SALINAS, Calif. - UPDATE 8/1/2016 5 PM:
Whether people think they are insensitive or innovative, customized Soberanes Fire T-shirts and other apparel are selling throughout the Central Coast.
Just outside of the Toro Park Base Camp, there have been at least three vendors selling apparel like T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats. Some of them show the iconic Bixby Bridge with airplanes dropping retardant on the fire. Others are black with simple block lettering that spell out "Wildland Fire."
"I got my son one last week and I figured I'd run out and get myself one after I saw (it)," Scott Williams said. "They did a good job on them and it's helping out."
It's not just locals buying items to mark such a large event in Monterey County's history. Fire personnel have been scooping up the merchandise also. As one firefighter described it, the shirts can help build morale among crews. It also serves as a memento to remind them of their time here.
The businesses claim it's for a good cause with some proceeds going to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. The organization helps the families killed or hurt in the line of duty. Locals hope the families of the firefighters battling the Soberanes Fire, never have to go through that.
"Be safe. Go home to your loved ones because you have families that want to see you as soon as you return, and thank you for going what you do on a daily basis," Danielle Haught said.
The owner of one of the businesses, Rush Fire Shirts, said he could not speak with us on camera but said that over the past three years, his business has donated $27,000 to charity.
The Soberanes Fire is bringing people together on the Central Coast, many are looking for ways to help and reflect.
Cal Fire said as of Monday morning 350 residents have been evacuated, 57 homes have been destroyed and one bulldozer operator was killed last week.
T-shirts to remember the devastation are being sold at Toro Park. Vendors say they donate a portion of the proceeds to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.
KION's Mariana Hicks will have more on the meaning behind commemorative T-shirts at 6.