Several wildfires have sparked across the Shoals area this week, thanks to the dry conditions and extreme heat. Those conditions are taking a toll on firefighters responding to calls.
Rogersville Volunteer Fire Department's Assistant Chief Morris Lentz said his crew has hydration supplies and water iced down ready to go in case they receive a call.
"Our fire chief has instructed us to drink water on the way to a fire, drink water during a fire and drink water after a fire," said Lentz. "One of the dangerous things in this type atmosphere is dehydration, and that's the first thing we want to do, because if we can't take care of ourselves, we can't take care of the people."
Lentz said that dehydration and heat exhaustion can hit pretty quickly. He said that's why they try to take 15 to 20 minute shifts when in the blaze.
"You take a 107 degrees outside and then the uniform and gear that we wear, it's lightweight forestry gear, but that coupled with the fire, when you're approaching the fire you can be up to 300 to 400 degrees," said Lentz.
With crews working around the clock, Lentz said that the community can help by refraining from any outdoor burning and watching where they throw cigarette butts. He also said to be extremely cautious when shooting fireworks and keep water near by.
"If you do have a fire, do not hesitate to call," said Lentz. "Because the quicker we get there the quicker we can put it out and keep it from being such a large disaster."