As hundreds of firefighters continued to battle the wildfires that have blazed through California, actor Matthew McConaughey wanted to make sure they stayed well-fed, as a token of appreciation. Along with Wild Turkey and Operation BBQ Relief, he helped make 800 turkey dinners for more than 20 Los Angeles-area firehouses Friday.

He also helped cook and package another 800 turkey meals for homeless shelters. 

"Being able to provide meals to the men and women who put themselves on the line is an honor for me, Jimmy and Eddie Russell [Wild Turkey master distillers]," McConaughey said in a press release. "We are grateful to be here today to say thank you, shine a light on their unwavering conviction and hopefully inspire others to get involved and help in their own communities."

Stan Hays, CEO and co-founder of Operation BBQ Relief, said the food preparation events aim to "shine a spotlight" on first responders. 

"Part of our mission throughout the year is to support these men and women as they are responding to severe situations in their communities," he said in a press release. "BBQ is comfort food and reminds people of good times. These hot meals we are preparing uplift the spirits of the first responders for their hard work each and every day." 

The Los Angeles Fire Department gave McConaughey, who is Wild Turkey's creative director, and his team a shout-out on Instagram following the event saying, "Huge thank you to Operation BBQ Relief and #matthewmcconaughey for donating trays of delicious BBQ to our crews around the city."

Just hours after the event took place, the fire department responded to a blaze in a large recycling yard that was "engulfed in flames."

Southern California has been ravaged by wildfires over the past few weeks. Most recently, the area has been dealing with the Maria, Easy, Getty, 46 and Hillside Fires, which have burned more nearly 13,000 acres in all. The fires have been mostly contained. 

For the rest of the calendar year, Wild Turkey will work with Operation BBQ Relief to help first responders in other areas of the U.S., as well. The organization will host similar events in Dallas, New Orleans and Chicago. 

First published on November 4, 2019 / 12:24 AM

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