Fayette County firefighters help battle blaze out west - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Fayette County firefighters help battle blaze out west

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MOUNT HOPE -

Crews out west are desperately seeking help now from specially trained fire fighters all over the nation.

And we've got men and women from right here in southern west Virginia that are battling those flames.

We spoke with Mount Hope Fire Department's Mark Hughes who is in Montana right now.

They're doing what's called hot shoting... flying above the blaze and then digging fire lines working down the mountain.

"You've got to really watch where the fire is at, you don't know if it's coming behind you or beside you and of course with the changing wind patterns you never know where the fire is going but we have look outs," he said.

While the fires out continue to spread - even more of our men and women are gearing up to head west. But these aren't just your average firefighters - they've all gone through rigorous training to get there.

"To get to the field day we had to pass a pack test which is carrying a 50 pound weight vest on our backs and we had to walk 3 miles in 45 minutes. It's been described to me by the guys out there as some of the hardest work they've done in their lives," said Mount Hope Fire Fighter Josiah Bennett.

Bennett said this is the first year their department has done wildfire work out west but they feel as though fighting there is helping the community here too.

"I believe it hits home, it shows the local community what we're doing it shows what we can do when it comes to fighting fires," said Bennett.

The men and women sent out west will work for 16 days at a time, then come home for a break and possibly head back out if more work is needed.