Piedmont Triad firefighters returning home after helping with wildfires

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Many of the firefighters that helped in western North Carolina are from the Piedmont Triad with an up-close view of the Party Rock wildfire.

It was a view that they saw nearly every day for almost two weeks.

"When you pull into that base camp and just see all of those resources and all of those people in that one place,” Capt. Michael Page, Greensboro Fire Department described. “That’s pretty eye opening to how big that incident was. You look over the mountains and see smoke."

Both the Pinecroft-Sedgefield and Greensboro fire departments sent firefighters to help with the wildfires. They were part of nearly a thousand first responders there to protect the houses and businesses in the area.

"[We] left in the dark around midnight, so they didn't have a clue none had ever been deployed on anything like that. So we didn't know what to expect,” said Pinecroft-Sedgefield Fire District Fire Chief Steve Allred.

Some of their day was spent cleaning underbrush and getting leaves away from structures.

"Really, you were so tired from the day you came in, you just got you something to eat and got a rack and got in it,” Allred said.

First responders there worked in 12-hour shifts each day, sleeping in a base camp area.

“It becomes pretty rigorous on anyone,” said Capt. Joel Wood, with the Greensboro Fire Department.

Luckily they received donated meals and much more from the grateful community uprooted by fires they were there to fight.

"Anything you needed -- socks, chap-stick, you name it,” Wood said. "So it makes it a little easier to do your job."

"A lot of stuff that you needed but didn't think about until you got there,” Allred stated.

The Greensboro Fire Department still has one person out west looking after equipment there.

As for the wildfires in Tennessee, both departments say for right now they are not sending anyone there.

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