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Seahawks’ Bobby Wagner discusses living with constant threat of wildfires, how Hawaii tragedy affected him

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Seahawks’ Bobby Wagner discusses living with constant threat of wildfires, how Hawaii tragedy affected him

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Bobby Wagner has lived practically his entire life in an area where wildfires are a constant threat.

The Seattle Seahawks linebacker grew up outside Los Angeles, played college ball in Utah and has spent his entire NFL career — 11 seasons with the Seahawks, one with the Los Angeles Rams — calling the West Coast home.

When the opportunity arose to help prevent wildfire disasters, he jumped at the chance.

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Bobby Wagner up close pregame

Bobby Wagner of the Seattle Seahawks before a game against the Los Angeles Rams at Lumen Field Sept. 10, 2023, in Seattle. (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

Wagner recently partnered with USAA as part of its Prevent Defense program to help prevent the disasters from happening.

“I think it’s just my love for the city and understanding. I don’t think a lot of people understand that in a place that rains so much, wildfires are still something that’s ongoing,” Wagner said in a recent interview with Fox News. 

“Being able to partner with them is extremely amazing. I love the prevent defense because that’s kind of what I do — I try to prevent offenses from scoring, I want to prevent wildfires from happening.”

Wildfires have “always been a thing” in Wagner’s life, he says. But perhaps the worst he’s seen is this year’s fires in Hawaii.

They were a catalyst for Wagner getting involved. 

Bobby Wagner and USAA

Bobby Wagner partnered with USAA as part of its Prevent Defense campaign to help stop wildfires in Washington. (USAA)

“It’s something that I think people need to be aware of. … Just being able to understand how we can prevent, understand how it does happen and control what we can control,” Wagner said of wildfires, noting that roughly 90% are started by humans.

“It’s crazy. You got people’s lives that are affected. As football players, you’re reminded there’s so much going on in the world that has nothing to do with football. But when you have a platform, an opportunity to help others that it impacted … there’s a lot of players that are from there, live there. You find a way to help their families.”

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As part of the program, Wagner met with first responders in Washington state, an experience he said was “pretty cool.”

“Just to understand the risks they’re taking, the things they’re doing, the similarity between our game and what they do,” Wagner said. “They save lives and do a lot of things that impact this country that maybe doesn’t get highlighted as much as they should. It’s real cool.”

Bobby Wagner with firefighter

Bobby Wagner shakes hands with a firefighter. (USAA)

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Wagner’s Seahawks are 3-1 after an 11-sack performance against the New York Giants.

“We feel really good where we’re at. Even though we’re 3-1, we have a lot of room to grow on the defensive side. We have a lot of room to grow on the offensive side,” he said. “We’re still getting guys healthy. I don’t think this team has reached its potential yet, which is good. You want to keep building until the end of the season, and you want to reach your potential at the right time.

“I feel like we can really do some good things. But, honestly, it’s just taking it one game at a time without seeing too far in the future. But I like where we’re at.”



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