heroes, fires, firefighters, california, los angeles

SYLMAR (CBSLA) — Firefighters are battling flames and fatigue as they work to protect lives and homes throughout Southern California.

CBS2’s Jo Kwon met some of the heroes helping to battle the Creek Fire.

Sixty-three-year-old Katie Bulletset describes herself as an “old lady.” But she’s anything but that. She retired from her day job and joined the Seaside Fire Department in Oregon five years ago.

“Who would think I’d retire and drive a fire engine?” she smiled.

And when the opportunity came up to head to Southern California to help fight the wildfires, she said she “couldn’t turn it down.”

Katy and her colleagues will be putting out hot spots — seeing the sun rise, set and everything in between — during each 24-hour shift.

And she has colleagues like Genesee Dennis to keep going.

“We just do it. And us going through a 24-hour shift is nothing compared to folks losing their homes,” Dennis said.

Firefighters in Sylmar sleep at a soccer field, setting up tents that will be their homes for at least a couple of weeks.  It’s the place where they’ll rest, under the blazing sun with cars flying by on the nearby freeway, to be a hero another day.

“We don’t see ourselves as heroes,” she insisted. “We’ll stay as long as they need us.”

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