Firefighter severely burned in Corral fire released from hospital

An Alameda County firefighter who was seriously burned fighting the Corral fire near Livermore was released from the hospital on Thursday. 

It was a milestone that was marked by smiles and cheers from his colleagues as concern about the wildfire season continues with high temperatures forecast for this upcoming weekend. 

As 22-year veteran Alameda County firefighter, Brandon Franco, walked out of the hospital he was greeted by fellow firefighters with smiles and cheers.

Franco was treated for severe burns at Valley Medical Center in San Jose, after being injured fighting the Corral fire earlier this month.  

That fire eventually consumed more than 14,000 acres.

"He’s back! He’s back and ready to go and it is very heartwarming," said Brandon Franco’s father, Michael Franco.  "I tell you what it just warms my heart to see this; the way that the fire department is all brought together, and they healed my son.  They literally healed him," the elder Franco said. 

Brandon Franco suffered second and third-degree burns mostly to the left side of his body and underwent multiple surgeries. Franco told KTVU’s Amber Lee from his hospital room: 

 "I'm gracious for all the fellow firefighters here in the Bay Area who've come by my side and help me through all this. A lot of them I've never met before they're here for me," Franco said. 

When asked if he would go back to firefighting, he said, "Absolutely I'm going back for sure I want to be back before the end of the fire season. We'll see how everything heals up."

The danger for fire crews remains with several large fires still burning, including the Point fire in Sonoma County, the Sites fire in Colusa County and the Aero fire in Calaveras County. 

"So high temperatures -- they always, always have an impact not just on the fire behavior but also on the firefighters," said Issac Sanchez, deputy chief of communications for Cal Fire.  

Sanchez said there is also added concern about the extremely high temperatures forecast for this weekend.  

"So when the humidity dries out and it drops dead fuel moistures dry out as well and they get very receptive to burning," Sanchez said.