Father-Son Duos Battling Central California Wildfires

VIDEO: Pairs of fathers and sons are helping fight off the wildfires threating the Hume Lake Christian Camps in central California.PlayHume Lake Christian Camps
WATCH Firefighting Father-Son Duos Head to Wildfire Front Lines

Bob Plouffe wanted to have an adventure with his son at Hume Lake Christian Camp, where he is a staffer.

Now they find themselves in a battle with nature, trying to tackle the stubborn central California wildfire that continues to burn at least 51,000 acres while straining resources.

“Well, we had the father son adventure camp planned,” said Plouffe said. “However, with the fire we had to evacuate. So our attention was diverted elsewhere.”

Hume Lake Christian Camp, a year-round camp and adult retreat center, has cancelled multiple events this year due to the threat of the fire, including the Father Son Adventure Camp.

The Rough Fire is currently growing at 51,794 acres and is only 17 percent containment. Nearly 2,000 people are helping to battle it.

In a post on the camp’s Facebook page, a video features interviews with three fathers and their sons who discuss the unexpected shift in plans from attending the Father Son Adventure Camp to joining the volunteer Hume Lake Fire and Rescue team.

The interviews were conducted on day 23 of the Rough Fire, Sunday morning, and fathers like Plouffe, Robb Kerry and Brian Downs along with their sons were involved in almost all aspects of firefighting efforts.

“Hats kind of changed. We got into fire mode,” said Kerry, who is one of the captains of the fire crew.

His son, Jordan, said he "just kind of threw on whatever hat was needed whether that be in the kitchen or in the general store or out in the fire line.”

Brian Downs, a firefighter from the Fresno Fire Department and volunteer at Hume Lake Christian Camp enjoyed the unique experience with his son.

“This is quite a father son adventure camp,” said Downs. “I know it wasn’t on the Hume calendar to do it this way but it’s just been great to be able to spend time with my son, and both doing the things that we love and serving the lord at the same time.”

During an emotional moment in the Plouffes’ interview, Bob embraces his son Calen Plouffe.

“It was hard to watch what was coming our way, but man what an adventure and one that I will always remember and I will always adore,” Plouffe said. “I learned a lot about who my son really is and I’m really proud of this man standing next to me.”