From early afternoon Thursday through early Friday morning, crews from dozens of fire departments took incredible risks while braving the dangerously hot conditions.
Yet, many of them will never be paid. The volunteers were called away from their jobs and lives to protect other peoples' lives and property.
"We never know when were are going to get a call," says Sparta Fire Chief Brian Loula. "We may be eating dinner with our family, shopping or something. Get a call yesterday -- that's a once in a lifetime deal. That's an amazing call. Meant for everybody that could respond to respond down there."
Chief Loula volunteers for the Sparta Fire Protection District. He's also a paid firefighter with Logan-Rogersville.
"That area down in that
southern part of
Volunteer departments like Bradleyville and Chadwick were the first to arrive and were able to stop the blaze before it got to Lisa Taylor's home.
"The volunteers were doing everything they were on brush trucks," says Chief Loula. "They were in the tankers, helping at rehab staging. I had volunteers at every possible location. They are doing this out of the goodness of their heart, going out to help people just like that to try and protect their property."
For most of his two-year career as a firefighter, Chris Wescoat has been a volunteer with Logan Rogersville. He just started getting paid two months ago. He says many volunteers do it for the same reason.
"I am able to give back to them and help them," he says. "Help ease their lives on potentially one of the worst days of their lives. Anything I can do to help is what drives me."
On Thursday, there were five paid departments, 15 volunteer departments, and more than a dozen homes in the path of the blaze. These departments banded together to save them all.
Richard Stirts is the volunteer chief with Logan-Rogersville. He says firefighters look at the big picture.
"Wanting to be a part of something bigger in life," he says.
"They still do training and they fight fire," adds Chief Loula. "They do it just like the paid guys do. They just don't get paid for it."
Along with all of those firefighters, the National Forestry Service and the Conservation Department helped fight that fire.
says the forestry service will monitor the fire over the next several days to
ensure that it does not rekindle.
About 1,500 Acres of Mark Twain National Forest Burn in Taney County
Update: Wildfire Mostly Contained in Garrison MO
Web Extra: Aerial Video of Mark Twain National Forest Fire