SCOTIA: Wildland fire crew heads west

The fires are listed as being just 25 percent contained, with more than 1,000 fire personnel on site. The estimated containment date, according to DEC reports, is Sept. 15.

"The severity of this fire is high," said DEC spokesperson Lori O'Connell. "It's not highly unusual to have New York state volunteers called out, but this is a serious incident."

Firefighting a family tradition

One of the reasons Carolyn Trojan isn't overly apprehensive about her son's departure is that she's seen firsthand how well fire management volunteers are trained. Her father, George Fields, was a Burnt Hills volunteer fireman and captain of the fire police for more than 45 years. Her husband Jeff, Kyle's dad, was a volunteer in the Charlton fire department for several years before moving to Scotia, where he is now the West Glenville Fire Department assistant chief. Her oldest son Dale, 20, works as an industrial painter, but is also a volunteer firefighter.

"All three of my men are firefighters, and my daughter Rachel, who's 13, can't wait to be 16 to volunteer," said Carolyn, who is also active in the fire department as the secretary and district treasurer.

Kyle grew up riding along with his father and hanging out at the firehouse.

"This was always his plan as he grew up," said Carolyn.

Suiting up

Kyle's team left on Friday, Aug. 10. They are expected to return after two weeks of battling the blazes.

"I'm very confident he'll be safe; I know all the people in his squad," said Carolyn. "I should have felt nervous, but they all keep a good eye on each other. It must be an awesome experience for all of them."

At 6-foot-2-inches and about 200 pounds, Kyle has earned the nickname "Gentle Giant," and his physical strength and endurance is a source of comfort for his family.

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