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Make Fire-Ravaged Lake County Green Again By Donating Potted Christmas Trees To Valley Fire Victims

LAKE COUNTY (KPIX 5) -- You can spread some green holiday cheer this season by helping the victims of the Valley Fire with your Christmas tree, once you're done with it.

Last August, the Valley Fire incinerated more than 1200 homes and destroyed hundreds of trees.

valley fire devastation

"Devastating – some of the trees are still standing, but they are obviously burnt," says Chris Hurley, co-organizer of the Gifting A Tree Project. "They are like match sticks."

Hurley and her family have come up with a great idea to make the fire-ravaged towns of Cobb and Middletown green again.

What if people bought a live, potted Christmas tree and once the holidays are over, donated that tree to the fire victims to plant in their own backyards.

"Everyone just feels so connected to Lake County, and feels just horrible for what happened," said Hurley. "The idea is that these trees will go to people who are rebuilding in the devastated fire area."

In no time, seven Bay Area nurseries, including Cottage Gardens of Petaluma, jumped on board.

"My first reaction was – 'I want to help,'" said nursery manager Fionuala Campion.

It's simple. Here's how the donation works:

Buy a live, potted Christmas tree at a participating nursery, take it home, and after the holidays, arrange for members of The Gifting Tree Project to transport your tree to the fire victims in Cobb and Middletown.

Living Christmas Tree Gifts to Valley Fire Victims

"Everybody loves the idea," said Hurley.

Making charred Lake County green again seems daunting but organizers say the fixing the landscape is a critical part of rebuilding.

"It is putting some greenery back in the black landscape," says Campion. "It is going to give you hope. You are putting roots down by putting the roots of this tree down."

So far, 8 Bay Area nurseries are participating. To find the one closest to you, the organizers of the Gifting A Tree Project have set up a Facebook page.

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