Public can ‘fill the boot’ for fallen firefighters
Local firefighters will ask the public to “fill the boot” this Sunday for the grieving families of five firefighters killed in the Esperanza Fire in Southern California.
“It’s always in the back of your mind that it could be you,” Nevada County Consolidated Fire District Chief Tim Fike said Friday. “That’s why we’re doing all we can for these families.”
The firefighters in the San Bernardino National Forest Engine 57 crew were trying to save someone’s home when they were burned over in the fire.
Firefighters from 28 Nevada County fire stations are honoring their memory in the fundraising drive Sunday at shopping centers throughout the area.
A captain on the ill-fated engine was the father of five children, said Tahoe National Forest Fire Chief Jeanne Pincha-Tulley. The other firefighters who were killed were in their early 20s and had not yet started families.
“This definitely hits home,” Fike said. “That kind of a death is absolutely beyond imagination. It’s horrific.”
The drive is sponsored by the Nevada County Fire Chief’s Association and the Tahoe National Forest. Donations will go to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports the families of fallen wildland firefighters and severely injured firefighters.
The donations collected Sunday will go directly to the families of the five firefighters, Pincha-Tulley said.
Donation stations will be set up from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. in parking lots at Fowler Center on Nevada City Highway in Grass Valley, Kmart on West McKnight Way in Grass Valley, the Ophir Hill fire station in Cedar Ridge, at Longs Drugs on Higgins Corner and at the intersection of Ridge Road and Zion Street in Nevada City.
To contact Staff Writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4236.
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