ONLY ON KOLD: Wildland firefighter talks about saving ranch from - Tucson News Now

ADVERTISEMENT
Bookmark and Share

ONLY ON KOLD: Wildland firefighter talks about saving ranch from Sawmill Fire

(Source: Golder Ranch Fire District) (Source: Golder Ranch Fire District)
(Source: Golder Ranch Fire District) (Source: Golder Ranch Fire District)
(Source: Golder Ranch Fire District) (Source: Golder Ranch Fire District)
(Source: Golder Ranch Fire District) (Source: Golder Ranch Fire District)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Wildland firefighter Rob Russo with Golder Ranch Fire District is the man behind some incredibly close photos of the Sawmill Fire.

He's one of more than 350 firefighters battling the wildfire burning dry brush across more than 40,000 acres in southern Arizona.

SLIDESHOW: Photos of the Sawmill Fire

He quickly snapped some pictures and video while on the job Tuesday night, April 25.

After he got back from his long shift, he sent them to the Golder Ranch Fire District's public information officer, who posted them on the district's fire page. One video quickly went viral with over 120,000 views.


"It's been pretty crazy. We've all been safe and everything but the winds have been so high out here, it's been hard to keep on top of the fire," Russo said.

But the crew he was working with were able to save a ranch off SR-83 and that's why he took the pictures and video.

"When we're together, it's seamless," Russo said describing the teamwork between state, local, and federal agencies.

He said some of the flames were up to 20 feet tall.

"And that's very unusual," he said. "Grass fires usually burn very quickly and the flames stay pretty low, but because of the winds, we had 20-foot flames."

Russo said the winds have been the biggest challenge.

"The winds are so high, it's been hard to keep on top of the fire," he said.

He talked exclusively to KOLD News 13 before heading back out to the front line.

Russo has 23 years of wildland fire experience and is on the night shift.

Russo said he's been sleeping during the day and got about six hours Wednesday, April 26.

He, like so many others, has been working and sleeping outside to protect the homes of many.

As of Wednesday night, no structures had been lost and there were no injures reported.

MOBILE USERS: Download our Tucson News Now app for Apple and Android devices.

Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

  • Wildfire tragedyMore>>

  • 4TH ANNIVERSARY

    Arizona remembers deadly Yarnell Hill Fire as Goodwin Fire burns

    Arizona remembers deadly Yarnell Hill Fire as Goodwin Fire burns

    Thursday, June 29 2017 4:16 PM EDT2017-06-29 20:16:48 GMT
    Friday, June 30 2017 9:32 PM EDT2017-07-01 01:32:11 GMT
    19 Granite Mountain hotshots died June 30, 2013, trying to save Yarnell from an erratic wildfire. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)19 Granite Mountain hotshots died June 30, 2013, trying to save Yarnell from an erratic wildfire. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    Even as hundreds of firefighters battle the massive Goodwin Fire south of Prescott, Arizonans' hearts and minds are looking back four years to those who died in the Yarnell Hill Fire.

    Even as hundreds of wildland firefighters battle the massive Goodwin Fire burning in Yavapai County south of Prescott, Arizonans' hearts and minds are looking back four years to the wildfire that killed 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots.

  • Park, trail dedicated to 19 fallen Arizona firefighters

    Park, trail dedicated to 19 fallen Arizona firefighters

    Tuesday, November 29 2016 7:48 AM EST2016-11-29 12:48:02 GMT
    Tuesday, November 29 2016 6:51 PM EST2016-11-29 23:51:37 GMT
    (Source: KPHO/KTVK)(Source: KPHO/KTVK)

    A rugged section of brush-covered hills where 19 Arizona firefighters were killed in a 2013 wildfire was dedicated as a new state memorial park Tuesday. 

    A rugged section of brush-covered hills where 19 Arizona firefighters were killed in a 2013 wildfire was dedicated as a new state memorial park Tuesday. 

  • Local newsMore>>

  • BEAR DOWN: Utah beats Arizona 30-24

    BEAR DOWN: Utah beats Arizona 30-24

    Saturday, September 23 2017 8:58 AM EDT2017-09-23 12:58:33 GMT

    The Wildcats lose their Pac-12 opener at home for a second straight season.

    The Wildcats lose their Pac-12 opener at home for a second straight season.

  • BREAKING

    Tucson police searching for suspect in bank robbery

    Tucson police searching for suspect in bank robbery

    Saturday, September 23 2017 1:26 AM EDT2017-09-23 05:26:49 GMT

    According to Sgt. Pete Dugan, spokesman for the Tucson Police Department, the robbery occurred around 4:10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22 at the Washington Federal Bank at 4910 East Broadway.  

    According to Sgt. Pete Dugan, spokesman for the Tucson Police Department, the robbery occurred around 4:10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22 at the Washington Federal Bank at 4910 East Broadway.  

  • OVERTIME: Week 5 results, highlights and photos

    OVERTIME: Week 5 results, highlights and photos

    Saturday, September 23 2017 1:19 AM EDT2017-09-23 05:19:34 GMT
    (Source: Raycom Media)(Source: Raycom Media)

    Week 5 of the high school football season featured 19 games involving teams from southern Arizona.

    Week 5 of the high school football season featured 19 games involving teams from southern Arizona.

Powered by Frankly