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Utah firefighters who answered California’s call for help returning home

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UPDATE: Both firefighters from Unified Police Fire Department and Uintah Fire Department are on their way back to Utah, according to tweets posted Sunday. 

“Utah Taskforce 1 had been released from the Woolsey Fire. We are currently enroute to Utah. The plan is to overnight in Vegas or St. George. We will finish the drive home tomorrow and arrive sometime in the afternoon,” said Ryan Love, Unified Fire Public Information Officer. 

“Great news!!! It is official, our #Firefighters have been demobilized and are on the road headed home from the #WoolseyFire!!! They will stop overnight and be home sometime tomorrow!!! Just in time for Thanksgiving. #UtahEMAC,” as posted to the Uintah City Fire Departments Twitter account. 

—————–ORIGINAL STORY—————

VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. (ABC4 News) – As the fire destruction continues, more than 100 firefighters from Utah are helping on the front lines in California.

This time, there’s a heightened concern about their safety. That’s because this past summer, a Draper firefighter was killed while fighting the Mendocino Complex fire.

The new fires are the deadliest, and worst that the state of California has ever seen. But Utah’s own firefighters are going to help.

 “There’s no better place than where we are right now. We’re excited to be here and we love our family at home,” said Ryan Love with Unified Fire Authority.

Love says right now, Utah crews are in Ventura County and have been assigned to the Woolsey fire.

“We’re feeling good, we’re feeling excited and anxious to get to work right now. We’re just, in staging, and we are just waiting for that call to jump on it and get ready to work,” said Love.

Cal Fire Division Chief Chris Anthony says some of the Utah firefighters are set and on the go.

“Those firefighters they’re actively engaged right now, in fact, they’re out on the line today,” said Anthony.

However, the worry for the families of firefighters never stops. But they say their fight is saving lives, and it’s the support from the community that keeps them going.

“We heard it, and we appreciate it, and it keeps fueling us when we’re here, and when we’re not at home with our families, you know, even possibly without our families during the Thanksgiving season and the holidays,” said Love.

For those 180 Utah firefighters, California firefighters say they are grateful.

“We just can’t thank you enough, can’t thank the state of Utah enough, for sending us help. This fire problem is not unique to California, it’s a western states problem so we’re all in it together,” said Anthony.

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