging times. As per Oregon Governor Kate Brown, while the wildfires (which occur every year) typically consume about 500,000 acres annually, this year has been much worse. She said in just one week, "we burned over a million acres of beautiful Oregon." With this in mind, the 20-person firefighting crew has been in the Detroit area for 10 days now.
Crew boss Hiner, who hails from Sweet Home, Oregon, has been fighting fires since 1996 and claimed he had never missed a wildfire season since he first began. Unfortunately, while he and his crew were fighting fires near the community of Detroit, his family was forced to evacuate their home. His wife, children, and dogs left their home for a total of four days. Luckily for him, everyone is safe. "Yes my house was in danger," he said. "Thankfully, we made it out okay."