Local firefighters work to protect California homes

NAPA, Calif. – A crew of firefighters from Medford helped save a family’s ranch in the Napa, California area.

Five Medford Fire-Rescue personnel were recently sent to northern California to help fight fires that have killed over 40 people and burned at least 5,700 structures.

A photo shared by firefighters shows some of the crew members posing with residents of a large ranch they helped protect.. “The family treated them very well and even fed them during the fire,” Medford Fire-Rescue wrote. “The crew built a relationship with this family and even exchanged contact info!”

While they may be all smiles, it’s not easy for the firefighters who work on 24 hour shifts. Currently, they’re assigned to the Atlas Fire burning in mountains and communities about 15 miles from Napa. They’re primarily protecting structures and mopping up fires.

MFR doesn’t yet know when their crew will be headed back home, as California is still in need. The state ordered additional strike teams from Oregon just a couple of days ago.

However, CAL FIRE officials say they’re “cautiously optimistic” as containment percentages continue to go up. Winds are dying down and many who fled the fires are now able to go home, with some finding their houses still standing.

Napa County had six deaths related to the fires within its borders, officials said.

Numerous Napa wineries sustained heavy damage, according to Napa Valley Vinters. Many of those wineries have yet to harvest crops that may be destroyed or damaged by smoke.

Governor Jerry Brown called the wildfires “one of the greatest if not the greatest tragedy California has ever faced.”

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