Durham firefighters answer call to combat NC wildfires

Thursday, November 17, 2016
Durham FD joins fight against wildfires
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The Durham Fire Department left for the NC mountains early Thursday morning

DURHAM (WTVD) -- Durham firefighters are answering the call for help as a growing wildfire emergency threatens western North Carolina.

Eight firefighters, representing seven stations, left for the western NC mountains around 7 a.m. Thursday.



They're heading to the Lake Lure area in response to the Party Rock Fire, which has burned about 5,000 acres and is only 19 percent contained.

"We went ahead and prepared like we're going to camp," said Capt. Sean Boone, of the Durham Fire Department. "We're going to take tents, sleeping bags."

The Durham firefighters will be working 12-hour shifts for at least three days and will mostly help with structure protection.

"I look at it like this, if your neighbors need help you'll help them. Even if they're a little ways down the road," firefighter Dan Koppenhaver said.

The crew will face some different challenges but they say they're prepared.

"A lot of times [the challenge is the] terrain," Koppenhaver explained. "In the mountains especially, sometimes it's hard to get around."

About 20 wildfires in the state have charred more than 40,000 acres.

Members of the Chapel Hill Fire Department already returned after assisting with the fires and at least 13 fire departments in Wake County are helping.

READ MORE: Chapel Hill FD crews among 100s helping fight wildfires

The Swift Creek Fire Department in Cary is accepting donations for firefighters in Western North Carolina. They'll accept donations until Friday at 7 p.m.

Barry's Cafe in Cary is also accepting donations for firefighters until Friday at 12 p.m.

Donations accepted include boot socks, AAA batteries, and snack foods.

Swift Creek Fire Department

5825 Tryon Road


Barry's Cafe

2851 Jones Franklin Road


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