Community Support Pours in During Large Brush Fire

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EAST PENN TOWNSHIP -- Hundreds of acres are left charred on Blue Mountain after a large brush fire over the weekend.

Burnt bark on the trees outside of Bowmanstown is just a reminder of the many hours crews spent on the mountain.

"When the fire started there was no stopping it. We weren't going to put any firefighters in danger to try to stop the head of the fire up Blue Mountain," East Penn Township Fire Chief Cory Smith said.

According to the Carbon County Emergency Management office between 30-40 volunteer fire companies assisted with the fire.

Chief Smith said fire crews from four counties helped out, spending both Saturday and Sunday trying to put out the fire.

EMA officials estimate between 350-400 acres were charred by the fire.

"It ended up right behind this wood line. Right here behind all these structures," Mark Nalesnik, the Carbon County Emergency Management Director said.

Not far from the fire, emergency officials were at the East Penn Township fire hall. It became the command site for what ended up being a two-day long fight.

"All our actions, all our duties, all our work is focused around the safety for everybody involved," Nalesnik said.

Safety was the top priority, but keeping the firefighters fed and hydrated was as well.

"By putting on social media, 'We need this,' people coming in every five minutes and giving everything. It was amazing," Cady Frey of Lehighton said.

From Gatorade, to water, to even contact solution, the community helped out big time.

Thanks to all of the community support, there is still a ton of stuff left at the fire hall. Now they're filling boxes and giving the items to organizations, shelters, and fire companies in the community.

"You know they say communities don't care, but this one certainly does. They took care of all of the firemen that were here," Lory Frey of Lehighton said.

According to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources the fire could cost tens of thousands of dollars.

State officials say the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Officials say there were no structures lost and no major injuries.