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Samoan Hotshots Are a Source of Inspiration Fighting California Wildfires

Hotshots from American Samoa
Views from the Edge
One of the many amazing stories coming out of the devastating wildfires in Northern California is the inspirational presence of the hotshot from American Samoa.
As the worst fire in California history continues to burn, firefighters have come from across the country and as far away as Australia to assist in controlling the fires that have claimed more than 40 lives and thousands of homes.
The crew of five veterans and 11 rookie firefighters from the National Park of American Samoa joined the Northern California wildfire force.


The Samoans were equipped with gear when they arrived in Redding, Calif., and they, in turn, said thanks with celebratory songs and a haka.


Later, a bone-chilling video captures the American Samoan hotshots coming down from the mountains after a hard days work. The video was filmed at the Helena-Fork Fire on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in northwest California.

It shows a trail coming out of the forest. In the distance you hear a song. Then, one by one in single file the fire crew emerges out of the dark forest sounding like a choir. With their strong, powerful, harmonizing voices it’s a scenes that sends chills up the spine.
They are singing a Christian hymn, acapella, in Samoan with some of the firefighters singing harmony. Even though you don’t know the words, you can feel the power emanating from the men and women.



The video was posted Sept. 27, 2017 by Lori Light and has gone viral. The videographer said in his post on You Tube, “Take a break from the depressing national news and watch the best thing you will see today.”


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  1. Coming to this video 3 years late. But also, right in the midst of many wildfires once again tearing through California.
    The article and video made my day! Nothing like a beautiful, powerful haka!


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