The Fire-Bringer arrives at the end of the most devastating fire season in northern California history. Some 2,000 small fires turned into many larger fires, requiring more than 26,000 firefighters, 1,000 pieces of ground equipment and some 200 aircraft, over a period of months.
The firefighting work, undertaken by volunteers, National Guard and active military, was dangerous and sometimes deadly. In early August, 11 firefighters died in a helicopter crash as they were returning from the fire line. These fires decimated forests, destroyed homes and property and cost local, state and federal governments hundreds of millions of dollars. The total damage has yet to be assessed.