Coronado National Forest responds to those wishing to donate or volunteer for fire crews

Coronado National Forest responds to those wishing to donate or volunteer for fire crews
Coronado National Forest on donating to or volunteering for fire crews (Source: Coronado National Forest)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Many people around Tucson have reached out to offer their help in the effort to fight the Bighorn and Tortolia Fire, which has impacted the Foothills and Oro Valley Community.

The Following is a statement from the Coronado National Forest:

We have received offers from folks who want to share their appreciation with those working the Bighorn Fire by providing food, beverages or other donations. It is heartwarming people realize the dedication and effort firefighters and support personnel are putting into suppressing the fire.

Donations can be tricky, as fire camps is a self-contained organization. Meals, refreshments, firefighting gear, medical services and more are provided in camp.

Firefighters are on a strict dietary regimen with a required number of calories per day appropriately divided into proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Their meals and refreshments are provided to meet those guidelines.

So we really can’t accept food or other tangible forms of appreciation.

What we usually ask is that people make signs and flyers thanking firefighters, crews and support personnel and post them in highly-visible locations. Or drop them by the Fire Information tent/trailer//building so they can be posted around fire camp. Firefighting is hard work often done in remote areas. Firefighters may be separated from their families for weeks at a time. Kind words of thanks go a long way toward feeling appreciated and lifting spirits.

Sometimes people also offer to help. Similarly, each position within the fire organization must meet specific qualifications to be updated annually. We have these listed on cards we carry with us and show upon arriving to a fire assignment. If we’re not qualified for the job we want to do, or can’t show that we are, we are turned away. So we can't just show up and go to work.

We ask those who want to help to become a part of our information network. Spread the word among information networks regarding area and trail closures, keeping roadways open for fire support vehicles, and keeping drones away from wildfires. If we are in fire, smoking or shooting restrictions, like the Coronado National Forest is now, we also ask that information be shared. In this way people can be “force multipliers” and help share important information that may prevent wildfires or assist those working on fires already burning.

You can add a photo or video of the fire crews in action here:

Copyright 2020 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.