Sunday morning about 3:30am a page went out requesting all west end firefighters to report to their stations. I turned on the radio just in time to hear one of our battalion chiefs say he had about 150 acres burning. I headed down to the station and met up with the other guys from our Westside station 1. I found out that a fire had been burning in the Shannondale area of Jefferson County ,WV since approx 1am and was spreading rapidly. We headed to Station 4 which was the rally point for our county. After a short briefing we headed to the scene along with several other units.
We arrived at the apparatus staging area and the scope of the fire became apparent by the number of people and equipment that was on scene. You could see the flames and smoke just under the ridge of the mountain. We didnt have any wildland gear since its not something we usually encounter in our area. So we had to use our regular turnout gear, we took the liners out of the gear to make them lighter and more breathable. We geared up and jumped on the back of a truck that was taking us to the second staging area. There we got tools to use, pulaskis, axe's etc. Also a bag lunch with some candy bars and a sandwich. From there we rode in the back of several ATV's AKA "Gators" that took us far as they could up the trail.
A vigourous 20 min hike up the mountain revealed several things. The main one being that I am pretty out of shape (I.E. Fat- Im sure thats what you were thinking Maki, so I figured I would just say it. lol), and wearing structural firefighting gear while hiking up the side of a mountain was not something I had planned for. We made it to the top of the ridge and you could hear the fire burning. Crews were already there using axes, pulaskis, and backpack blowers to aid in building a fire line to put a stop on the fire. We got to the fire line and went to work pushing the fire back into the burned area and robbing it of fuel by pulling all the leaves branches or whatever out of its path so it would burn itself out. Anyway, we did this for approx 6 hours and hiked back down the mountain to the staging area. Most of the fire was out at this time.
When we arrived back down at staging there was probably 150 Firefighters on scene now getting ready to head up the mountain. We were released by our officer and headed back home.
It was a good days work done by everyone involved. The pictures above are from my new Nextel I870 that was the replacement for the other phone that was ruined a few weeks ago. Not alot of pictures of the actual fire. I will make sure I have the right phone insurance this time since they wouldnt cover the damage to the other phone. I wont even tell you how much this one cost. Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving.
Best quote from the fire: Mayonnaise... "Mayonnaise alot of fire up dere!" FF AJ Durham