Photo by Strathcona County Firefighter Wes Abel 


This week, an unreal photo went viral of exhausted firefighters taking their first break in 30 hours.  The photo was taken by Strathcona County Firefighter Wes Abel, and shows firefighters resting on the grass after a tireless day fighting the raging fires in Fort McMurray.


The photo initially went viral after being posted by Strathcona Fire here on Twitter:



I talked with Wes about the photo, saving pets, what fighting a wildfire is like, and what the current wildfire situation looks like.


Wes mentioned the mood was exceptionally positive in the Fort, despite the tragic situation.  He mentioned a lot of people were doing incredible work given their circumstances. “(Firefighters) are trying to put out their own house that’s on fire,” Abel admitted, “or they’re choosing to let their house burn to save their neighbor’s… the stories that are going to come out…are going to be just mind-blowing.”


Wes also mentioned crews were working relentlessly to save pets, taking abandoned animals into fire halls & feeding them in their spare time.


Pretty incredible stuff.


Listen to the full interview, or shorter clips below!


– Lauren Hunter



Full interview with Firefighter Wes Abel: 

How the photo went viral:

The sacrifices Fort Mac firefighters have made, including putting out fires on their own houses:


What happens to pets in McMurray:  

What you should Donate:


Final thoughts with Wes: