Oregon business Tillamook Country Smoker has stepped up to provide a new tool to fuel brave firefighters who are battling flames raging across the Western states: smoked jerky.
A fire at Canyon Creek Complex near John Day, Ore. has destroyed 36 homes over the weekend. In Washington, the Chelan complex fire has already destroyed between 50 and 75 structures, and threatens a thousand more. The nation has made combating these fires a top priority.
“We have 8,500 firefighters in Oregon and Washington, and they can move daily given the hottest priorities of the day,” said Carol Connoly of the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center. “Keeping them fed on the fire lines is a huge logistics challenge.”
Tillamook Country Smoker volunteered 1,000 cases of smoked turkey and cranberry jerky to feed the crews. The smoked jerky arrived via an 18-wheeler Friday. The support shipment filled an entire supply hut top to bottom with 12,000 meal-sized pouches of jerky. High in nutrients and easy to carry into the brush, the protein and calories in each pouch can keep crews going for hours.
“We really appreciate donations like this, that can work with our complicated logistics systems,” said Connoly. “A truck load of prepackaged preserved food that we can logistically move on a moments notice with our firefighters is a huge help. We briefed all 11 agencies under our coordination, and they all wanted the jerky.”
“It’s like having a little bit of Oregon in each of our lunches,” said one smokey firefighter, grateful for the jerky.
“When I heard about a large cancelled order, I knew we had to find a way to get this jerky to the firefighters,” said Tillamook Country Smoker co-founder and CEO Crawford Smith.
Smith’s son Bryce and Bob Crossley, both longtime employees and part of the families who own Tillamook Country Smoker (TCS), personally drove the shipment about 500 miles. No strangers to firefighting, Smith and his brother Blair served as volunteer firefighters and have helped fight forest fires in Oregon and Washington, saving property and lives. “It’s the right thing to do for the community, and for the everyday heroes on the ground,” said Crossley. “We love being able to feed so many deserving people at once, and help them put this fire out.”
TCS has always supported hard work and a job well done. The company has provided jerky shipments to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and relief in times of disaster, from hurricane Katrina to this week’s shipment to Stouts Creek Fire.
Celebrating 40 years as a family-owned Oregon business, Tillamook Country Smoker produces high quality, hand crafted jerky and smoked snacks. The company built its reputation on products featuring all natural ingredients and real wood smoke, prepared with integrity and pride in a job done right.