Two Geneva County AL Forestry Commissioners Help Battle Blaze in Washington State

Washington State is experiencing one of the largest wildfires they've ever had.

To help battle the blaze, the Forest Service and U.S. Department of Agriculture called in the help of firefighters across the nation.

Dearl Driggers has been with the Alabama Forestry Commission for eight years and Lester Williams for 15.

Both men have seen their share of wildfires.

"I've been to California, Oregon, Washington state, Texas and north Alabama too,” Driggers said.

"I’ve been to Washington State twice, Oregon twice, Montana, new Mexico and Texas,” Williams said.

This situation was different, the two men helped battle the blaze of over 260,000 acres in size.

"It compares to a hurricane here. When we get a hurricane here say a cat 3 up to a cat 5, it really compares to that,” Driggers said.

The pair says Washington State has unique challenges when it comes to fighting flames.

"The main thing is the terrain out there. You have flat country here, versus probably 60-70 degree slopes up there. Humidity is really bad here, you have none there. The humidity out there was 9% and temperatures up to the ground about 100 degrees, really dry. Takes a toll on your body as far as drying skin and everything,” Williams said.

Although it takes a toll, they say the efforts are well worth it.

"It’s to help out the folks in that part of the country,” Driggers said.

"It makes you feel good; we experience school kids writing thank you letters and the neighborhood people thanking you so you kind of feel some type of way like you're doing your job,” Williams said.

They weren't alone in doing their jobs.

Firefighters came from all over the U.S. to help Washington State in its time of need.

"They come from all over. In the camp we were in there was somewhere around 3,000. We had a 20 man crew from Alabama, we got together with Florida and Georgia and made one module and flew out together,” Williams said.


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