"You sleep in a tent and on the ground," Casto said. Some of the camps have showers, but others don't.
Eventually, the combination of hard work by firefighters and cooperative weather helped tame the Emigrant fire. Although a couple of small pockets remained burning on Thursday, the fire had almost burned itself out.
Casto said it isn't uncommon for Forestry-led firefighters to be called on to help fight Western wildfires. West Virginia firefighters sign up each year to be on call for just such emergencies.
When the weather gets hot enough and dry enough -- usually around August -- the calls will invariably come, he said.
Being called to help fight the Emigrant fire wasn't an unusual occurrence for West Virginia firefighters. But it was a lot of hard, hot, thirsty work.
"We spent two days getting there and two days getting home, but everything in between was working on the fire," Casto said.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on Friday praised the work of the volunteer firefighters.
"The work crews like these do isn't easy," Tomblin said in a statement. "The work they do is hot, dangerous and grueling, but our West Virginia crews are always eager to assist.
"That's one of the most amazing things about this great state. Our people are always ready to lend a helping hand -- whether at home or afar."
Reach Rusty Marks at rustyma...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.