AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. — Longhorn Barbecue employees are doing their part to help out firefighters combating wildfires across the Inland Northwest.
Both the Airway Heights and Spokane Valley locations are working around the clock to prepare and send out meals for the firefighters.
Zack Smith, the managing partner at the restaurants, said that DNR will call them early on when a fire pops up and they will then start preparing food while the firefighting crews set up their camps. They will then give out breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a few days at the start of a fire until the camp has been established and a full-time cooking team can arrive.
Smith said that the program started around the time of the firestorm that impacted Spokane and Spokane Valley in 1991. The firestorm created nearly 100 wind-driven wildfires which tore through the region, burning close to 100 homes.
Fires that the restaurants have helped support have been the fires in Deer Park, Kellogg, Pritchard, and Cheney. Smith says they will bring meals to fires up to 150 miles out.
On Sunday, Longhorn Barbecue in Airway Heights sent out meals to the Sherwood Fire near Wellpinit, WA.
The Longhorn Barbecue team was able to send out their breakfast meals by 3:30 a.m.
According to their Facebook post, they explain that even though people are typically asleep the Longhorn Barbecue team creates an assembly line where they scramble eggs and make burritos.
Longhorn Barbecue employees create meals for firefighters
The firefighters also receive hash browns, fruit, juice, coffee, and milk in addition to their breakfast burritos.
Since June, their employees have made over 5,000 meals for firefighters.