Local firefighters return home

JACKSONVILLE, Ore. — Local firefighters returned to Southern Oregon today after spending weeks helping fight the Australian bush fires. Jacksonville mother gleams with excitement before picking her son up at an airport in Medford.

Linda Graham is a local business owner in Jacksonville. Friday she closed up shop early to see her son, Captain Mike Graham come home from Australia.

“I’m excited. The whole family is excited to have him safe home and we’re just proud of him and his crew for doing such a great job,” says Linda.

For the last month, her son’s fought the massive bush fires in the land down under. Captain Graham usually spends his days as a firefighters up at Crater Lake National Park.

“He’s excited to get back from what was 104 degrees going back up to crater lake. And their what, 12 feet of snow and 22 degrees. Outta be a change,” says Linda.

Captain Graham returned on a flight Friday, but was tired from the trip.

He wrote to his fellow firefighters, detailing the experience: saying “We were patrolling fire lines looking for hot spots. There we have been falling hazard trees and conducting burn operations.”

After being away from family and friends for a month, Linda’s just grateful she won’t need Wi-Fi to connect with her son.

“Thank heavens for Facetime and things like that. It really makes a difference,” says Linda.

Linda said the American firefighters were not put in explosive fires, however they were still in the line of fire.

NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]
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