Firefighters and support personnel assigned to the Brimstone Fire are based at a fire camp on the grounds of North Valley High School in Merlin. The camp provides food, water and other beverages, sleeping areas on the lawns around the school, showers, toilets and medical services.
For breakfast today they had their choice of scrambled eggs, pancakes, link sausages, hash brown potatoes, various cold cereals, milk, coffee or a variety of juices.
Sack lunches typically have two meat sandwiches, fruit (apple or orange), a granola bar, a candy bar, and two small cans of juice.
Dinners are catered. Last night’s meal had a Tex-Mex slant with pulled pork, corn, salsa, rice and tortillas. There were also green salads and a variety of desserts (cakes and pies).
Coolers full of ice are kept filled with bottled water and Gatorade.
Showers are available for crews after they come in from the fireline, or if they prefer they can shower before they go out on their next shift.
Individuals with minor injuries — cuts, abrasions, blisters, poison oak rashes, etc. — are attended to by medics from area fire departments.
It isn’t quite like home, but at least they get everything they need to eat and drink, and a soft place to pitch and tent and roll out their sleeping bag.