When a team of firefighters outstripped their supply lines while working the Caldor Fire, their spouses swung into action to get them food.
The spouses went to the Costco in Carson City and then hauled the food up to the Lake Valley firefighters. When they found out the Forest Service firefighters working adjacent to them, they did it again.
“This started out as a group of firefighter wives and significant others who came together,” Megan LaChapelle said. “We were brainstorming ways to support these hardworking fire crews. Come to find out, they had not been receiving food due to the fast pace of the fire.”
They bought $1,000 worth of food and were able to get it to the station, and then found out Forest Service firefighters working next door were also out of food, so they went back and returned with more.
To support their efforts, the spouses posted a gofundme.com page hoping to raise a couple of thousand dollars.
As of Friday morning, the fundraiser was well on its way to $65,000 in two days, thanks to more than 500 donors.
Organizer Sara Pierce, who LaChapelle credited with spearheading the effort, said they were able to supply food, drinks and supplies to not only their own first responders, but also to the emergency operations center in the Hard Rock, the South Lake Tahoe Police Department, the Forest Service and the Lake Valley Fire Department.
The page is located at https://gofund.me/dbf7a5e4
“It’s overwhelming the kindness and generosity people have shown,” LaChapelle said.
On Wednesday, Pierce said logistics were expected to catch up with the firefighters as dining tents and other supplies arrived on the front lines.
With nearly 5,000 personnel assigned to the Caldor Fire, more than any other fire burning in the United States, the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team said many people are asking how they can help.
“Although firefighters and first responders greatly appreciate the generosity and kindness of donations, firefighting agencies are fully supplied with everything they need,” the group said on Friday. “Donations from the public are logistically complicated to accept and firefighting agencies do not have the capacity to do so.”
The fuels team suggested donating to evacuees through one of several nonprofits helping people displaced by the fire.
El Dorado Community Foundation – The El Dorado County Community Foundation set up a Caldor Fire Fund. All donations go to families and individuals impacted by the fire.
You can donate here: https://edcf.fcsuite.com/erp/donate/create?funit_id=1792
The American Red Cross – The American Red Cross is staffing evacuation centers and providing support for evacuees.
You can donate here: https://www.redcross.org/donate/cm/abc10-pub.html/.
Placer Food Bank – The Placer Food Bank is on the front lines of emergency food response/distribution
to those impacted by the River and Caldor Fires.
Food Bank of Northern Nevada – The Food Bank of Northern Nevada is offering food assistance for Caldor Fire evacuees.
You can donate here: https://give.fbnn.org/for/zcjkyj/
Project Camp – Project Camp is a trauma-informed pop-up day camp that supports children and families affected by disasters. They are enrolling children who were evacuated during the Caldor Fire and Dixie Fire, and are in need of volunteers.
You can volunteer here: https://projectcamp.co/
El Dorado County Animal Services - Monetary donations to assist with the long-term care of small and large animals evacuated and sheltered due to the Caldor Fire can be provided via our Pet-Aid fund (please be sure to identify the donation as "Pet-Aid-Caldor Fire". For donation of items, we ask that you please contact our Animal Services Call Center at (530) 621-5795 to see which items are in greatest need and where these items can be delivered.
You can donate here: https://www.edcgov.us/Government/AnimalServices/pages/pet_aid_fund.aspx
Monitor Incident Information – Stay up to date on the current acreage, containment statistics, evacuation information, and more by visiting the incident link tree at https://linktr.ee/IMT6. For the latest Caldor Incident information, attend a live CAL FIRE AEU community meeting daily at 5PM at www.facebook.com/CALFIREAEU.
Visit TahoeLivingWithFire.com and follow @tahoelwf on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more wildfire preparedness and prevention information.
Incident Updates can also be found at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/CaldorFire