Guy Fieri at the Santa Rosa Veterans Building Evacuation Center, Oct. 12, 2017.

Guy Fieri at the Santa Rosa Veterans Building Evacuation Center, Oct. 12, 2017. (Gabe Meline/KQED)

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Celebrity chef Guy Fieri arrived at a Santa Rosa evacuation center on Thursday morning with a trailer, a crew, a wood-fired oven and a barbecue smoker, cooking meat for evacuees and sending plumes of smoke into an already smoke-filled sky.

Fieri spoke with KQED at his mobile operation in the Veterans Memorial Building parking lot on Thursday. “We’re feeding folks in the shelter that have been displaced,” he said. “Plus volunteers here on the ground, plus the military. We just did around 1,200 for lunch, we started this morning. Now everyone’s having a little break, and we’re getting ready to do dinner. That’ll be about 2,500.”

A meat smoker with fire decorations operated by Guy Fieri cooks food at the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building, Oct. 12, 2017.
A meat smoker with fire decorations operated by Guy Fieri cooks food at the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building, Oct. 12, 2017. (Gabe Meline/KQED)

Fieri said he was in bed Monday morning at his house in Santa Rosa when his wife woke him up. “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 couple spent five hours outside the fire boundary in waiting. Fieri’s house, “a block and a half from Coffey Park,” the neighborhood destroyed in Monday night’s blaze, was spared, he said.

Fieri was raised in Ferndale, a small hamlet in Humboldt County. He has lived in Santa Rosa since the 1990s, where he has owned restaurants, filmed his Food Network game show Guy’s Grocery Games, and raised a family.

“So I called the Salvation Army in Santa Rosa and I said, ‘I’m ready, I’ve got an army, I’m ready to help,'” Fieri said. “And they said, ‘Bring it.'”

Guy Fieri takes a lunch break at the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building, Oct. 12, 2017.
Guy Fieri takes a lunch break at the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building, Oct. 12, 2017. (Gabe Meline/KQED)

Despite his history in the city, criticism follows the bleached-hair celebrity wherever he goes in Santa Rosa. As soon as photos of Fieri’s operation popped up on local social media, a storm of opinions followed, with some deriding the setup as a publicity stunt and the choice of a barbecue smoker, especially, as inconsiderate to victims of the fire.

“If that’s what you think and you’re that shallow at a time like this with what we’re facing, then there’s no changing your mind about that,” Fieri said, addressing critics. “This isn’t a PR stunt. 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.”

When asked about the choice of barbecue smoker considering the smoke and fire in the devastated area, Fieri got defensive. “I don’t even have anything to say about that,” he said. “That’s a ridiculous question. And that’s a ridiculous statement. I mean, come on. What do you want me to do?”

A wood-fired oven atop a trailer brought in by Guy Fieri at the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building, Oct. 12, 2017.
A wood-fired oven atop a trailer brought in by Guy Fieri at the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building, Oct. 12, 2017. (Gabe Meline/KQED)

Fieri was certainly not the first in the food industry to arrive to the shelter. For the past four days, chefs and restaurant owners all over Sonoma County — including Dustin Valette in Healdsburg, Daniel Kedan and Marianna Gardenhire in Forestville, Mark and Terri Stark in Santa Rosa, Duskie Estes and John Stewart in Sebastopol and many, many others — have assisted at shelters and cooked truckloads of free food for first responders to augment Salvation Army and Red Cross efforts. On Tuesday night, Vero’s Kitchen came to the Veterans Building and prepared taco plates for the hundreds housed there. Many civilians like Jennifer Torrey, a data analyst at Exchange Bank who does private chef work and has been cooking at the shelter around the clock since Monday, have stepped in to help at the Veterans Building.

Now, Fieri’s star stands to eclipse their efforts. A source close to the evacuation center said that the celebrity operation in the parking lot — surrounded by yellow tape and uniformed security guards to keep people out — may take over all cooking duties from the small volunteer kitchen crew inside the building.

Salvation Army volunteers serving food to evacuees inside the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building, Oct. 12, 2017.
Salvation Army volunteers serving food to evacuees inside the Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building, Oct. 12, 2017. (Gabe Meline/KQED)

At 1pm on Thursday, volunteers inside the building’s auditorium served hot dogs, pork and beans, and other simple fare. One volunteer who asked not to be named said she did not know the status of Fieri’s involvement.

