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ER Nurse and volunteer firefighter left vacation early to help with Carr Fire

25-year-old Rachel Rhyne from Redding knew she had to come back home from her hiking trip with her husband in Montana, when the fire forced evacuations to be put in place.

The terrible tragedy of the Carr Fire destroyed numerous homes in the Northstate.

Rachel Rhyne, 25 from Redding knew she had to come back home from her hiking trip with her husband in Montana, when the fire forced evacuations to be put in place.

"My husband and I were hiking in the glacier and we heard we were being evacuated," said Rhyne.

She recollected moments as she looked back on a trip when she heard about the fire that headed towards Redding.

"We woke up in the morning and realized I had a series of texts. I sifted through them and got the gist, I was like, 'oh my goodness.' I kept reading the word evacuated, evacuated, evacuated," said Rhyne.

As their minds raced with questions and uncertainty for their home and safety for their loved ones, they decided to leave their trip early to go home.

"And it struck me. Wow, this is real. The fire that I heard about a couple of days ago is close and it's taking over," said Rhyne. "Our neighbors and our friends quickly grabbed something, but they only had about 20 -30 minutes themselves."

When she arrived back home to Redding, Rhyne knew she had to help and immediately called her work.

"I had checked in with them saying 'Hey guys, you know, I know our team is working overtime right now is there anything I can do,'" said Rhyne.

Rhyne is an ER nurse at the Mercy Medical Center in Redding and a volunteer firefighter at the Shasta County Fire Department. That night, she volunteered at station 52 in Centerville, going to medical calls and doing anything she could to help.

"Chief John Luntey, he opened his doors to us and said you guys are welcomed here, to stay here, to volunteer here, as much or as little as you want. You are apart of the family at 52 now, "said Rhyne. "He set up bunk beds. He made it a place that we could eat, sleep. We were safe there."

Rhyne did lose her home in the fire and is unsure if she will rebuild her home. However, even though her home is gone, her love and appreciation for her colleagues and firefighters is not.

"[They] take care of their family and friends the same way that they take care of our community. It just absolutely blows my mind and to be on the receiving end of that, as a friend and as someone who has been in the mix of this tragedy, it's just something that is indescribable," said Rhyne.

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