With fires burning just outside town and several unanswered questions regarding a fatal plane crash, all eyes are on Edgemont, South Dakota.
"It's pretty strange, we're used to being a quiet little town but as you can see it ain't no more," said Edgemont resident Tim Meston.
The small town has become the headquarters for the White Draw Firefighting efforts. The brown, dry landscape is easy fuel for the wildfire but crews are getting the upper-hand. People who call this town home are more than happy to see the large presence of emergency responders.
"It's pretty crazy, but I'm thankful they're here because if they weren't I don't know what we'd do," said Meston.
Monday evening, firefighters made a shift switch to keep the fire suppression efforts going 24/7.
Spokesman Brian Scott says firefighters are swapped out in a two-to-one phase. This is done so able hands are on the fire all the time but also ensures these firefighters get enough rest.
"You can work 16 hours, then off for 8, then work 16 on and off 8. This way people aren't getting burned out. In any firefighting situation, firefighter safety is critical and our top concern," said Scott.
The White Draw Fire has drawn a lot of attention because of the fatal C-130 plane crash. But with all the unknowns surrounding the crash all anyone can do is offer condolences.
"It's a little nuts, a little crazy, I feel for the families it's a very sad tragedy," said Meston.
That's exactly how every firemen, both on and off the front line feel. But for now, their first and only priority is getting this fire put out.
Thursday, February 20 2014 7:42 PM EST2014-02-21 00:42:09 GMT
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