“He’s just out there doing his thing,” she said.

For information on how you can help evauees in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County, see here.

Guy Fieri Brings Barbecue Smoker to Santa Rosa Fire Evacuation Center 14 October,2017Gabe Meline

  • Jeanne

    BBQ is what his operation is set up to do and quickly. Guy has been generous in his community, he gives back all the time.
    The chefs out there are all stars. Evelyn Chestham, Duskie Estes, John Stewart, the Hana Sushi folks, numerous restaurants cooking and providing for people.
    Guy’s not looking for accolades, he’smobilizing his resources!
    So hats off to all the folks who gather to feed others from our local star to the volunteers like Vaughn from Auto Japan who just show up and get to work.

    • D. Katz

      The other restaurant folks aren’t adding to the already hazardous levels of air pollution. That’s the issue.

  • Dean Tucker

    R U kidding me? This is just plain awesome. Cool, dude.

  • kateschmidt

    Shame on you, KQED. Guy is a resident who’s trying to feed his neighbors. *MY* first instinct wouldn’t have been to barbecue, but it’s delicious, efficient and is what the chef likes to do. Nobody’s going to notice the extra smoke, but they will notice the wonderful gesture from a member of the community.

    • Janelle Merry

      Quick & MOBILE too! Being very portable made it easy to set up quick and can have so much going at once… good way to feed LOTS of people!

    • Paul L

      If you feel, like I do, that this article falls short of the standard we should hold KQED to, here is where to comment:

    • D. Katz

      If you are someone with a lung or heart condition, among other health problems, you would definitely notice the extra smoke. It’s cruel and completely unnecessary to expose people who are already suffering from smoke inhalation and high pollution levels to that extra level of harm.

  • disqus_WP8245RaQN

    My man coming through!

  • Michele Rivenburgh

    Man, you sure skewed that story far from the real reason for his actions! Journalistic integrity is a thing of the past apparently. In my mind, people do what they can, with what they have to help those in a time of need. It’s not a competition for attention. Saying that him being there eclipsed others who are also helping is just asinine.

    • Janelle Schneider

      👏 Exactly

      • Paul L

        Here is where to comment on this failure by the author to meet basic standards of journalist integrity:

        • Matt in the Box

          Here is where you can learn about the harm of wood smoke pollution :

          And this one is good too:

        • D. Katz

          This author is one of the few who has actually done his research. Bringing a wood-fired oven and smokers to an evacuation center full of people dealing with the effects of smoke inhalation and record-breaking hazardous air quality was an extremely poor choice, no matter how well-intentioned it may have been.

  • BigWhiteDog

    The haters can bite me. This is a good thing and BBQ is good food.

  • Morgan

    Great job! Please everyone be thankful not critical.

  • Elizabeth Padilla

    Thanks to Guy Fieri for always being so generous and community minded. Those who criticize are haters and nothing in going to change that kind of ugly hatred.

  • Will

    Leave it to Guy to do some grandstanding. Funny that the tv cameras show up on day four as soon as he’s there. I know a bunch of volunteers who’ve been doing the food service since day one on Monday putting in 16 hour days providing a few thousand meals a day. Who brings a smoker to a fire evac center, when the need is to feed the elderly, and many who have special dietary requirements which what has been happening till now, hope they can stomach what he’s putting on

    • Caprice

      And thank you to all those who put in 16 hour days providing meals.
      I will also pray for your families. That you are all safe. This is a tough time for eveyone. I am sure
      Every one is thankful for all types of
      Volunteer work and donations.

    • Brian Keith

      Hey Will–you do something equally as generous and then your opinion will mean something. Otherwise, STFU.

    • Speier

      yo Will….take a long walk off a short pier…jerk

      • Wendy Clem


        • Wendy Clem

          Thank you Will, for another eye opening experience from a PC A hole. Talk about snarky they should hire you as an assistant. Then you can write snarky, underhanded PC hate filled articles. So done with people like you! Grow up aND go to your safe space! As for KQED…REALLY?!

          • Paul L

            Wendy – if you feel, like I do, that this snarky article doesn’t match the standard we should hold KQED to, here is where you can let NPR know:

          • Pete Danko

            Nah, that’s the operation back in DC. Has nothing to do with this story. You need to contact KQED.

