Back from California’s scorched earth

Mid Cantabrian John Ferguson may have 27 years’ experience as a rural firefighter, but little could prepare him for the unbelievable conditions in California.

Amid miles of scorched land, constantly roaring flames and colossal, kilometre-high walls of smoke, Ferguson has spent the past five weeks helping to battle some of the largest wildfires in the state’s history.

Ferguson dropped everything to go on deployment last month with Lauriston Rural Fire Force volunteer Mark Shears, Timaru Senior Station Officer Kevin Donaldson, of Ashburton – and 143 other firefighters from New Zealand and Australia.

He was set to work on the . . .

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