CHANNING, TX (KFDA) - The Channing Volunteer Fire Department is made up of 10 men who say they give their time and their hearts to protect the town they call home.
The blaze they battled, the Channing Fire in Hartley County, is now 100% contained after hours of work from area fire departments and the Texas A&M Forest Service.
"We got called out at about 5:30, 6 o'clock. We stayed out until about 1:30 A.M. and we got paged back out at 1:45 A.M.," said John Hall, Assistant Fire Chief at Channing Volunteer Fire Department. "We were out until about 8 this morning. We came home for a couple hours, filled the trucks and we went back at 11."
The hours spent fighting the blaze take a toll on the volunteers who put their lives on the line.
"It's emotionally, mentally and physically exhausting," said Hall. "For myself and the guys that are driving the trucks, you're not only responsible for yourself, but you have the lives of those on your truck with you that you're responsible for. We've had some close calls, but the good Lord got us through it."
Besides God, the firefighters said it's the teamwork of the area departments that plays a major role.
"We went to a house yesterday that the fire was right in line for it. If we didn't have that Hartley unit sitting there to help myself and Chance, that house wouldn't be standing there," said Hall.
With wildfire season just getting started, firefighters ask you to keep them in your prayers.
"This is something that we love to do, this is our passion in life. We just pray for strength and energy and safety and wisdom when we're out there," said Hall.
Hall said remembering who they're fighting for is the difference between life and death.
"She was my Spanish teacher in high school and we were very good friends and there was certainly more of a 'We got to save this,'" said Hall. "We let out a lot of cows that would otherwise get burned up."
As firefighters battle the flames, their family is always in their minds.
"Everybody's calling me wondering what's going on and where I'm at and making sure that everyone's okay," said Hall. "My mom called every prayer chain from here to Louisiana for us. That's what it takes to get these big ones out and to be able to keep pushing through those 15,18, 20 hours that you're out there on these trucks."
The Channing Volunteer Fire Department said the best type of donation is a monetary one.
It allows them to take care of trucks, equipment and gear that they need while battling blazes during this wildfire season.
To make a donation, call the Hartley County Courthouse at (806) 235-3442 and ask for Judge Ronnie Gordon, who will handle the donation.