Lowndes Co., Valdosta firefighters protect evacuated homes in West Mims Fire

By: Noelani Mathews
May 15, 2017

LOWNDES CO., Ga. (WCTV) -- Lowndes County and Valdosta fire departments are sending local firefighters to the West Mims Fire.

They are part of the 900 fire personnel from across the country working the massive fire.

"We where able to pull our resources together with Lowndes County, so it doesn't overtax either of our city or county and we can work together to provide assistance to our neighbor," says Brian Boutwell, with the Valdosta Fire Department.

Local firefighters are being sent on 12-hour shifts to St. George with equipment to protect evacuated homes.

"It's really heartwarming to see at the end of the day, when we're faced with some kind of disaster, that society still comes together to take care of their neighbors," says Boutwell.

Their neighbors are also returning the favor. Teams of volunteers helping provide everything the firefighters need.

"They all told us thank you afterwards and we told them thank you as well for keeping us fed with meals," says Brice Evans, a Lowndes County firefighter.

After long days, he says the overwhelming support keeps them going.

"It's also overwhelming to think if that happened in our backyard, in our local community, those people would be right there to help us as well," says Evans.

They say the local mutual aid plays a huge part in fighting the fire.

Guarding and protecting the structures, allows other specialized crews to focus on their job.

City and County fire officials say they will continue sending firefighters to St. George as needed to stage around homes in case a fire breaks out.