The whole team was beyond exhausted. They’d never seen a wildfire as powerful as that one. They knew they were working against Mother Nature, and when a wildfire spreads, it does so at an impressive speed. The ground was scorched to the max, and more and more flames were starting to surround them. They knew they needed to head back to camp. But that’s when they noticed a familiar face. It was none other than Guy Fiery. He started walking, and when they realized what he was planning on doing , they knew they needed to back him up.
Once a fire begins, it can quickly spread at the spine-chilling rate of up to 14.29 miles per hour. These multiple California wildfires were destroying everything on their path. In a matter of minutes, a wildfire can devour acres of land, trees, and forests, taking the lives of many animals’ natural habitat. People were also forced to evacuate their homes. But none of the officers and firefighters that were there to help realized that they wouldn’t be fighting this all on their own.
It was a heartbreaking sight. People were running away from the place they once called home. There was no time to think. Everything they once owned had to stay there, or they risked losing their lives. Some people, unfortunately, didn’t make it. The wildfires were spreading fast, but the heroic volunteers, firefighters, and police officers weren’t about to run away. They had left everything behind, even their families, in the hopes of battling the wildfires and saving lives. But a mysterious man was dead set on helping out, and he knew exactly how.
These heroic folks worked incessantly to put out the flames. They worked strenuous 24-hour shifts. It may sound like a lot, but when adrenaline kicks in and you realize just how dangerous of a situation you’re dealing with, there’s no time to rest. They made sure to take breaks in camps nearby. Everyone was doing everything they could to stop the flames from burning it all down, but sadly, there was only so much they could do. Some communities were completely scorched down. After a long’s day work, a few firefighters were making their way back to camp when suddenly they spotted something that caught their eye. Where they hallucinating?
Many towns near LA were in grave danger. Storms of hot ambers were raining down on them, as the situation got more and more threatening. The wildfires had moved at such a quick rate, they were starting to engulf more and more areas. The fires were starting to cover more ground and soon enough, they had destroyed 72,500 homes and other buildings, but the most affected area was a little town called Paradise, in Northern California. Things got so bad, that everyone in Paradise was living a real-life nightmare. Thankfully, they weren’t alone, as there were a few real-life heroes willing to risk everything in order to help.
The fires were getting closer and closer, and they were spreading faster than firefighters and volunteers control them. Now Butte County was at risk of losing it all, which was a real tragedy, as their beautiful trees had been home to so many critters. Their once beautiful forests were completely scorched and it was all thanks to a wildfire they referred to as “Camp Fire,” the deadliest one California had ever seen. All you could see now were bits of charcoal and dead sticks, scattered everywhere around them, still burning up from the recent flames.
Volunteers, firefighters, and policemen gathered together to come face to face with this real life inferno. Their nerves of steel could very much make a difference, and it was exactly what the people of California needed at that moment. But the nightmare was just beginning. In a matter of 24 hours, on November 8th, 2018, “Camp Fire” burned through 149,000 acres. But these real-life superheroes were fighting tooth and nail to contain the flames. They were surrounded by horror and tragedy, but little did they know, they were about to get the shock of their life.
The town of Paradise was a shell of its former beautiful self. If you’d ever visited Paradise, you probably would have a hard time recognizing it. “Camp Fire” had extinguished everything on its path, and that included about 90% of their buildings. Firefighters were simply too tired to keep up the fight. They needed someone to step in, as they had underestimated the amount of back-up they’d need.
Many crew members had put their lives at risk to control the deadly wildfires, and sadly, this had taken a toll on them. Some of them were injured, while others were left completely exhausted. The team was making their way to a resting place when suddenly, they spotted Guy Fieri who was setting up his own tent. Why would a celebrity chef be setting up camp there?
The unsuspecting celebrity chef had been so touched by learning these heroes were fighting the wildfires all on their own, that he felt compelled to help. He knew he wasn’t properly trained, and he didn’t possess the necessary skills to deal with a situation of that magnitude. But he did have something to offer, and he wanted to share it with the hardworking officials who gave their entire lives to help others. That’s why he decided to serve them some delicious hot meals they so desperately needed.
Officers were moved by the chef’s kindness. He wanted to help in some type of capacity, and he simply couldn’t sit down in front of the TV, watching other people fight the good fight all by themselves. The camp they’d set up in that area was also being used as an evacuation camp, so there were tons of scared evacuees resting in that area. To say that the chef’s act of kindness spread so much positivity is an understatement. And Guy’s beautiful gesture wouldn’t go unnoticed.
The people of Butte County Sheriff’s office were beyond ecstatic. The officers, volunteers, policemen and pretty much everyone who was there to support and serve were flabbergasted about Guy’s selfless gesture. They felt like they needed to show the world that even in the midst of tragedy, there’s always someone willing to help. They took to Twitter to post a photo next to their chef hero, and captioned it, “Guy Fieri made a surprise visit to serve dinner to everyone at the law enforcement staging area at Butte College. Thank you so much Guy for filling our bellies and lifting our spirits.”
Anyone would’ve killed to try one of Guy Fieri’s famous meals, and despite the awful turn of events that lead to this, the people at the camp got to try some savory dishes, a variety of home-cooked meals, and even some delicious pulled pork. There’s no denying it! A home-cooked meal has the power to lift your spirit in an instant! With this kind and savory gesture, Guy managed to become the hero of the day, but that wouldn’t the last time they’d see him. Oh no!
