Fire camp is not a place where kids go and sing songs around a campfire. Its a place filled with exhausted individuals who have been away from their families and friends for weeks at a time. During the summer months fires rage through the landscapes and even decimate entire towns. The Clayton fire this year is a perfect example of a small town being ravaged by a fast moving fire. There are many forms a fire can take and be a devastating force whether driven by winds or trees that have been stricken by drought or bark beetle.
We often see the headlines of the firefighters on the front lines in the heroic pose with fire hose in hand battling a flaming front. Behind the scenes there is a whole other story that goes on. Inmates who prepare and serve the food for the firefighters, plotter jockeys who stay up late through the night preparing maps for the next day of operations and those that provide the basic sanitary comforts like latrines and wash stations.