DNR Firefighters from the UP helping with California wildfires

MARQUETTE — California is more than 2,000 miles from Michigan. However, that didn’t stop some local firefighters from helping fight the fires there.

Several DNR firefighters from around the Upper Peninsula have been on the front lines of the California wildfires for over a week.

While the effort is a noble one, it’s also one that the local DNR firefighters didn’t have to take. For them, it’s something to do for the greater good.

“So for us, the two guys I’m with, it’s optional,” said Corey Mallory, a Forest Fire Officer for the DNR. “We don’t have to come out here. We spend a lot of time getting training and learning how to do our jobs in Michigan, but to leave the state to fight fires is optional. We do this because we want to help. We come out here because they need firefighters to help fight fires.”

Michigan firefighters helping the cause are from all over the UP, including Shingleton, Sault St. Marie, and Escanaba.

According to Mallory, a day on the front lines could reach 15 hours.

The first round of firefighters are set to return the 7th or 8th of September, and another group will ship out to replace them.