Wildfires Taxing Local Volunteers

11-18-05 - Dry weather and high winds aren't just causing more grass fires, but they're taking a toll on small volunteer fire departments, too. A 1,000 acre fire has been burning near Powell for four days straight.

Volunteer fire fighters have been monitoring to make sure flares don't reach a cemetery across the street. It's a non stop job, with very few resources.

The Willis-Powell fire chief says when his men got the call around three on Tuesday, they responded to the fire at Powell and lake road as quickly as possible. But with two trucks in for repair, the fire fighters' only line of defense was an old army supply water tanker.

The Willis-Powell fire chief says if their trucks had been in better condition, and if they had more man power, they might have been able to put out this fire before it spread to 1200 acres.

Fundraising events and community donations are the sources for most volunteer fire department funding. Some cities do provide money to supporting volunteer units, but many departments are on their own.