SOMERSET (CBS13) — After leading a small army that stayed behind to fight the Caldor Fire flames, Robert Reid was back at it on the bulldozer.
“Last night was the first night I slept in nine days,” said an exhausted Reid.READ MORE: Scott Peterson Set To Be Re-Sentenced For Murder Of Pregnant Wife
He was checking a fire break he made.
“It saved this guy’s house, it saved everyone’s house,” Reid said. “It saved the schools that I went to, everything.”
This Somerset native knew the Caldor Fire was getting close to his home, too close.
“So we’re watching it from right here where we stand on the ridge top. We figured this wasn’t going to work and there was nobody here, so we just kind of got after it,” said Reid.
Neighbor Job Giles, a father of nine, joined what came to be known as the Ant Hill Road Army.
“He got the dozer and I said I can put some fire lines around neighbors’ houses,” said Giles. “It quickly became more than what we anticipated.”
They began battling the Caldor Fire with everything they had.
“We put this 1000-foot hose lay in ourselves,” said Reid.
They worked and worked.READ MORE: Person, Cat Rescued From Citrus Heights Apartment Fire
“We had people on saws, we had people dragging, people on Bobcats,” said neighbor Matt Peterson.
They worked along with more than two dozen volunteers who answered a call for help on Facebook.
It didn’t go unnoticed; authorities stopped by.
“And he got out and looked up the canyon and said do not stop!” said Reid.
“They looked at us and said, ‘You did this?’ They were just awestruck,” Job said.
That group of men punched a fire break 600-feet wide by two miles long all the way from Perry Creek Road to Grizzly Flat Road.
Donations of fuel and food came in as they pushed back the flames along with the help of a massive back-burn by Cal Fire.
They looked back on what they accomplished as the Caldor Fire continued its push up the mountains.
“To watch that fire come to the line and watch that fire get lit and stop where we went, it was surreal,” Reid said.MORE NEWS: Deputies Searching For Home Invasion Robber Who Targeted Mountain House Residence
As of Friday, the Caldor Fire has burned more than 145,000 acres and is 12 percent contained.