Foothill communities show support for fire crews

AHWAHNEE, Calif. (KFSN) -- Signs of support waved high along the roadway and burgers were on the grill Friday.

Just a few of the ways that the town of Ahwahnee is saying thank you to the men and women working to keep folks safe during the Ferguson Fire.

Several nearby businesses and organizations helped a BBQ for first responders at the Grove Church.

Narrow Gauge Inn Manager, George Ohan, is one of the organizers. Despite the hardships he's facing with the Highway 41 closure and room cancellations, he says showing appreciation for the crews, is what matters.

"We have these people who could be in their homes, but it is more important for us to be out here, and shake hands, and offer a smile, offering them a hug."

Many firefighters weren't able to attend because they were on the firelines. However, the crews and volunteers that did show were greeted with handshakes and hugs.

One of them was Natasha Fouts Noble of CAL FIRE. She said, "It is hard being away from your family for so long, working the long days, so when people support us, it gives us the strength to keep going."

The gratitude does not stop in Ahwahnee. Down the road in Oakhurst, D's Wash and Dry is letting firefighters do their laundry free of charge.

Sandra Morehouse, a Red Cross volunteer, says she's taken back by the support.

"We do it out of the kindness of our hearts; this is all volunteers. We get out there, and we do it this way, and someone is thanking us for what we do."

It's week three of the Ferguson Fire. Firefighters are working in extreme heat. Many of the crews are away from their family. Seeing this type of support, however, makes the job worthwhile.

Public Information Officer Rob Deyerberg said, "It is hard not to cry inside, you feel very good about it, you feel great about the support."
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