CHELAN, Wash. -

Thunderstorms in north central Washington have forced firefighters battling the Carlton Complex fire to be pulled off the lines. As firefighters deal with dangerous conditions people are working to make sure firefighters know they're appreciated.

It's a little difficult to tell just how many firefighters are in north central Washington working on the lines, attacking the fire with shovels and axes. While residents of the area can't see them they're glad they're there.

For more than a week firefighters have been driving down Highway 20, sleeping in tents in the heat and in the rain, watching the fire destroy homes and memories.

But residents have also been watching them, thankful they're there.

“How do you say it without putting a sign out for them to see when they drive by? I'm sure they see it," said Danielle Murrah, who lives near Okanogan.

It's the biggest wildfire in the history of Washington, a priority right now in the country, with thousands of hands reaching out to tame what Mother Nature set loose.

t's just awesome to see everybody you know doing there job it gives you goose bumps kinda," said Murrah.

Murrah isn't the only one saying thank you. Surya Dimodica called on firefighters to help save her home.

nd he said, 'Can I get a crew in there?' And I said, 'How about two,'" she said.

She was one of the lucky ones. Fire crews saved her home.

The Carlton Complex is now more than 250,000 acres, destroyed 150 homes and remains at 16-percent containment. Over 2,000 firefighters converged on the fire, including 53 fire crews, 134 engines, 12 dozers and 18 helicopters. Many won't see the signs or pictures drawn by small hands. But that's not why they do it. They do it because it needs to be done.

“My brother's been on the fire and lots of family and friends that I know," Murrah said.

And they'll continue to fight until the last line is dug and the last ember extinguished.