Creek Fire: Fundraiser started for Shaver Lake Volunteer Fire Department

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- For Shaver Lake's volunteer fire department, facing off with flames and medical aid calls are part of the day to day.

Comprised of 11 volunteers, the department has been protecting the community for 60 years.

"It's gratifying doing what I can to support," says Mark Driscoll.

But the Creek Fire, also known as the single largest wildfire in state history, brought on a whole new set of challenges as they're working with older gear, including the rigs Captain Steve McQuillan and Mark Driscoll used to douse the flames

"One of our engines, which is 18 years old, it died," McQuillan said. "It was the 4th time that it died during the fire and we had to literally push it aside and fight the fire using just our water tender."

The first few days of the Creek Fire, the volunteer crews were left without power, food and water as they protected homes from the blaze.

Learning that, McQuillan's daughter, Niki, and Driscoll's son, AJ, teamed up to support them.

"We both felt helpless on what we could do and how we could help," Niki said.

"Up comes a trailer, it literally had so much stuff on it, it flattened the tire trailer," McQuillan said. "That's how much food and water is on the thing."

What started as an effort to support their parents developed into something that could lead to the expansion of the department.

"Things like upgrading their engines above and beyond what their budget allows," AJ said.

By teaming up with the Central Valley Community Foundation, AJ and Niki created the Shaver Lake Volunteer Firefighter Fund that's already raised almost $73,000.

"When we learned about this opportunity and the volunteers and what they do every day, and then what they did in the wake and in the midst of the Creek Fire, we were like, 'Yes, sign us up.' This is the best use of your dollars."

It goes beyond necessary repairs and replacements. Looking to the future, they hope to create a new firehouse with beds and a scholarship fund to entice new recruits.

For more information on how to donate, visit their website.
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