"It's very scary. You've got to watch each other. If somebody's looking bad you have to stop them," said North Pulaski County Fire Department volunteer firefighter Douglas Osborne.
Osborne, and other volunteer firefighters like him, face more than flames when responding to a call.
"I didn't really feel like I was going to pass out, but I did have to stop every now and then. I drank several bottles of water, and they were just gone," he said.
The dry conditions reduced the woods in Pulaski County to smoldering sticks, and a small crew of initial responders faced record breaking heat as they battled the blaze.
"It spread really quick and us being short on manpower..made it really tough for us," said Assistant Fire Chief John Dobbins. "When the page first went out for the fire, there were only two of us. By the end there were still only roughly 20 for 20 acres."
"Once the wind picked up it was shooting to different trees. I couldn't tell you the temperature of it all, but I couldn't stand very close," Osborne said. "It was hot, just so hot."
It's a physical job for these volunteers. They roll water hoses and hoist heavy equipment, shrouded in suffocatingly thick suits.
"Conditions like this, we have to be really hydrated. We have to know our limitations," Dobbins said.
And still, some push past the limits, trying to save what they can but succumb to the heat at hand. Even veteran volunteers like Dobbins can take it too far when the heat is on and they're battling the blaze.
"We had one firefighter sent to the hospital who had heat related injuries," Dobbins said. "Even me, myself, I got too hot. I got re-hydrated, and I'm good now, but it can be so dangerous."
Three hours after the initial call, they remained on scene. Many struggled to still stand amidst the smoke, most having shed layers of the protective clothing to find some relief.
"I"m very exhausted," Osborne said, nodding without much else to explain.
"It's really tough on these guys," Dobbins said. "Wearing the protective clothing we wear you have to know your limitations."
But still, they come when called. And they remain, covered in sweat and soot, until they can give the go ahead that all is clear.
"Before we leave, we're going to make sure everything's good and safe," Dobbins said. "We'll walk the perimeter again, we'll hit all the hot spots. We won't leave until we know it's not going to catch fire and threaten anything."
The fire in Pulaski County didn't damage any homes, but it did come close to several neighbors. The cause of the fire is under investigation.