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Malheur teens return after wildfire deployment

Fire crew member Luke Andersen holds a map of the Williams Fork Fire in Colorado, where he was deployed. (The Enterprise/Aidan McGloin)

VALE - The last of 30 teenagers returned last week from supporting fire camps after two-week trips to wildfires in Colorado, Arizona and Wyoming.

The youth have been assisting firefighters with camp clean-up, inventory and tenting.

“I wanted to try something new, get off the farm, explore a little,” said Luke Andersen, a Vale High School junior.

He was deployed to the 12,000-acre Williams Fork Fire, in northern Colorado.

At night, Andersen could see the glow of the fire, five miles away, which was fueled by beetle-killed trees, and during the day he could see the sun appear red from the smoke.

They were . . .