Creek Fire: Firefighters surprised with sandwiches, water from Oakhurst hotel staff

CAL FIRE Capt. Ross Marks said the show of support is unparalleled, "We are very humbled by the outreach of the community."
MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- As hundreds of firefighters from California, and now Texas, battle the Creek Fire, a show of thanks can be seen heading to the fire lines.

CAL FIRE Capt. Ross Marks said the show of support is unparalleled, "We are very humbled by the outreach of the community."

Marks recently arrived at his temporary housing at the Oakhurst Holiday Inn Express to find a lobby filled with snacks, waters, wipes, and sandwiches that had a personal touch.

But it was a random act of kindness that stunned crews that spent the week face-to-face with flames.

"We had guys that did five days on the line and got five hours of sleep, so when you're wearing all of your clothes, and you need to do laundry on your day off, it's the last thing that you want to do," Marks said.

When they returned, the hotel staff, many of whom are evacuees, reached out and volunteered overtime to do their laundry.

"I had a Battalion Chief say he's done this for 30 years, and he's never had that kind of support from the hotel."

While the donations are greatly appreciated, Capt. Marks says there's another way you can give back.

"COVID 19 has been making it difficult to accept donations we'd like to encourage those people to reach out to Red Cross as well," he stated.

Despite these unprecedented times, Red Cross volunteers have helped place thousands of evacuees in more than 30 hotels across the Valley.

Their animals are being cared for and sheltered by the Central California Animal Disaster Team.

RELATED: Creek Fire: Here's how you can help people, first responders impacted by massive wildfire

Red Cross spokesperson Cindy Huge says this is a community effort.

"I am proud to say we're doing it well and we're meeting the needs of those who have been evacuated," she said.

Partnering agencies have helped collect supplies, food, water and clothing -- like Clovis Hills Community Church-- where the parking lot filled with donated goods.

Because of COVID 19 restrictions, the Red Cross can only accept monetary donations.

Huge said people can donate and designate where they want the donations to be distributed. They can also send a check to the Red Cross offices in Fresno.

You can also sign up to be a volunteer at A specialist will walk you through the process, and a four-hour training later, you can be a part of relief efforts.
Copyright © 2022 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.