posted on May 11, 2015 19:32
(NBC News) - High above the southern California desert, helicopter pilot Desiree Horton swoops past parched chaparral, checking in with her firefighting crew. "How's the height?" she asks. It's a training run as the team practices for the real deal: a wildfire that could pop up at any time during what's expected to be an above-average fire season. Horton, 43, has been preparing for these moments half her life. "This is my dream job," she said, "and this is something I've been working for my whole career."