Donations Pouring In for Crews Fighting Mountain Fire

LAS VEGAS -- The more than 1,000 firefighters fighting the flames on Mount Charleston are burning an estimated 6,000 calories a day.

To keep their energy up, they return to base – Centennial High School -- to stock up on needed food and water.

A small city has sprouted in the back of the high school.

Showers, a place to sleep and a place to refuel are all available to the firefighters seeking a temporary refuge.

Linda Holder's job is to make sure firefighters out on the line eat enough -- and eat well.

"I'm seeing that that is ham and Swiss cheese on a marble rye," Holder said. "Pretty nice."

"Eggs and a breakfast meat and some kind of a breakfast potato or starch," Holder said. "We had French toast yesterday. It was great."

Everything in the sack lunches handed out to fire crews, including easy-to-carry snacks, are delivered right to the fire line.

"Just eating bursts of complex carbs, energy bars, sandwiches, a package of nuts, those types of things, along with some Gatorade and water, keeps their energy level at a constant," Holder said.

The lunches really help Clark County assistant fire chief Mike Johnson.

"That helps prepare you for these challenging times, when the heat is high and we have an emergency that we have to put a lot of hours into getting in there," Johnson said.

Firefighters also get two hot meals a day, prepared by special caterers.

The goal is high-quality food, so firefighters, such as Clark County Fire Capt. Jack Lemons, are ready for what's on the mountain.

"Breakfast and dinner and we had good sack lunches when we were out on the line," Lemons said. "We ate like kings."

Firefighters have been overwhelmed by the support they've received, getting truckloads of food and water from the Red Cross and community donations.

Although the immediate need for help has died down, they will keep fighting the flames with a whole community behind them.


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