Former Selma High Student Now A Firefighter

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Sakshi Palav, Co-News Editor

As California is America’s breeding ground for fires, California once again bursted with forest fires starting late August, 2020. These dangerous and reckless fires were not only growing by multiple acres by the day, but were threatening residential areas with evacuations and possible city fires. 

The Creek Fire, which was relatively close to Selma, began in early September. This fire had become a huge liability and uncontainable as it made its way out of the Sierra National Forest and into nearby cities like Fresno. In effect, firefighters from all around the valley were sent to fight it in hopes of containing the fire. 

One of these firefighters  is a former Selma High student, Elijah Mendoza. Officially a firefighter for one year now, he has helped resist the big Creek Fire that later moved on to Shaver and Northfort.

“I think as little kids we all wanted to be an astronaut, police officer, president, and firefighter,” Mendoza commented. “The whole firefighting stuck with me throughout highschool and I took it over once I graduated and here I am!.”  

Being a firefighter is not only about facing fires that are acres long, but about being prepared and able to handle the stress and adrenaline of being against such a force. Mendoza explains how he loves being a firefighter, and how it really is his true passion. He began exploring this dream of being a firefighter by entering into the two year program for firefighter at Selma High and later went on to receive the achievements and credits he needed to become one. 

His sister, Kayla Mendoza, also takes pride in her brother’s work.

“I am beyond proud,” she comments. “I’m very excited for him, but also scared.” Kayla expresses how she loves the work her brother does because he serves the community, but that it is a scary feeling knowing he is against dangerous trials. 

As the fire has been going on for a little over a month now, valley firefighters are inching closer towards containing and putting out the fire, one of which is Selma’s very own.