Students deliver messages to firefighters

Cape Horn-Skye teacher organizes effort to thank the men and women battling the Gold Rush Fire

Cape Horn-Skye Elementary School and Canyon Creek Middle School are playing important roles in fighting the Gold Rush Fire.

According to Nancy Marvin, of the Department of Natural Resources, the site at 9731 Washougal River Road is the incident command post.

“That is where we do our planning and logistics, and where the incident commander [Jodery Goble] communicates with his people,” she said.

Personnel are being fed breakfast and dinner at the school, and some have been camping out on the adjacent soccer field. Bright red emergency vehicles fill the parking lot.

“They have been very generous hosts to us,” Marvin said. “The community has really embraced the crews and the overhead [support personnel] that are here working on the fire. It is really rewarding.”

Local youth, many who will be returning to classrooms at Cape Horn-Skye and Canyon Creek on Sept. 2, expressed their gratitude to the fire fighting personnel in a special way.

Darcy Hickey, a third-grade teacher at the elementary school, rallied about 25 students and their families to make signs and cards of support and assemble goodie bags filled with snacks like trail mix.

“These brave firefighters are eating and sleeping at our schools, away from their families,” she said. “They are working incredibly long hours to keep our community safe. I thought it would be nice to give back to them, encourage them, show that we support them and are thankful for all they are doing.”

According to Hickey, the students were excited to get involved.

“They just needed an avenue to give, and an adult to say this is how we give back.”

Attached to each treat bag was a card with the message: “Here’s a little special treat for the amazing job you do. A little salty, a little sweet, our way to say thank you! Thank you for keeping our school safe. We appreciate you. -Cape Horn-Skye and Canyon Creek students.”

One poster stated: “Thank you for protecting my home so it won’t burn down.”

Hickey delivered the items to the school on Thursday. She was touched by the response.

“When I dropped everything off, they were so receptive — huge smiles — and kept thanking us and talking about the support they’ve received from our community,” she said. “We took all of the goodies down to the cafeteria and when we came back to hang the posters, a couple of the guys were reading the cards and one was taking pictures of the messages inside. [It was] so sweet. I think it really meant a lot to those guys.”