In 1987, while wildfires were burning over 90,000 acres in four separate areas, covering much of the Salmon River region in California, citizens of the town, Forks of the Salmon, set up a program to make life easier for the firefighters who had arrived from all over the USA. A woman works amongst many packages in a Community Relations office. She explains that they set up a compassion center for firefighters to make them feel more at home.They received more than 4 tons of contributions. She packs up chocolate chip cookies to be given to firefighters. She shows a box full of books donated to them.She is busy placing all manner of donated food items into boxes to be distributed to firefighters who are actively at work battling the 1987 forest fire. Camera shows a large envelope containing thankyou notes to firefighters. The woman expresses the community's appreciation for all they are doing.
Scene opens with music playing and a large sign displayed reading: "2:oo AM, Band, Forks of Salmon Fire Camp." (Forks of Salmon is an unincorporated community of Siskiyou County in northern California, USA.) A band (named 2:00 AM) is playing and several people are dancing. Announcer states that the band members lost their home in the (still uncontained) fire, last Monday (August 31, 1987). A firefighter member of a Rocky Mountain team from Colorado, Wyoming, and South Dakota, wearing yellow shirt and red cap, expresses appreciation for welcome by Californians.
The film chronicles events occurring during the California fire of 1987 in which 775 acres of forestry went up in flames and hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage was incurred. An official speaks to media about the severe fire of California which was extraordinary in nature. He says that many of the fires have been taken care of and many have not been. He states that there has been a major loss of valuable resources.
A homeowner affected by a 1987 California forest fire, describes his experience. He is seen in a firefighting command post, with maps on the wall behind him and many voices conversing in the background. He states that when he was able to return to his home, it was still standing, although everything around it was burned. He is thankful and has nothing but highest praise for the efforts of the fire-fighting crews.
Interior of Fire Fire Command Center of the California State Department of Forestry. Staff in khaki uniforms with Department of Forestry patches on their shirt sleeves. They operate various stations in the center. One sits at a position above which are seen a map and sign reading: "Airtankers." Another control station is devoted to handcrews. Another maintaining status of fire engines. An official stands near a helicopter coordination station listening to a report that no more helicopters are available. The staff discuss resources needed to deal with ongoing forest fire.
California State Department of Forestry helicopter displaying "CDF" on its fuselage sits in a field with engine running. Scene shifts to view from ground as helicopter empties liquid from large bucket suspended underneath. Views of the chopper emptying buckets full of liquid to fight fire. Flames seen amongst trees in forest. A DC-6 firefighting tanker aircraft flies low over a fire and dumps orange liquid on the scene. the entire area is obscured by smoke. Through the smoke, a C-130 tanker aircraft flies in and drops its load of orangeliquid. An S-2T Air Tanker is seen dropping its firefighting liquid over the fire. Close view of a C-130 firefighting tanker with orange fluid being released through its open bottom doors.