Can You Donate to Help Local Firefighters?


Some of the many different fire crews which hiked through dusty roads or cut paths to fight the fires in southeastern Humboldt. [Photo by Kelly Patton]

Local resident are gathering suplies to support our local fire crews. These men and women, often volunteers, are working alongside Cal Fire battling the blazes that sprang from last Thursday’s lightning storm.

According to Jim Hensley, owner of 2 Dye 4 Deisgns in Myers Flat, “We are collecting at the shop for our southern [fire] crews.” Bring your donations to 2 Dye 4 Deisgns or Four Mori in Myers Flat.

“[We’re] looking for drinks, snacks things in small packaging…Picnicker style / kid’s lunch stuff…. [Non-perishables] Things that the guys/gals can grab and go…. [We] already have cash donated and already have trucks to haul. Let’s get this going.”

[EDIT: Also needed are paper towels, zip lock baggies–both small and large, ice chests, toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, plates, forks/spoons, etc.]

So folks, can you help?  All donations need to be at the shops no later than 5 p.m.

Did you live further north? Pay It Forward is a Facebook page dedicated to helping firefighters in the northeastern Emerald Counties. The group suggests donating “nonperishable items, toiletries, baby wipes, baby powder, poison oak soaps, travel toothbrush sets.” Donate today at  the News Channel 3 parking lot on Humboldt Hill from 2 to 4 p.m. “Stephanie will be collecting items.”

UPDATE 2:11 p.m.: These donations are for LOCAL crews working for our volunteer fire departments. Cal Fire spokesperson Laura Coleman states, “[W]e are not allowed to take in gifts since the public pays for us to be there already. We…love to hear from the people of the community and I am so grateful they are here for us but we are not suppose to take monetary items. We do the job we do for the people who pay us to be there. That is the most rewarding part of the job.”

UPDATE 3:44 p.m.: Alderpoint Fire’s Facebook page at about 1:30 requested no more perishables but would like ice chests.




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  • Why are these things not coming from fire camp for those on the lines? As tax payers, we provide firefighters with plenty of food and drinks. Is there a shortage or something? It seems like a better donation would be monetary contributions to the individual volunteer departments for equipment, training, etc down the road. Not knocking the support, just asking.

    • we can’t do both?

      why are you getting a bitter taste in your mouth concerning getting some necessary creature comforts donated to firefighters working days on end for the benefit of all?

      some paper towels, zip lock bags, toothbrush/paste is not asking a whole lot.

      donate where ya will, but don’t the knock attempts of others.

    • Its for the volunteers not the ones getting paid!!

      • Giving Is Great

        Let me start off by saying, give, I dont care if paid or not. One question, are there really volunteers? I know as a volunteer, I had my Cal Fire card and could get paid for fighting these fires.

    • The donations are being distrubuted to Volunteers, private crews, etc. It is amazing how much we are receiving.

  • So Hum Sun is correct, all there food supplies should be coming from the fire camps. If they are out there fighting along side cal fire there food and other supplies will come from the fire camps. Any donation is a good donation but a monetary one to your local department will get them more in the way of supplies and training as shs stated. God bless them all and may they stay safe.

    • It is true that once camps are established they do provide food for the firefighters. It takes days to get that going and also their hours are long and they don’t get to camp for many meals. They have to grab small things that they can carry while fighting fires. Those things ARE NOT provided by your tax dollars. It comes out of their pockets or they go hungry. In such a remote area, there’s not many stores to buy these items either.

  • So Hum Sun and Jeff you are both correct. BUT with all the fires Cal Fire supplies are thin. The State is so in need right now of our help. We have crews here from out of state. With the Reggae happening all weekend we also didn’t have the motel room needed for these people. Things will all come together real soon. We will have a rubber band effect soon. A shortage, then they will have more than needed. We are just in the beginning of the fire season. The FIRE CREWS THANK YOU!!! Mostly local.

  • There is a lot of conflicting reports regarding donations. I called Cal Fire and they stated that the firefighters can not accept donations of food or supplies, that it has to be from commercially prepared kitchens and this would be the same for all fire camps. They end up throwing away massive amounts of well meaning donations every fire season and the best way to contribute is to donate to the organizations needing the publics help, red cross and animal rescue groups are in the most need.

    • It is true that CalFire does not accept food donations as they are very well organized to feed crews. HOWEVER…. there are many, many volunteers fighting these fires that are unable to experience the luxury of a sit down meal. They would be very grateful for a drink and a quick snack while they work. Please donate to your volunteers!

  • They need things to drink and money.every little bit helps.they need help,all their money is depleted and the fires are growing.

  • I can not believe you people are arguing who should pay for the drinks and food for the people fighting the fires, many are volunteers risking their lives to save others, trust me, if you show up on a line with a case of water and a bag of sandwiches, they are not going to give them back to you and say they can not accept them. I have delivered many cases of water and many sandwiches and I have never been sent away saying they could not accept them.

  • It looks like people are more concerned about their donations going where needed and not thrown or turned away due to bureaucratic BS.

  • From what I’ve read about those collecting donations the donated supplies are not just for the firefighters but also to supply the shelters being established to house and help those who have been evacuated.

    Those of us who went through the earthquakes of 1992 who had to leave our damaged houses understand that the supplies available immediately to the evacuees are sparse and largely unavailable for the three to five days it takes for the Red Cross and others to show up. DOnating to these shelters really does help, and it cuts down on the amount of money those organisations have to spend.

    It also gives those of us who are safe a way to help and to feel less helpless. In 1964, just before Christmas, my family, well as many others, took in families whose homes were suddenly gone, and we redivided our CHristmas presents to be sure that those staying with us had Christmas too.

    These things bring communities together in a much more important way than just writing an impersonal check to a charity. It brings people together rather than relegating everything to faceless non-personal interaction.

