Local fire departments use resources to help assist with wildfires

So many resources from across the state are helping with the wildfires in western North Carolina and they include first responders here at home.

There are about 60 firefighters from more than 10 local departments working since last week working around the clock to help put out those fires.

“You know, we got 25-year veterans that have never experienced anything like this,” said Kernersville Fire Chief Chris Langham. "Our crews were working with the forestry service, basically cleaning up around the houses, cutting the trees back away from the houses.”

It’s hard work and it's not the type of work the more than 20 Greensboro and Kernersville firefighters face here in the Triad.

“It is a total different environment from up in the mountains where they are at right now.  Even though it is only a couple of hundred miles away, it is a totally different environment” said Greensboro Assistant Fire Chief Dwayne Church.

However, just a few firefighters away helping makes a difference for some department back at home.

“You can imagine, there are 63 line personnel in the Kernersville Fire Department and you take eight out of the system in one shot, it is pretty taxing on our system,” Langham explained.

Crews there have been working in 12-hour shifts and often times coming back to tents to sleep in.

“We have our base of operations unit there, which is just a big trailer for firefighters to sleep in,” Church said.

“They are working every bit of that 12 hours, but it is very positive because they know they are making an impact,” Langham added.

Both Greensboro and Kernersville fire departments are working on sending more people there to relieve some of the crews there.

They are also working with nearby departments to fill in the gaps within their departments.