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Madison firefighters return from fighting California blaze

California has been devastated by wildfires all year. The Madison Fire Department recently sent three crew members to Ventura, California to help with the Thomas Fire, the largest in California history.

“After a fire blew through there, there was lots of stuff that was still burning,” Korth Petersen, one of the firefighters who went to California, said. “So I was at the, kind of what we call the hill, and I was putting out fires that were left after the fire burned through.”

The firefighters were there for two weeks, helping out. They even had to sleep on the beach at night. They saw devastation everywhere.

“There were some places where it was, like if it was a trailer park, it would just be leveled,” Petersen said. “There would be no homes left in there.”

Petersen says if homes had vegetation around them, there was a good chance they would be destroyed by the fire. He even saw an entire trailer park community wiped out.

“It was kind of a retirement community,” he said. “It was just leveled. It was like those people have nothing now.”

While he says he didn’t miss the cold weather, seeing all of the destruction made Petersen grateful for what he has at home.

“There’s lots of people that lost their homes, you know, and this was like right before Christmas,” he said. “So, that would be pretty hard. And it just made you think, very grateful that I was, my family was safe up here in Idaho.”

The Madison Fire Department sent another crew after Petersen’s group came back, but they were already called back home because the fire is almost out. The latest update says it’s 89 percent contained.

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