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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Since June first responders have battled wild fires on the West coast.

A Midlands man went out to lend a helping hand.

"It didn't take much for a small little fire to turn into a raging blaze," said Samuel St. Louis.

St. Louis with the State Forestry Commission is no stranger to fighting fires.

"Unfortunately for those folks out there this is a familiar occurrence."

But this summer's fire on the west coast is the largest he has seen in year.

"I felt a since of pride knowing I could help them with the resources they needed and help our fellow brother and sister fire fighters on the west coast and do what we needed to do to take care of those families and citizens in need out there."

Usually when St. Louis volunteers to help he is on the ground fighting the fire head on; this time he fought the fire by air.

"We got to see the activity not close on the ground but we got to see where we needed to be to help those boots on the ground. That was our whole mission to drop retardant on the ground with military aircraft C-130's."

His job was very instrumental in helping to reach the areas of the fire that were too dangerous for those on the ground, including some of his friends who also volunteered.

"We put retardant on the ground so those guys and a bunch of my fellow workers who were out there on hand crews and other duties were able to get the ground work done."

He says it's an honor to serve and help those in need and will give him knowledge in teaching his staff back in the Palmetto state what to do if a wild fire happened here.

"It's a great opportunity for us because it serves as great training for me to bring back that knowledge to south Carolina and further help protect the resource."

St. Louis spent two weeks fighting wildfires in California, Arizona, Colorado and other states on the west coast.

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