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Firefighters give inside look to life inside base camp - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Firefighters give inside look to life inside base camp

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Thousands of firefighters are working 24-hour shifts on the Thomas Fire trying to protect people and property.

At base camp at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, after fighting flames for a full 24 hours, firefighters then spend the next 24 hours sleeping, showering and getting their calorie count up before planning the next angle of attack. Firefighters are served at least 5,000 calories per meal at base camp.

Firefighters are making the best of their temporary living arrangements in mobile showers and sleepers, but they all say that their loved ones are on their minds.

"It's tough," said Mark Pollard, a firefighter from Cal Fire East Bay Regional Parks. "You never expect to be on a fire during Christmas time. It feels like August right now. I miss the family, and it is tough." Pollard said that he really wanted to come home after talking with his family over FaceTime on Monday night.

"It's not home, but a lot of the people I work with are considered brothers and sisters, so that does bring a lot of comfort," said Cal Fire Madera Firefighter Jaime Williams.

Base camp may not be home for the holidays, but it is a place where crews can get some rest. "My family is used to this stuff, but it is tough," said Whitefish, Montana Firefighter Ben Fassnacht, "I've left my wife at home with two kids. It's funny, my little girl is glad I came down here to help other people."

Many of the firefighters said that while they do miss their families, they take their jobs seriously and view everything in perspective.

"We miss each other, but in the contrast of the property loss and hardships that people are having down here, it's not hard to make that sacrifice," said Fassnacht.

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