This wasn’t Guy’s first rodeo, actually. The kind man had already come to the rescue back in 2017, when a slew of wildfires ere threatened Santa Rosa, California. He’d also made an appearance and cooked some delicious meals for the evacuees who were still reeling from the horrors they had just witnessed. Back then, he’d also set up a tent where he proceeded to cook meals for thousands of people, and he did it all out of the kindness of his heart. “I’m not promoting anything. I’m just here cooking. This is feeding people. People need help, and I’m here to help. That’s it.”
A few local chefs along with Guy Fieri organized a non-profit organization called Operation BBQ Relief, that “strives to provide compassion, and offer hope and friendship to those whose lives have been affected by disasters across the United States.” The wonderful people who are members of this organization have feed thousands of victims who’ve been through hell and back. Evacuees and victims of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey were their main focus that year, and now they were focusing on their very first California relief. Not only did they manage to lift people’s spirits, but they brought a little bit of joy to an otherwise heartbreaking situation.
Guy had brought a little bit of joy and laughter to the officers, crews, and evacuees who sat down to enjoy some delicious food, all while trying to enjoy each other’s company. These home-cooked meals gave them a little peace of mind in the midst of the storm, but there was still a lot of work to do.
The crew tried their very best to contain the fires, but there’s only so much you can do against Mother Nature. The fire was 80% contained by November 21st, 2018, but the remaining 20% was still leaving a path of destruction. Police officers and firefighters were working themselves to the bone over the next two weeks. With Christmas around the corner, it wasn’t looking like they’d get to see their families during the holidays. Fortunately, the mayor of “Flavortown,” aka, Guy Fieri, had a brilliant idea.
There was no way he’d let these heroes spend Thanksgiving all by themselves. If anyone deserved to see their loved ones after everything they’d done, it was them. So he came up with a plan. If they couldn’t be home for Thanksgiving, he’d bring Thanksgiving to them! So on November 22, Guy and Chef Jose Andres showed up at “Camp Fire” and set up their very own “World Central Kitchen” tent.
Guy and Jose, along with many other chefs, spent an entire day cooking some delicious Thanksgiving meals for the many victims of the recent California fires. A whopping 150,000 people would be fed that day. But once word spread around, many people felt like they simply had to pitch in and volunteer.
Guy and Jose weren’t the only ones breaking their back in the kitchen. Over 800 volunteers showed up to lend a helping hand at their Thanksgiving feast. “The least we can be doing today, on Thanksgiving, is all coming together to show the people what they deserve: love and support, one plate of food at a time,” said Jose in a Twitter video that was posted on Thursday morning.
Guy couldn’t help but praise the team of “dedicated hard working” officers and firefighters who gave it their all and tried to battle the fires for weeks and weeks. In between cooking and serving meals, Guy managed to squeeze in a few photoshoots and took photos with The Sacramento Police Department, Auburn Police Department, and Butte County Sherriff’s finest — the hard-working officials who had restlessly tried to contain the wildfires.
The Auburn Police Department celebrated the special moment with a photo they posted on their Twitter account, “Guy is cooking pulled pork dinner for everyone this evening. He had also thanked everyone that is helping out for their hard work! Thank you, Guy, for your time, support and great food! #ButteCounty.”
But Guy Fieri wanted to keep everyone updated on the current situation, perhaps, in the hopes this would raise awareness too. “In today’s tumultuous world, it’s amazing to see our firefighters, military, law enforcement, and first responders come together to rescue our communities devastated by fire.”
“You stand up; you face it; and you go after it,” Guy shared with Refinery29, “You don’t back down from it,” he said. And he was right. When tragedy strikes, some people raise above the situation and try their best to mend the situation, and that’s exactly what Guy did, along with the hardworking team of firelighters, and heroic law enforcement officials. Everyone pitched in in their very own way.
In order to cook an impressive amount of meals, Guy had to wake up pretty early on Thursday. He was up at 5 a.m., and with good reason. The preparations ahead were going to take up all day. He posted a photo and explained, “We are off and cooking at 5 am. Goin’ for 7000lb of Turkey on 6 smokers!” But Guy was about to learn just how amazing these heroic men and women really were.
Word spread around that Guy was planning on cooking and serving a massive Thanksgiving dinner to everyone involved. There were tons of people showing up at the door, but they weren’t there to fill their bellies with some delicious home-cooked meal. They were there to help. Even officials had made an appearance, but instead of reaching for a fork, they grabbed an apron.
Among the many helpers that showed up that day, Major General Beevers was eager to feed the soldiers who worked incessantly for weeks to contain the fires. But he wasn’t the only one. Many officers, firefighters and military men and women who’ve been trained to protect and serve were backing up Guy, ready to do just that. The chef couldn’t help but tear up inside. He would’ve never expected such a reaction!
“We got Cal fire that I thought was coming to enjoy the food. No, they’re in there serving for Thanksgiving!” said Guy, but he’d be the first to admit that when he started seeing so many people show up, he would’ve never imagined in a million years that they weren’t there to eat but rather help out!
Thanks to Guy Fieri, thousands of people showed up at Camp’s Thanksgiving dinner. Most of them were total strangers, but they had one major thing in common – they’d been forever united in tragedy. Despite the horrific events they’d been dealing with, people couldn’t help but feel gratitude. They got to live another day, while others weren’t so lucky. “I’m alive,” said Virginia Partain, who works as a teacher at Paradise High. “My students all made it out. They’re all alive, and I believe in hope.”
The fires were slowly starting to become contained, and it was all thanks to the efforts of countless heroes who fought day and night. Unfortunately, many people were still missing, as more than 27,000 people had to evacuate their homes when the devastating flames threatened their lives. But on that Thanksgiving day, the chefs, volunteers, officials, helpers, and Guy Fieri himself were able to bring some hope and strength to an otherwise sad situation. Because it is during our darkest moments that we must focus, see the light, and never give up!