The CCC was also critical in the battle to prevent forest fires in the state.
Larry Sypolt: West Virginia was one of the first states to get CCC enrollees, and we put most of them to use in the national forest because that was where the need was greatest early on. Deforestation by forest fire was probably the biggest problem in West Virginia as far as forest growth in 1933. And they did provide the fire towers, the communications lines between fire towers and ranger stations, to get a force out there to combat the fire before it got out of control. They had a ready, standing group of men to go out and fight just about anything and contain it.
Delmer Snyder: I mean, the ranger, he’d get hold of it and he’d go down there and ding, dang with a sledgehammer on that bell. And everybody in the barracks, wherever you was, you better be coming out of there. That meant a fire.
Sam Davis: They’d have that truck loaded and be out of there in four minutes’ time.
Raymond Daugherty: Later on, one time we were called to fight a fire. It was up on the side of a mountain. It was a dilly. We had several crews, we fought all night long, and most of all day long. And you’d see the fire in these big pine and hemlock trees just going up the hillside like that, and just go up like great big sheets of flame. We built firebreaks around them and they’d jump over us, fast as we could put a firebreak they’d jump over it. We built new ones. So I learned that night that firefighting really had a lot of work to it.
Video: The CCC was critical in the battle to prevent forest fires. One minute, 44 seconds.