My Brother and the Gap Fire

I’ve been meaning to post for a couple of days, but life seems to have gotten away from me.  I’ve decided to put everything on hold and write about my baby brother.  Growing up, he was the wild one, always into trouble and looking for the next adventure.  He is highly intelligent and quite personable.  We used to joke that he could sell a blind man a car.  When he was about 5, we took our first vacation to the North Woods of Wisconsin.  He told everyone that someday he would live there.  Shortly after that first trip, he went into the hospital to have tubes put in his ears (a thirty minute procedure) and eight hours later came out of it.  They found a tumor that was an eighth of an inch from his brain.  Several surgeries later, it was necessary to remove all of the hearing bones in his right ear, so he is completely deaf on one side.  In junior high, he was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse (one of the of the valves in his heart doesn’t close all the way and makes his heart fairly ineffecient).  None of this stopped him.  He continued to play sports and live his life.  He went to the local junior college for two years then transferred to the University of Wisconsin at River Falls.  I was so proud of him for following his dream.  He works for the Department of Natural Resources and loves his job and his life.  He is in constant motion and always willing to help anyone.  He and I often argue and I can usually only spend small chunks of time with him (I usually say he’s a pompous ass).

A few years ago, he obtained his National Forestfire Firefighting License.  He has been all over the country helping fight wildfires.  Last night, he left for California to help fight the Gap Fire near Goleta, CA.  I am so worried about him.  I know any type of firefighting is dangerous, but the wildfires in California always sound the worst.  He will be there for about a week and a half.  We are planning a visit for shortly have he is scheduled to return so I will get to see him and make sure he is okay.  I just pray that the fire is as contained as they say it is and that he is there for backup support and things won’t go wrong.

My sisterly intsincts, as well as, I think, some maternal intsincts, have kicked in.  I’m worried.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “My Brother and the Gap Fire

  1. David

    Your brother is one gutsy guy. I hope he stays safe.

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