An Oak Ridge volunteer is collecting supplies for firefighters as they battle forest fires across East Tennessee.
Tom Giles set up three days in the past week at High Places Community Church in Grove Center. He has more donation dates scheduled at the church from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, December 3, and Saturday, December 10.
Here are the items needed: water, Gatorade, small packs of peanut butter crackers and cheese crackers, energy bars, beef jerky, etc. Last Saturday, he said the items should not melt. For example, a chocolate snack could melt in a firefighter’s pocket.
On Friday, November 25, Giles said Oliver Springs Fire Department is providing support to fires burning near Petros, north of Oliver Springs.
“If supplies are depleted, we may need to mobilize a donation date before our December 3 event,” Giles said. “I am in contact with officers from OSFD and will provide updates as needed. Thank you for support.”
On Monday, Giles, whose son T.J. Giles is an Oak Ridge firefighter, said he had collected:
- water—120 cases,
- Gatorade/energy drinks—30/12 packs,
- snacks—20 large boxes of various snack items, and
- monetary donations—$170.
“Thanks to all who donated and the biggest thank you to our firefighters!” Tom Giles said.
On Saturday, he said the Marlow Volunteer Fire Department would be a staging area for small fire departments that had run out of supplies.
“People have been really good about bringing them,” Giles said.
Some of the smaller fire departments don’t have many resources, he said.
Giles said people can donate supplies, and he’ll pick them up.
If you want to donate outside of one of the donation dates and times, you can send Giles a private message through Facebook or leave a message in the What’s Happening Now In-n-Around Oak Ridge, TN group on Facebook.
Firefighters have been battling anywhere from about 50 to 90 fires at a time across Tennessee this month as a drought persists in the Southeast. About half of the fires have been arsons, according to state officials. Seven wildfires in Anderson County have burned more than 4,000 acres this month, mostly in mountainous north Anderson County.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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