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PASKENTA, Calif. - Sunday will be Chili Day at the Paskenta Community Hall. It is actually going to be a chili cook-off, and the town chili chefs are coming together to feed the firefighters who are helping to protect Paskenta and surrounding areas from the current wildfires.
Many of the crews are staying overnights in Paskenta, because it is a long drive into Red Bluff. With the community providing places to eat and shower, the firefighters are able to stay safer, eat well, and get much-needed rest.
The community has been cooking for the firefighters for the sixth day in a row on Saturday. The people coming by are from the U.S. Forest Service, CAL FIRE, Crane Mills, and other contracted personnel.
The idea belongs to Kate E. Ruff Estes, but the whole community is owning the project. Estes said, "A lot of these crews have a long drive from fire camp to the fire line and back every day. Then they grab whatever food they can find and crash before they get up to do it all over the next day. We are offering this to them," she continued, "so they don't have to make such a journey. They get off the hill and eat home-cooked food, get a shower, and get a lot better sleep before working hard again the next day."
Estes described the firefighters as "tough men and women saving our town and family cabins on the mountainside."
The volunteers of the Paskenta community said Saturday that they are running low on baked goods, and would love donations of homemade muffins, cookies, and brownies. they would also like pre-packaged breakfast pastries.
They would also like gift cards for Starbucks or Dutch Bros. They are suggested that cards be purchased in five-dollar denominations so that the firefighters can use them when they are heading home from their assignment in the Paskenta area.
In addition to feeding the firefighters, the Paskenta community is offered them free haircuts on Sunday between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m.
The Tehama County Veterans Memorial Hall in Corning is currently serving as a collection site for donations for the firefighters working in Paskenta.