Wildfire season is in full swing, and wildland firefighters are battling small blazes up and down the Front Range already. Fortunately, they’ve managed to quickly contain the fires to relatively small areas, so far. And we hope they continue to do so.
But history tells us that, eventually, Front Range fire fighters and their brethren from all over the region will have to fight another major fire that will stretch their resources thin. That’s where the rest of us can pitch in and help by providing needed supplies and a few comforts for the brave men and women who fight to keep the flames from our homes.
When major fires break out, area news and community organizations organize and announce drop points where thankful residents can bring needed supplies for weary firefighters who may have traveled far from home to fight fires. Announcements will advise what kinds of articles are needed at any given time, but here are some common items that are often needed (or overlooked):
Socks. According to FireFighterNation.com, clean socks are one of the most important pieces of equipment for a wildland firefighter in the field. Traveling firefighters would have to carry an awful lot of socks to meet their need in a big fire.
Instant Coffee (a good brand). There isn’t much comfort in a camp on a wildfire line. A decent cup of hot coffee can be a big lift for an exhausted firefighter.
Individual packs of moist towelettes. Getting clean in the field can be a challenge.
Travel-size toiletries. Remember, firefighters can’t just run up to the store. Travel-size toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and other personal hygiene items can make life easier for them.
Space blankets. You can find the foil-like emergency blankets at any store that sells camping supplies. They can keep you dry and warm, as well as serve as a makeshift tent or windbreak.
Energy bars. Wildland firefighters carry heavy, bulky equipment up and down mountains in country most people wouldn’t even try to hike. They burn serious calories, so they need serious calories.
When a major wildfire erupts, check your area news sites for information on how you can best support the brave men and women who fight to protect your community. We need them, and they need our support.