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Fire evacuee can’t get home after helping fight fires in California

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    Larimer County, CO (KCNC) — A Colorado man, who has spent the summer helping fight wildfires across the country, is trying to get home to protect his belongings now that his own home is in the path of the Cameron Peak Fire. The Cameron Peak Fire has burned 167,153 acres since it ignited on Aug. 13, making it the largest wildfire in Colorado history. It is 56% contained.

“It’s scary, it makes you understand what other people are going through when you’re in towns fighting fires. It gives you a little more compassion for those people,” said Cole Deines, a Larimer County resident. “I was just keeping an eye on it on the Ring cameras and I have a lot of neighbors in the area that were kind of spotting for me. It was always in the back of my mind.”

Deines is a helicopter mechanic and was working in California earlier this week when he left to try and get back to his home to save belongings and heirlooms. As of Thursday night, evacuation orders have prohibited him from getting home.

“We really don’t know what’s going on, you can’t get back past Masonville. It’s kind of just wait and see what happens,” Deines said. “It’s pretty close, I believe it was on my neighbor’s property and it’s a pretty good spot.”

The high winds and extreme growth toward brought resources from all over Colorado into the area west of Horse Tooth Reservoir. While Deines can only sit and wait in Loveland, he knows crews are working hard to save as many buildings as possible.

“I know some of the people working on this fire are some of the best in the business. So I think as long as the weather holds things are going to be OK, but if we get another wind event like that, you never know what could happen,” Deines said.

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