Arnold Nick, Pilot Station, Alaska.

Arnold Nick, Pilot Station, Alaska.

Faces from the fire

Name: Trevor Kauffman

From: Soldotna, Alaska

Crew: Soldotna Forestry

Job: Wild Land Fire and Resource Technician

Days on the Card Street fire: 11 (as of Wednesday evening)

What is unique about fighting fires in Alaska?

“Most of our fires up here tend to be more remote, and … we have to support ourselves a little bit more. We get to come up with our own plan.”

 

 

Name: Mike Hayes

From: Soldotna, Alaska

Crew: Soldotna Forestry

Job: Wild Land Fire and Resource Technician

Days on the Card Street fire: 11

What is unique about fighting fires in Alaska?

“We’re way more independent. It’s fought at a local level until the team comes in, so we have control of the local operations until the team shows up.”

 

 

Name: Gabe Nevin

From: Darby, Montana

Crew: Bitterroot Hotshots

Job: Sawyer

Days on Card Street fire: 8

What is the most challenging part of your job?

“Every fire you see is different, with new ways to look at it.”

 

 

Name: Teresa North

From: Lowman, Idaho

Crew: Elk Creek Crew 5

Job: Digger for hand crew

Days on Card Street fire: 4

What is unique about fighting fires in Alaska?

“More mosquitoes. And earthquakes.”

 

 

Name: Shane Kelley

From: McCall, Idaho

Crew: Elk Creek Crew 5

Job: Crew Lead

Days on Card Street fire: 4

What made you want to become a firefighter?

“I grew up in a fire town. This is pretty much what everyone does there.”

 

 

Name: Brooke Andrew

From: Holland, Massachusetts

Crew: Elk Creek Crew 5

Job: “Rookie”

Days on Card Street fire: 4

What made you want to become a firefighter?

“I was looking for a fun summer opportunity. I’m still in college. I took a class while I was in school, a basic course on wild land firefighting.”

 

 

Name: Austin Hunsberger

From: Reno, Nevada

Crew: WNA IA

Job: Sawyer/Squad Boss

Days on Card Street fire: 4

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

“Just knowing that you’re saving a community. It’s just very rewarding and it’s something I have a passion for. I always have. My dad was a firefighter.”

 

 

Name: Billy Canfield

From: Carson City, Nevada

Crew: WNA IA

Job: Squad Boss Trainee

Days on Card Street fire: 4

What is unique about fighting fires in Alaska?

“The 24 hour daylight. Trying to go to sleep is a toughie.”

 

 

Name: Patrick Oney

From: Pilot Station, Alaska

Crew: Pilot Station

Job: Squad Boss

Days on Card Street fire: 5

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

“The experience. Opportunity. Doing a grid and keeping a straight line.”

 

 

Name: Wassillie Myers

From: Pilot Station, Alaska

Crew: Pilot Station

Job: Squad Boss

Days on Card Street fire: 5

What made you decide you wanted to keep fighting fires for 27 years?

“Family. I’m a third-generation firefighter. My uncles were firefighters, my dad, my grandfather. My sons are fourth generation.”

 

 

Name: Joseph Dentler

From: Kaltag, Alaska

Crew: Kaltag Type 2

Job: Squad Boss Trainee

Days on Card Street fire: 7

What made you decide to become a firefighter?

“I like being in the outdoors. And we’ve got to protect our lands.”

 

 

Name: Robyn Makaily

From: Pilot Station, Alaska

Crew: Pilot Station

Job: Mop Up

Days on Card Street fire: 5

What made you decide to become a firefighter?

“I saw a couple of my classmates – they were females – and they tried out, so the next time they had training in my hometown, I decided to try it out, and I liked it.”

 

 

Name: Arnold Nick

From: Pilot Station, Alaska

Crew: Pilot Station

Job: Gridding Hot Spots

Days on Card Street fire: 5

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

“When you get to go out and see your loved ones. You build a bond around the crew members.”

 

 

Name: Nick McGovern

From: Orange County, California

Crew: Vegas Valley Crew

Job: Sawyer

Days on Card Street fire: 4

What made you decide to be a firefighter?

“I got out of the military and I applied for this job. I was in crash fire rescue for the military. When a plane crashed or a helicopter crashed, we’d go … and fight the fire.”

 

 

Name: Stewart Mandros

From: Kaltag, Alaska

Crew: Kaltag Type 2

Job: Squad Boss Trainee

Days on Card Street fire: 7

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

“The community is pretty nice. On Father’s Day they brought out a whole thing to us out on the lines. Chips, cake, Gatorade, candy.”

 

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@peninsulaclarion.com.

Austin Hunsberger, Reno, Nevada.

Austin Hunsberger, Reno, Nevada.

Billy Canfield, Carson City, Nevada.

Billy Canfield, Carson City, Nevada.

Brooke Andrew, Holland Massachusetts

Brooke Andrew, Holland Massachusetts

Gabe Nevin, Darby Montana.

Gabe Nevin, Darby Montana.

Joseph Dentler, Kaltag, Alaska.

Joseph Dentler, Kaltag, Alaska.

Mike Hayes, Soldotna.

Mike Hayes, Soldotna.

Nick McGovern, Orange County, Colorado.

Nick McGovern, Orange County, Colorado.

Patrick Oney Pilot Station, Alaska.

Patrick Oney Pilot Station, Alaska.

Robyn Makaily, Pilot Station, Alaska.

Robyn Makaily, Pilot Station, Alaska.

Shane Kelley, McCall, Idaho.

Shane Kelley, McCall, Idaho.

Stewart Mandros, Kaltag, Alaska.

Stewart Mandros, Kaltag, Alaska.

Teresa North, Lawman, Idaho.

Teresa North, Lawman, Idaho.

Trevor Kauffman, Soldotna

Trevor Kauffman, Soldotna

Wassillie Myers, Pilot Station, Alaska.

Wassillie Myers, Pilot Station, Alaska.

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