North Carolina pitching in to bring Thanksgiving to firefighters

Michael David Chiodini—Reuters
A heavy air tanker drops fire retardant over the Boteler wildfire near Hayesville

Firefighters are currently fighting fifteen fires in Western North Carolina. According to InciWeb the largest blaze is the Tellico Fire at 13,784 acres — for perspective purposes that location is right at the Nantahala National Forest. During a briefing tonight at First Freewill Baptist Church in Hayesville, N.C., Operations Chief, Steve Weaver with the U.S. Forest Service reported on the status of the three largest fires and concluded with information on the firefighters. “We are having continuing attacks … continuing fire — but with the forces we have on hand we’ve been able to get those out quick and keep them small in order to keep them from spreading and merging with these larger fires.”Those forces on hand are coming from across the nation and state during a week leading up to a holiday and with that in mind N.C. Commissioner of Agriculture, Steve Troxler is looking to bring Thanksgiving to the firefighters.According to Special Assistant to the Commissioner, Bill Yarborough, “The Commissioner wanted to help get Thanksgiving dinners to these folks and as you can imagine that is quite a logistics issue — the fires are everywhere and there are an army of folks here.”But North Carolinians pitch in to help one another and this situation is no different. “Plans are being ironed out and as of now the Baptist Men are cooking at two of the locations, one at Lake Lure, one at Franklin, and our research stations division is cooking for the site at Robbinsville,” shared Yarborough.Volunteers are coming in from across the state turning the Murphy to Manteo adage into Plymouth to Franklin, “The research station folks are coming from as far as Plymouth on the coast and they’ll feed these firefighters the Wednesday before Thanksgiving,” said Yarborough. Gratitude at work pouring in for the protection and preservation of North Carolina.