A raging wildfire spread to more than 112,000 acres in California, forcing around 30,000 people to flee their homes.
Though the authorities have already spent nearly $114.7 million fighting the Carr Fires, the aggressive flames continued to threaten communities from Redding in Northern California to Riverside County in Southern California.
In fact, the state’s biggest wildfire has already claimed lives of three fire fighters, while other workers were faced with the arduous task of controlling the fast-moving flames burning in mountains and areas experiencing record-shattering extreme heat.
But, it appears, the first responders’ efforts didn’t go unnoticed as Northern California communities came together to extend their gratitude to the people working day and night to tame the massive blaze.
According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s recent report, more than 3,600 fire personnel are out there trying to control the flames– and the residents are making sure to thank them in pretty creative and heartwarming ways.
A 2-year-old named Gracie Lutz might be too young too fully comprehend the intensity of the situation around her, but her compassion for the local fire fighters was exemplary. Wearing rubber boots, Lutz handed workers warm burritos.
Likewise, a woman named Hailey Root showed her appreciation by making nearly 100 cookies and posters for the first responders that she put up all across the place.
"I felt that even something as small as a poster or cookies would bring some happiness into this hard time," said Root, whose father and uncle was helping with the fire.
Moreover, many children used their artistic skills to prepare handmade roadway signs to thank the first responders for trying to keep their hometown safe.
"My sister and brother and I were all born and raised in Redding and our kids have been too. We wanted to show our gratitude for fighting to save our city," said a resident, Nichole Grubbs-Miller.
Grubbs-Miller also said how everyone was trying to do whatever they could to make the situation better. Many of the residents were donating, volunteering and offering food to people who have lost their homes in the flames of the ruthless wildfire.
"There is an unexplainable amount of grief in our city, but also an unexplainable amount of love," she said. "There are no words for it."
However, apart from individuals and households, many businesses were also doing their part in expressing their gratitude to firefighters.
Jaime Borjon, the owner of Old Skool Barber Shop in Redding, contributed by doing what he did best: giving fresh haircuts to emergency personnel.
According to a barber at the shop, their team got a call to give haircuts to about 90 members of the National Guard last weekend– and they didn’t think twice.
"We jumped at the opportunity to help," the barber told CNN. "We spent the last two evenings giving as many haircuts as they needed for free. It's the least we can do to show our support."
A hotel and local restaurant in Redding joined the efforts by teaming up with celebrity chef Guy Fieri to help feed families who were displaced following the evacuation.
"Guy was great," Kirk Harrison, who helped coordinate the event as the director of food and beverage at the Sheraton Hotel in Redding, told CNN. "It was nice spending time with him and his team and seeing their dedication to our cause."
The gestures might appear small but they are bound to hold an immense significance for responders who are risking their lives to save the state from a monstrous wildfire, which has been only 30 percent contained as of yet.
Banner / Thumbnail : ERIC STROH via REUTERS