When Buncombe County was formed in 1792, firefighting efforts were left up to individual landowners and helpful neighbors using buckets and a nearby well or body of water. Not until 1882 was an organized, community-sponsored fire department established; this was the Asheville Fire Department.
Other fire departments followed, and no two were the same. Stations appeared in the towns of Weaverville and Black Mountain, while others sprang up in the residential communities of Kenilworth, Biltmore Forest, and George Vanderbilt's Biltmore Village.
In September 1953, county commissioners formally passed a resolution for county aid and supervision for rural volunteer fire departments.
Through photographs that illustrate firefighting in many of its forms - rescue squads, wildland firefighting units, ladies auxiliaries, and ambulance services - Firefighting in Buncombe County showcases and honors the firefighters of this mountainous area who have always worked to keep their communities safe.