FIREFIGHTERS AWAY FROM HOME

(KPTV) - Oregon firefighters are starting to come back home after helping on the fire lines in California.

They’re making a lot of sacrifices, like being away their families and kids.

Griffin Rojo is among them.

“I guess you just kind of live through pictures and videos for the time being,” Rojo told FOX 12.

He is a firefighter-paramedic with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, where he’s worked for the last four years.

It’s a job he loves and he’s happy to help when people are in need, but he also has a wife and 6-month-old baby waiting for him in Tigard.

He’s been away from home for the last two weeks, and during that time he’s missed some milestones back home as little Audrey changes every day.

“I guess I just didn’t expect her to start taking solids and scooting backwards and sitting up,” he said. “My wife is like, you better hurry up because she’d gonna start crawling.”

With so many fires popping up across California, crews have been sent from one blaze to the next, wherever help is needed the most.

“The fire conditions in California are just, like it’s always ready to burn,” Rojo said.

His team spent two days on the Burris Fire, five fighting the Kincade and the last four on the Ranch Fire, all in northern California.

He’s slept in tents, inside the fire rig on the lines and in hotel rooms with no power.

“It’s such a dynamic situation where one day everything’s fine and the next day there’s a 2,000-acre fire in the middle of nowhere,” he added.

His crew has seen a lot of the destruction, and his heart goes out to the families who have lost everything.

“They drove into an area and there were 12 homes that were just gone,” he said.

But now that those fires are dying down, his work, for now, at least is ending too.

He’s on his way back to Oregon, anxious to scoop up his baby girl and his wife in his arms once again, sad to have missed the moments at home over the last two weeks and ready to not miss a moment more.

“The first couple times I went on deployment we didn’t have a kid, we had one dog, and it’s just, everything is so much tougher when you have a little kid,” he said, that this is his first deployment since becoming a father. “We’re just glad to be able to come down here and help in any way we can and just be of service to these people down here in these areas.”

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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