As soon as I see an article online about wildfires or pass a TV with flames engulfing the screen, I’ll likely be packing my bags. There’s little notice in this industry, so paying close attention to the fire season is crucial. I constantly check to see if evacuations have been lifted because as soon as we go, my life is in for dramatic changes.
Since I began my career in the restoration industry in 2016, I’ve worked on three separate storms, the last two only a few months apart. I was nervous on my first firestorm, but well-trained, so I jumped at the opportunity.
It isn’t easy. I’ve witnessed devastation on every trip and it’s just as heartbreaking as the first time, but also a good reminder of why I’m there. I’ve experienced a whirlwind of emotions, but the work is so rewarding I’ve volunteered to go on every occasion since.