Illinoisans Fight Wildfires


Jason Rassi

If you looked up in Illinois in the last few days, you would have seen sunshine, but may have also noticed a slight haziness in the sky. This, coming from the massive, record breakingly destructive wildfires 2,000 miles away in California. According to the Los Angeles Times, this season of wildfires is the worst ever, with almost 8,000 fires burning 3.5 million acres of land in California, roughly 3% of the state’s area. And while the danger of the wildfires may seem far away, some of our very own fellow Illinoisians have been deploying to help fight the fires in California, as well as in Colorado recently.

The 21st spoke to two individuals who have recently returned from missions out West. 


Jason Rassi, Chief Warrant Officer 4, the Pilot in Command for the Illinois Army National Guard's CH-47 Chinook that helped with fighting California wildfires 

Tom Gargave, Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources operations forester and acting fire manager