UPDATED: Oct. 16, 2017 at 2 p.m. EST
In the days since Guy Fieri set up camp with his friends at Veterans Memorial Building in Sonoma, California, his team's been cooking around the clock, preparing 5,000 meals a day for evacuees and volunteers. Fieri's been working with Salvation Army, setting up a donations page to raise money for those in need.
"This ordeal is far from over and the need is only growing," Fieri wrote in a statement. While firefighters are starting to gain ground, the wildfire has destroyed more than 5,700 homes and businesses and killed at least 40 people, making it the deadliest in California's history.
The moment Fieri heard the news, he stopped what he was doing.
"I changed my plans. I told my friends that my hometown is having a crisis. I started my restaurants there," he told Refinery29 late last week. "I've got a lot of people coming together and a lot of great chefs are going to come and help. We're going to make people happy. We're going to give them a little moment. I think food is always — we call it comfort food because it makes you feel good.
"In these times that we're facing as a country, it's so trying. But that's the example I set for my sons: You stand up; you face it; and you go after it. You don't back down from it."
You can donate to the Northern California Wildfire Relief Efforts here.
ORIGINAL POST: Oct. 13, 2017 at 1:06 p.m. EST
In the wake of a series of wildfires that swept through northern California earlier this week, Guy Fieri took a trip to a fire-damaged Sonoma County on Thursday, but don't think he showed up empty handed. The celebrity chef brought with him a CBS television crew and a mobile barbecue oven that he set up in the parking lot of the Veterans Memorial Building in an effort to feed evacuees affected and displaced by the fires.
The Santa Rosa native spoke to KQED on the scene of the operation on Thursday, stating that the entire crew had already fed around 1,200 volunteers, evacuees, and first responders by lunch time, and that they expected to have well over 2,000 meals cooked by the end of the night.
"This isn't a PR stunt," he said. "You don't see my banners up. I'm not promoting anything. I'm just here cooking. This is feeding people. People need help, and I'm here to help. That's it."
According to Fieri, he and his wife were awakened by the smoke from the fires before they evacuated their Santa Rosa home on Monday morning.
"The smoke was really bad," he said. "We had to evacuate at two in the morning, and we grabbed what we could, taking pictures off the wall as fast as we could. Jumped in the truck, loaded in the dogs, and away we went."
The 49-year-old chef and his wife apparently live just a few blocks away from a neighborhood that was completely destroyed by the wildfires, which is what originally triggered his decision to reach out to the Salvation Army for help.
It's not clear how long Fieri plans to stay and help, as the firestorm has been blazing through the area for almost a week now, but hopefully the chef will be able to continue his efforts throughout the weekend.
Download the TheNextTycoon app.