Call Me Stormy

Finding righteous currents in turbulent times

Men on the Fire Lines

Vice’s Thomas Morton profiles the wildland firefighters who work for Grayback Forestry in Southern Oregon. Morton writes, “You can’t even bitch at these guys for having cushy government pensions to fall back on when they get older, because they’re all private-sector contractors. Which means if they aren’t out fighting forest fires or doing preventative forestry on unburned woods (basically extreme landscaping), they are losing money. They are literally the hardest working men in tree business. We spent a few days following a crew of Grayback forest-firefighters walk up the sides of what most people would consider a cliff to chop down underbrush in preparation for a controlled burn. This is what they like to call ‘project work,’ aka the light stuff in between fires, and yet it was still some of the hardest most least-rewarding work we have ever tried to do in our lives.”

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