WILDFIRES

4-Year-Old Makes Fast Friends With Firefighters Battling Utah County Blaze

Sep 21, 2018, 7:50 PM
Samantha Osburn, age 4, takes a break in the driver's seat of a fire truck dispatched to fight the ...
Samantha Osburn, age 4, takes a break in the driver's seat of a fire truck dispatched to fight the Pole Creek and Bald Mountain Fires.

SALEM, Utah – Several Utah County residents have watched the mountains closely, anxious for the chance to return to their homes after wildfires forced mandatory evacuations. Not one 4-year-old, though. She has enjoyed the company of the firefighters.

You can’t blame a kid for wanting to take a nap. Especially with how busy Samantha Osburn has been lately.

Even though she was laying on a couch swing on her family’s ranch in Salem, there was no doubt she was paying attention to what was going on around her.

Watching firefighters fight wildfires day after day after day is tough work.

“Because firefighters fight fires,” said Samantha.

She’s right. Firefighters do fight fires.

Even though it’s a tough, dangerous job, Samantha said they get to do cool things.

“They let me turn on the sirens,” she said while sitting in a wildfire truck and pointing to the ceiling.

She has always been interested in firefighting.

Her parents bought her a little yellow fire coat from Costco three weeks ago before the Pole Creek Fire and Bald Mountain Fire started burning out of control.

She really fell in love with firefighters this week when she visited the fire camp near her home and saw girl firefighters.

From that moment on, all Samantha wanted to do was help.

She put chapstick, snacks, and candy into plastic bags and brought them to the fire crews near her home.

“Here you go,” she said as she handed a female firefighter one of the bags.

“Thank you,” the firefighter said to her with a big smile.

She also gave goodie bags to the men on the team, but she really liked being near the women.

“She’s kind of shy at first,” said Karen Larsen, Samantha’s grandmother. “We’ve had three girl firefighters up here and she loves them.”

Now there’s no doubt what she wants to be when she grows up.

“A firefighter,” said Samantha with excitement when a firefighter asked her.

Even though most people have been looking forward to the day when both fires are extinguished, Samantha isn’t so sure she wants that day to come.

She knows it means her friends will have to leave.

“I like them,” she said while rubbing her eyes, holding off sleep for a little while longer.

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4-Year-Old Makes Fast Friends With Firefighters Battling Utah County Blaze