Life for firefighters away from Carpenter 1 - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Life for firefighters away from Carpenter 1

The Carpenter 1 fire on Mount Charleston was 43 percent contained as of Thursday evening. (Aaron Leifheit) The Carpenter 1 fire on Mount Charleston was 43 percent contained as of Thursday evening. (Aaron Leifheit)

Conditions on Mount Charleston for crews battling the Carpenter 1 fire are definitely dangerous.

"Seeing a lot of active fire behavior," said firefighter J.W. McCoy of Twin Falls, Idaho.

"You get your assignment, you stay close and you keep going, and going, and going until you're relieved," said Jason Mumford, part of the Red Truck Wildfire engine crew from Boise, Idaho.

Shifts on the front lines normally last 12 to 16 hours. Afterwards, they just want to grab a bite to eat and go to sleep.

"Rinse, wash, repeat for 14 days," said Mumford. 

Roughly 300 personnel call Centennial High School home while the fire is active. 

"We're sleeping in a French classroom, on the floor of a French classroom," said Dan Hohler, also of Red Truck Wildfire. 

In this place, that's as close to five-star accommodations as it gets.

"They got it nice and dark and air conditioned, so it's pretty awesome," said Hohler. 

Some have to sleep outdoors in tents as every dark, quiet corner in the school has a sleeping bag.

The sinks and toilets are outside. Even the food is served outside. 

Six hours of sleep and a hot meal is all these men and women ask for.

"They count calories, and there's no shortage of them," said McCoy. "If you don't work hard enough, you could get fat."

"What keeps me going?" McCoy asked. "I enjoy my job."

"The toughest part for me is waking up in the morning, 45 minutes later eating tacos for breakfast," said Hohler, who works the night shift. 

Even if they're sleeping on the floor, most believe Las Vegas couldn't be treat them any better.

"Amazing," said Mumford. "This is one of the best community responses I've ever seen."

Copyright 2013 KVVU (KVVU Broadcast Corporation). All rights reserved.

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