PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - A Port St. Lucie firefighter is back home with his family after battling wildfires in Oregon for the past 20 days.
Jeff Curl, a Florida Forest Service Senior Ranger, returned home Friday, August 23, 2013 on a U.S. Forest Service plane.
He was one among an elite twenty person group that hiked up the side of mountains into the forest to to battle the fire.
Curl's crew mission was to build contingency lines with hand tools to stop the forward progression of the wildfire, according to the Florida Forest Service.
Curl's team was assigned to three wildfires in Oregon.
"One of my favorite but the most physically challenging experience was when our supplies were dropped off by a helicopter," Curl said in a release. "I had to unload 130 pounds of netting, supplies and hose then carry it up the mountain to my crew."
According to the Florida Forest Service, Curl's crew also worked in tandem with the suppression helicopter to mop-up hot spots.
The helicopter would drop buckets of water on a hotspot near his crew; the crew would then use hand tools on that hotspot to mix water and dirt into the burning vegetation, Florida Forest Service stated in a release.
"The most challenging part of my assignment was the missing my family especially my two young kids," Curl said. "This experienced has forever changed by life and I hope to teach my children the importance of helping others in need," he added.