PLANO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The California wildfires are putting lives and homes at risk far from North Texas.
But with men and women from DFW joining the firefighting efforts, a lot of families here face a difficult time of waiting and worrying.
Josh Reichert is one of several Plano firefighters who had only an hour’s notice to pack up and leave Monday.
His wife and four children had only a brief moment to say goodbye.
“I just told him I loved him and to stay safe,” says his 17-year-old son David.
Reichert is one of dozens of specially trained North Texas firefighters who are on the way to battle catastrophic wildfires burning across Northern and Southern California.
It’s the second time he’s been deployed out of state because of his wild land firefighting skills.
“This one’s a little scarier only because it’s getting a lot of news attention and they post death tolls,” says his wife Natalie Reichert.
She says her husband’s job is setting up perimeters and cutting down trees to create fire breaks.
It’s one of the more dangerous assignments that his kids ranging in age from 2 to 17 are well aware of.
“At first, when I found out he was going, I was definitely very nervous and very scared for him because I have seen all over social media saw all of the fatalities and stuff,” says his 17-year-old daughter Alexa.
As the Plano firefighter heads into harms way, his family has put their lives on hold.
Thanksgiving will be delayed until he returns.
Any fear they feel though is overpowered by a sense of pride they feel knowing he’s on his way to save lives.
With phone calls harder to make as Reichert heads into the fire zone, his youngest son has a message for hm.
“I want to say hey dad I love you stay safe,” says 11-year-old Andrew.