Wildfire

Dedicated firefighter fights Alamo fire with newborn at home

Daughter born four days ago

Dedicated firefighter fighting Alamo...

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Firefigher Josh Swarthout says the toughest part for him, is not fighting the fire. 

"I have a brand new newborn," Swarthout said. 

- but missing the birth of his third child. 

"She was born on the sixth but yea away from home fighting fires but that comes along with the business," Swarthout said. 

Josh is out on Day 5 of the Alamo Fire - more than 200 miles away from home. 

"We're actually out of Riverside County but we have a national contract with the Forest Service so we'll go anywhere in the country that they need us to go," Swarthout said. 

Swarthout says the long days and fatigue can take a toll.

"Working out here in the heat, it's super hot up here, super dry, just trying to stay hydrated, taking care of your body, taking care of your crew," Swarthout said. 

Putting out this fire is quite the challenge with the rugged terrain and high flammable brush. To attack it, he specializes in using a large masticator. 

"It actually flips around like a regular bucket and allows us to go into the brush and chip it, it's like a big gigantic chipper and mulcher," Swarthout said. 

Josh and his crew work long days - 16 hours on, 8 hours off.

"Yea last year I ran 140 days jumping from fire to fire to fire, but yea this is what we do though, it's Southern California," Swarthout said. 

Josh wants his family to know, to just hang in there.

"Just Mary and the kids, I love you guys and I'll be home when I get home," Swarthout said.  


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