    I’m proud of the people in our community who see these needs and actually do something about it rather than just saying they feel badly others are in danger,

  • People never cease to amaze me. Arguing over who should be supplying these awesome people who are out there fighting these fires. The point is the fires are happening right now and the help is needed right now and does it really matter at this point where the help is coming from as long as they get the help. How hard is it to gather up the items and donate them? To all the wonderful people who are out there fighting the fires you have my total respect and appreciation, and I myself have gathered up items to take to a donation site. Really people why can’t you just help out these fine people and stop worrying about all this other petty B.S.

  • I would like to donate but cannot get there today. I am heading north tomorrow, will they still be accepting donations? Thank you.

    • We went to Blocksburg today with cases of water and food, within minutes the supplies were unloaded gratefully and off we went. As usual the left hand has no idea what the right hand is doing, the people at the very top have no idea what it’s like to climb through the smoke and dust all day in the sun. We going back tomorrow directly to the the front line with more supplies like it or not,
      And next year I will store twice as much water as I did this year, Including a new pond just for the fly boys to dip there buckets in.

  • We started the pay it forward humboldt page Saturday at 10pm and never anticipated this much support. We have grown to 2,0000 followers of community members who love having a central location to help others. This is for ANYONE who needs it. There are various agencies not just state and federal out in these fires and others volunteering in countless ways. There are people who are displaced across our entire county and neighboring counties we are reaching out too. Giving extras to crews does not hurt anyone. We directly spoke with various people in charge of logistics and are not leaving anything that is going to waste to them. CALFIRE is different and we understand that. This has been the most positive and rewarding experience for so many people. They want to let not only fire crews, but scared residents know that they are not alone. My intention was never to question where items were going when they were asked for. We are flooded with requests from volunteer departments, agencies who had slip ups in deliveries of massive amounts of water/gatorade, evacuees and are meeting those the best we can. Keep it positive friends and understand that our growth is being managed by full time working parents the best we possibly can. Thank you for the continued love and support. -Desirae Hadley

  • Hard to know who’s getting supplied out there. Ive been on fires where food was provided to volunteers if they could get to a CDF camp (Cal Fire) . It really depends on whether they have field kitchens up and running. On smaller shows local made sack lunches came out of the market delis but with the numbers involved in this crisis serious logistics are needed. I guess my question would be how you gonna find these folks. I remember spending hours trying catch up with my crew after going on a break.

  • Thanks for all the updates, Kym. I would like to donate but cannot get there today. I am heading north tomorrow, will they still be accepting donations? Thank you.

  • We live in a very special place,people who have nothing willing to all rock!!these donations help alot of folks thanks to all our awsome firefighters, and the great volunteers.

  • My husband has been out there fighting fire since thursday, I know that I appreciate all the donations so that I can provide our volunteer crew with atleast 1 hot meal. If they do receive food on the fireline it is a bag lunch. Not alot of nutrition to last for a whole day working in the conditions that they are working in. I whole heartedly appreciate all the donations coming in, we are delivering the food to the fire fighters where ever they are located & they have all been so appreciative. This is a hard time right now & they should not have to worry where there next meal is coming from.

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  • Keep it positive people! The volunteers and the pay it Forward Humboldt is a great show of support and donations from our community. It’s even teaching our children about community support.
    The state agencies battling these blazes have been communicating and there are also unpaid volunteers and displaced families who have welcomed this grass roots community outreach. Stop being hateful and be grateful. These people at least tried. Thank you to all that are about support!

  • As a firefighter, I can tell you we generally get fed very well.. Up to 3 hots a day. We sometimes also carry an MR for a meal on the line if the base is far off. If it’s not practical to go back, someone will bring you what you need.
    It’s appreciated but, can’t always just accept anything anybody makes. Getting sick on the line is a nightmare. Believe me.
    “Operations ” or “logistics “and Red Cross often handle food resorces to insure safe food and water for all.
    Money wise,… Volunteer fire departments get nearly nothing from the state. Most are working with old handed down gear that been out of compliance for years.
    On wild land fires, volunteers (if certified) won’t get paid for many months….if at all.
    Get in touch with your local vfd…that’s the best way to learn how and when to offer support.

    • Maybe you used to be a fire fighter…. or not. We don’t get 3 “Hots” a day on the fire line ever. Not sure where you came from. Additionally it’s an MRE (meal ready to eat) not an MR. And any Volunteer company that is contracted by the state will be compensated. It may take a month or two but believe me they will get paid. Don’t spew forth with your know it all attitude unless you are really in the game.

  • Thanks k2 for the info.stay safe!!!

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  • Folks of great Humboldt please say prayers for all the fire fighters and also to Lake County their in big trouble God Bless

  • 08/03/2015 10 pm

    This from the Trinity Journal>
    Post Mountain Fire Chief Tim Spiersch reports a very serious situation in the Trinity Pines, the community hardest hit by the lightning fires. The fire burned approximately 200 parcels in the Pines, and due to road blocks he said there is a shortage of food, gas and other provisions. Although the area is under an evacuation order, “They won’t evacuate,” he said.

    Interpreters were brought in for a community meeting today, he said, estimating that about 75 percent of those living in the area are Hmong.<

    Need some brave soul to make a delivery. Any ideas how?

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  • The 10 road has been open all the time and thats how people in the Pines have been getting to Hayfork and back, it’s still open

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  • I would like to make a cash donation to specifically the Briceland & Redway Volunteer Fire Dept. How do I do that? It doesn’t really matter if they can accept it or not. I just want to get the money to the correct people. So it can be used for anything they need. Who ever is doing the cooking can get what they need the fire fire buy what they need and maybe they live far away and need to stay in a hotel and take a long shower & get a good nights sleep.

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