Tuesday, September 6, 2011

UWG's Antoinette Diaz: A Summer Fighting Fires

UWG’s Antoinette Diaz – softball pitcher and math major – spent her summer fighting fires in Arizona. Not just any fire. She was among the firefighters who battled the Wallow Fire, the largest in the state’s history.

“You have to be in a different kind of shape,” Diaz told Amy Farnum, of NCAA.com.

“You have to carry something heavy on your back for long periods of time and be able to hike with it. It’s a lot of pressure on your legs.”

The fire destroyed more than 538,000 acres and although Diaz didn’t encounter it up close, she responded to calls in the local forests.

“It’s a very mentally-demanding job,” Diaz said. “You have to be in physical shape, but once you get to the fire, there is no turning back. You have to stay there and can’t just back out of it.”

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