MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KTVU) - A heartwarming photo of a dad hugging his toddler after nine days away on the fire lines is a reminder of the sacrifice "fire families" make each fire season.
Aimee Fewell of Marin County posted the photo with the caption, "When daddy is gone, we are all a little on edge. Sometimes it’s days, sometimes it’s weeks. We miss him dearly but we know that the people of California need him sometimes to protect their homes and families and we share him with them every summer. This is the family of a wildland firefighter. This is our normal. But sometimes he surprises us and comes home unexpectedly."
Fewell tells KTVU her husband was away fighting the Ranch Fire, before he returned home to surprise them. The couple's 23-month-old daughter Ellie ran and jumped into her dad's arms as soon as she saw him in the driveway. Fewell calls it "The best kind of surprise!"
"She is such a daddy’s girl so she asks about him constantly when he’s gone. She knows 'daddy drives the fire truck' so when she asks about him I tell her 'Daddy is at work, he is driving the fire truck. He will be home soon,'" says Fewell.
When Casey Fewell is on duty at the Marin County fire station Aimee and Ellie will stop by to visit with cookies or banana bread for the firefighters.
If he's out of the county, they will Facetime with him on his breaks.
The pair tries their best to stay busy when he's out battling fires by getting together with family. They are willing to share him during fire season, because they hear all the stories of the help firefighters are providing.