At the command post set up along FM 600, firefighters from every unit were able to regroup, re-fuel and catch their breath before heading back out into the blaze. While there I was able to talk with them about the conditions and what they faced out in the thick of it all.
"[You just] stay on the back of your truck and do what you're told to do, do what you're trained to do, and a little bit of praying never hurts," says Kerry Ward a Volunteer Fireman from Commanche-Shores.
"This is the first time I've been out on a fire," admits Kelly Reed on her first day on the job. "Basically they just told me what I needed to do and so I did it." Wwith it being her first fire, she says she's really getting hands on experience. "This is my training since they haven't been able to officially train me, yet."
While many of these men and women had been on the call for hours, they remained focused even in spite of the dangerous conditions.
Ward points out, "Right now wer're on the front line of it, we've got some flare ups that are going back up, and we're just trying to put some more water on the line to keep it from spreading any further."
The volunteer fire fighters from Commanche-Shores were among the many crews working to contain the blaze. As Bobby Young, Assistant Fire Chief from Hawley, explains the conditions created a big challenge in containing the fire.
"Trying to catch the head of the fire is always tough with the way that the wind is blowing, and then the wind shifted directions. We just had a real hard time catching the head of the fire."
In spite of the troubles, these men and women are working together to make sure everyone stays fresh, and ultimately safe. "We just swap out. So when a truck comes in we're rested up and they'll come off, and we'll keep on rotating."
**There are many crews on the scene and most of them are volunteers, so stepping in to fight this fire many of these Volunteer Fire Departments are stretching their limited resources pretty thin. After being out there, I can say they wouldn't have it any other way. To help these brave volunteers, go to http://www.bcffa.net/ to find out how.**