SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Images of burning homes, helicopters and flames are now a regular occurrence in California.
This summer, that wildfire threat became real for the Del Cerro community.
“We could hear the exploding palm trees, we could smell the toxic, frightening smoke," remembers Glenn Thomas, Vice Chair of Friends of Del Cerro.
The group wanted to do something to pay back firefighters for all they do for the community. They wanted to know what the department needs to help firefighters do their job better.
“We believe you find out what people want and you give it to them!” said Thomas.
What the department needs, Thomas learned, is more wildland firefighting hand tools. While these tools are currently on brush trucks, the department wants them on every engine.
“There are so many more vegetation fires, and they grow so much bigger now," said Deputy Chief Steve Wright. “Something we needed that’s going to be a force-multiplier on vegetation fires that we didn’t have the immediate budget for."
The group plans to raise $20,000 for the tools and is halfway there thanks to a generous donation from the Padres.
If you'd like to help, donate here .