Firefighters coming home for Christmas |

Firefighters coming home for Christmas

Editor Kurt Hildebrand
Jay Aldrich

Gardnerville resident Rhonda Vega said her Christmas will be complete when her son Darren and her son-in-law Aaron Leising are safe home from the Southern California fires.

Darren is a member of the Salmon Idaho Heli-Rappellers and Aaron went down with East Fork Brush 10.

“Christmas to me will be having both my boys Aaron and Darren home safely and healthy along with all the others fighting this fire,” she said in a note.

Several East Fork firefighters have gone down to fight the Thomas Fire, including Kevin Repan, Kevin Emm and Adam Wennhold.

Aaron’s father, Nate Leising, is putting together a scrapbook for his son Aaron, who was fighting Southern California fires last week.

Nate and I had a long talk about firefighting in general and the important experience the East Fork crews are getting on the Thomas fire.

Nate worked as a U.S. Forest Service firefighter for decades, returning to manage fires when they were doing contracts for retirees.

Nate said he saw East Fork Fire Capt. Troy Valenzuela being interviewed on the national news about the fires.

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Perhaps the pervasiveness of Facebook has infiltrated the Editor’s Notepad. I’ve got a new photo for my column, taken by Minden photographer Jay Aldrich, who happens to be my wife’s uncle.

I sometimes feel that I shouldn’t be too fond of my own image, but Jay’s a wonderful photographer, and I couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas present.

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We’re publishing the Letters to Santa in Friday’s edition, with any overflow going in Sunday’s paper.

This is also a reminder that The Record-Courier will be closed on Christmas Day, which is Monday. While the office will be locked up, I’ll check my email at some point during the day (after Christmas breakfast, but before Christmas dinner).

If you need anything, feel free to drop me a line.

Kurt Hildebrand is editor of The Record-Courier. Reach him at or 782-5121, ext. 215.