Behind River Ridge Terrace in Redding, where the monstrous Carr fire had destroyed homes, a team of 20 men used shovels to stab the charred earth.
Under the blazing sun, the clinking of metal stopped when one of the men, while scooping dirt out from under a tree, spotted smoke rising from the ground.
“Humo!” he shouted in Spanish.
From afar, the mop-up operation was typical firefighting work, with one exception — it was being done by mostly Mexican immigrants who spend their off-seasons picking oranges, lemons and cherries across Washington, Oregon and California.
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