15-year-old volunteers to help fight wildfires

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LAKE LURE, N.C. (WSPA) – Rhett Ballard is a volunteer firefighter helping crews from across the country in Western North Carolina to fight the wildfire at Party Rock.

Ballard is also a sophomore in high school.

The 15-year-old has spent every day for the past two weeks volunteering at the Lake Lure Volunteer Fire Department. He has even slept at the station and worked overnight shifts.

“I’ve been here probably four or five days in a row right now without going home,” explained Ballard. “I love doing everything around here and I’m glad to serve my community.”

Ballard is not old enough and doesn’t have the training to be on the front lines, so he is helping in other ways, from moving supplies to manning the station.

He plans to finish high school, join the Marines and then become a firefighter.

“It’s just hard to explain but it’s just a passion that you have to kind of have a servant’s heart for and I’m just here to serve my community and help with whatever I can.”

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