Greensboro Firefighter Encourages California To 'Not Give Up Hope'

Firefighters Experience

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- As images flood in of the devastating wildfires in California wine-country, a Greensboro firefighter can't help but remember his time fighting wildfires in western North Carolina.

"You kind of relate to them," Firefighter Roy Shaw explained. "You know what they're going through."

About a year ago, Shaw was called to Lake Lure to battle the Party Rock wildfire.

READ: California 'getting the upper hand' against deadly wildfires

"It's manpower intensive but it's also very taxing on your people. It's hot and you're working in bad conditions with limited resources like water and food," Shaw said.

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He remembers working 14 hour days, sleeping in his truck and often feeling like no progress was being made.

"Sometimes you work all day and the fire will still be just as big," he said. "The weather has a tremendous amount of input on it. Whether it's windy or dry or whatever. It can travel very fast or really slow and it can change from day to day.

After more than 25 days of burning, the fire in Lake Lure was eventually put out. It's an outcome Shaw can only pray happens in California, sooner rather than later.

"I've never seen the type of devastation that they are seeing in California as far as houses burned and people losing their lives. I couldn't imagine what those guys are going through," Shaw said.

North Carolina wildfire season is just getting started and runs through mid-December.

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The Forest Service wants to remind you to pay close attention to weather before burning anything and to always stay with your fire until it is completely out.

Copyright 2017 WFMY


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