More Than 8,000 Bandanas Donated To Beaver Creek Firefighters

Aug 23, 2013

Bandanas were donated from people all over the country. Some were closer to home, including these made by a Wood River Valley business.
Credit Bronwyn Nickel / Blaine County Sheriff's Office

As wildland firefighters fought the Beaver Creek fire in the Wood River Valley last week, people in the area looked for a way to help. They wanted to show their thanks to the firefighters who protected their homes.

The Blaine County Sheriff’s office decided to ask for bandana donations. Since the drive started, they have received between 8,000-9,000 bandanas from people around the country.

Sheriff Gene Ramsey says a dirty-faced and fatigued hotshot gave him the idea last week. Firefighters aren’t given bandanas with their uniform, and often don’t know where to buy them. But the simple piece of cloth is a helpful tool. Firefighters use them for lots of dirty jobs, including keeping their face shielded from ash and sweat, and as a way to cool down.

Ramsey says the bandana drive’s response has been overwhelming – in a good way.

“I see everyone in the fire camp carrying a bandana," says Ramsey, "which makes me feel good because they weren’t before we started this program. I get single bandanas and I’ve had people buy as many as 300.”

The bandanas have come from people all over the country, including New York and North Carolina. But most have come from Idaho.