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September 08, 2017 06:06 PM

Sioux Falls Firefighting Family Responds To Western Wildfires

The smoky haze that settled over much of KELOLAND earlier this week isn't our only connection to western wildfires.  Area firefighters are just returning from working the fire lines of western Montana where tens of thousands of acres are burning out of control.

The Lolo Peak Fire has burned nearly 50,000 acres south of Missoula, Montana and is only 35 percent contained.  Sioux Falls Fire Rescue has been sending teams to assist crews from around the country, including a local family of firefighters.

Cody Vosburg is re-adjusting to his regular duties at Fire Station 9 in southeast Sioux Falls following a hectic week-long stint in western Montana.

"It's definitely a different pace here than it is out there, it's a complete, different ballgame getting out in the wildland atmosphere," Vosburg said.

Vosburg helped protect homes that were threatened by the Lolo Peak Fire.

"We had a big hose-ine going around the structures and we had sprinklers going on them all the time and basically trying to keep the grounds wet," Vosburg said.

Vosburg has a decade's worth of experience as a certified wildland firefighter.

"Everybody in the fire service kind of has their niche in what they like to do.  There's some guys that like the hazardous materials side of things, some that like the urban search and rescue, and then there's us that like to to go out and help on the these big wildfires," Vosburg said.

PERRY GROTEN: Cody wasn't the only Vosburg on the fire line.  His father Bob was also dispatched to the scene.  Fighting a wildfire in western Montana doesn't seem so far from home, when dad is nearby.

"The biggest thing that you miss when you're doing that is the family back here at home.  So yeah, getting to have a family member out there, it does, it makes things a little bit easier," Vosburg said.

Bob Vosburg retires next week after 21 years with Sioux Falls Fire Rescue.  Though Cody Vosburg says he'd jump at the chance to head west again to fight wildfires, if the call for help comes again.

The family firefighting connection doesn't end with father and son.  Vosburg's uncle Brad, is currently working the Lolo Peak Fire.

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