Whitefish firefighters work on Thomas Fire in California

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  • A Whitefish fire truck has a black stripe across the logo in honor of Cory Iverson, 32, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection— also known as Cal Fire — engineer from San Diego, who died fighting the Thomas Fire in Ventura County. “We are on the same fire as Cory Iverson was,” said Cole Hadley of the Whitefish Fire Department. “There were 8,000 firefighters working this fire at its peak so it’s hard to say if we were ever in the same briefings, but the fire service is a unique brotherhood and you don’t have to know someone personally to feel the loss. We feel for his family and his fire family. We all know too well how painful the loss of a brother firefighter and friend can be. Our thoughts have been with them throughout the past week.” “The only thing we can do is continue to fight this fire with all we have.” According to Hadley the strike team from Flathead County, which includes firefighters from Whitefish, Evergreen, Bigfork and Marion, is expected to complete their time in California on Friday. If they are needed longer, the entire team is willing to stay. If they are dismissed Friday, they will have a 2 and half day journey back to the Flathead and should arrive sometime on Christmas Eve day. (Photo courtesy of Cole Hadley, Whitefish Fire Department)

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    Left, a Whitefish fire truck has a black stripe across the logo in honor of Cory Iverson, 32, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection engineer from San Diego, who died fighting the Thomas Fire in Ventura County. Above, a photo of firefighters battling the fires in California. (Photos by Cole Hadley of the Whitefish Fire Department)

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    A Whitefish fire truck has a black stripe across the logo in honor of Cory Iverson, 32, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection— also known as Cal Fire — engineer from San Diego, who died fighting the Thomas Fire in Ventura County. “We are on the same fire as Cory Iverson was,” said Cole Hadley of the Whitefish Fire Department. “There were 8,000 firefighters working this fire at its peak so it’s hard to say if we were ever in the same briefings, but the fire service is a unique brotherhood and you don’t have to know someone personally to feel the loss. We feel for his family and his fire family. We all know too well how painful the loss of a brother firefighter and friend can be. Our thoughts have been with them throughout the past week.”“The only thing we can do is continue to fight this fire with all we have.”According to Hadley the strike team from Flathead County, which includes firefighters from Whitefish, Evergreen, Bigfork and Marion, is expected to complete their time in California on Friday. If they are needed longer, the entire team is willing to stay. If they are dismissed Friday, they will have a 2 and half day journey back to the Flathead and should arrive sometime on Christmas Eve day.(Photo courtesy of Cole Hadley, Whitefish Fire Department)

  • A Whitefish fire truck has a black stripe across the logo in honor of Cory Iverson, 32, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection— also known as Cal Fire — engineer from San Diego, who died fighting the Thomas Fire in Ventura County. “We are on the same fire as Cory Iverson was,” said Cole Hadley of the Whitefish Fire Department. “There were 8,000 firefighters working this fire at its peak so it’s hard to say if we were ever in the same briefings, but the fire service is a unique brotherhood and you don’t have to know someone personally to feel the loss. We feel for his family and his fire family. We all know too well how painful the loss of a brother firefighter and friend can be. Our thoughts have been with them throughout the past week.” “The only thing we can do is continue to fight this fire with all we have.” According to Hadley the strike team from Flathead County, which includes firefighters from Whitefish, Evergreen, Bigfork and Marion, is expected to complete their time in California on Friday. If they are needed longer, the entire team is willing to stay. If they are dismissed Friday, they will have a 2 and half day journey back to the Flathead and should arrive sometime on Christmas Eve day. (Photo courtesy of Cole Hadley, Whitefish Fire Department)

  • 1

    Left, a Whitefish fire truck has a black stripe across the logo in honor of Cory Iverson, 32, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection engineer from San Diego, who died fighting the Thomas Fire in Ventura County. Above, a photo of firefighters battling the fires in California. (Photos by Cole Hadley of the Whitefish Fire Department)

  • 2

    A Whitefish fire truck has a black stripe across the logo in honor of Cory Iverson, 32, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection— also known as Cal Fire — engineer from San Diego, who died fighting the Thomas Fire in Ventura County. “We are on the same fire as Cory Iverson was,” said Cole Hadley of the Whitefish Fire Department. “There were 8,000 firefighters working this fire at its peak so it’s hard to say if we were ever in the same briefings, but the fire service is a unique brotherhood and you don’t have to know someone personally to feel the loss. We feel for his family and his fire family. We all know too well how painful the loss of a brother firefighter and friend can be. Our thoughts have been with them throughout the past week.”“The only thing we can do is continue to fight this fire with all we have.”According to Hadley the strike team from Flathead County, which includes firefighters from Whitefish, Evergreen, Bigfork and Marion, is expected to complete their time in California on Friday. If they are needed longer, the entire team is willing to stay. If they are dismissed Friday, they will have a 2 and half day journey back to the Flathead and should arrive sometime on Christmas Eve day.(Photo courtesy of Cole Hadley, Whitefish Fire Department)

Firefighters from the Whitefish Fire Department are part of a strike team from Flathead County that have been working on the Thomas Fire in California. Firefighters from Whitefish include Captain Cole Hadley, task force leader Ben Fassnacht, and Cole Lackey and Sal Baccaro. The Whitefish team arrived in California on Dec. 5 and had hoped to return home by Christmas Eve, Hadley told the Pilot last week.

The Thomas Fire has burned more than 280,000 acres and destroyed more than 1,000 structures. The fire began on Dec. 4.

The Flathead strike team includes fire firefighters from Whitefish, Evergreen, Bigfork and Marion.

The black stripe across the logo of the Whitefish firetruck is in honor of Cory Iverson, 32, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection engineer from San Diego who died fighting the Thomas Fire.

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