As the Pine Gulch Fire rages north of Grand Junction, firefighters are receiving extra support from the local community.

A few days ago, an individual walked into the Wild Horse Roadhouse restaurant in De Beque and wanted to pay forward a couple of meals for hungry fighters battling the Pine Gulch blaze. Since then, donations for firefighter meals have come into the Wild Horse from Glenwood Springs to Grand Junction. Some donations have even come from people whose property has been saved.

What you should know is that the firefighters are being fed at the stations, schools, and out on the line by government programs, which is fantastic. But, think about how special it is for these firefighters to enjoy a hot and delicious home-cooked meal after coming off the line. Many of them come into the Wild House after their shift. You can imagine how famished these guys are after working for hours in absolutely brutal conditions. Seriously, I doubt many of us can fully appreciate what it's like to be out in the western Colorado desert heat trying desperately to get a wildfire under control.

All I can say is, thank you to each and everyone who has made a donation to make these free meals possible. It's not that a firefighter can't afford to pay for a meal, but it's about the local community demonstrating in a small way their appreciation for the efforts and hard work of these firefighters. Time and time again we have witnessed the kindness and generosity of western Colorado residents, and we are seeing it yet again.

If anyone would like to sponsor a meal for a firefighter, you are asked to call 970-283-8954.

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