    • Beth Vogl

      Will, I’m sorry that others seem unable to respond with any level of civility. I’ve never been a fan of his though I have heard stories of his generosity in the past, and I think that’s awesome. I do wonder about the thoughtfulness of bringing a smoker when even CDF has asked people to curtail outside BBQ’s, and lawn mowers, and even car traffic as much as possible, in a multi country area because it all contributes to air quality. And in solidarity I will offer that I made a comment about publishing drone footage only encouraging more people to break the law by flying drones in fire zones, and had to argue with folks completely entrenched in their positions and unable to hear that CDF is flying large planes that are hard to turn in small spaces and they need all the room they can get – even in sections where the fire is out. People seem to have lost their ability for civil discussion even when they disagree, and even when the facts should point them in a different direction…..

      • D. Katz

        Thanks, Beth. I left a comment pointing out the air quality issue on another comment thread, and wound up being attacked by people in the barbecue industry, including people with Operation Barbecue Relief, who called me incredibly vulgar names and told me to go f— myself. This is a topic I actually have a background in, and what I wrote wasn’t particularly shocking — as you pointed out, even the air quality management district has been urging people not to barbecue and burn wood. The level of vulgarity and hatred from the OBR people was disturbing. Indeed, people don’t seem to be able to engage in civil discourse anymore. There shouldn’t be anything particularly enraging, or even controversial, about pointing out that polluting during a pollution crisis might not be the best choice, nor that people shouldn’t be flying drones in an area where firefighting pilots are battling dangerous fires(!).

        • Beth Vogl

          I appreciate your comments- I live about a 45 minute drive south and our air was so bad for many days we stayed indoors with 2 air purifiers going- it literally hurt to breathe. Just didn’t seem too thoughtful to be cooking with something that generates smoke…. and I’m a retired dispatcher for Santa Cruz 9-1-1 so the idea of anyone firing up any outside cooking system that uses fire, however supervised, just seems unwise

          • D. Katz

            Thank you, Beth. I appreciate your comments too, and I appreciate your perspective as someone who has experience working in emergency services. I hope the air quality is improving down there, and that you are able to breathe more easily!

    • Stacey McNeill

      Wow, why do you and this KQED “reporter” feel compelled to be so negative? I would hope all volunteers are doing this not for the attention, but because it’s the right thing to do. This article is just nonsense. Guy is just doing what he does best. So what if he gets a little publicity? His support should be appreciated, not scorned. Also, just curious why you think the need is only to feed the elderly and why the “simple fare” of hot dogs should be better for the elderly and those with special dietary requirements. Ridiculous.

      • Mcat

        It’s the smoke issue for God’s sake put on your thinking hat!

        • Stacey McNeill

          Really, do you have to be rude? We get that it’s smoke, but don’t think a little smoke for cooking is really going to make an impact here. He cleared it with Salvation Army, so it’s not like he imposed his “smoke” upon this crowd.

        • Stacey McNeill

          Really, do you have to be rude? We get that it’s smoke, but don’t think a little smoke for cooking is really going to make an impact here. He cleared it with Salvation Army, so it’s not like he imposed his “smoke” upon this crowd.

          • D. Katz

            He should have cleared it with the air quality management district. The Salvation Army isn’t a public health agency with knowledge about air quality issues.

      • D. Katz

        Do you think elderly people and people with heart and lung conditions should be excluded? It’s also extremely unhealthy for pregnant women and very young children. We’re talking about pollution levels that have been shown in numerous peer-reviewed studies to trigger heart attacks and strokes, as well as asthma attacks and COPD crises serious enough to need hospital treatment. That’s why we have the ADA — it is not acceptable to create an environment that excludes people based on their disabilities and serious chronic illnesses. The smokers and wood-burning oven unnecessarily added to a condition that was already not safe for a large number of people.

        It’s not about the food (although foods cooked with open flames have the highest carcinogen levels of all foods). It’s about the cooking method, which was deliberately the most polluting possible in a place where there are medically vulnerable people who have been dealing with smoke inhalation and exposure to very high pollution levels.

      • D. Katz

        Also, “Operation Barbecue Relief” is partnered with hearth and barbecue industry lobbyists like the HPBA, which spends millions of dollars and runs an “academy” in DC to teach their members how to lobby against clean air and environmental regulations. They have a lot of industry backing. I’m sure many of the volunteers are well-intentioned, but OBR is also about PR for the industry.

    • D. Katz

      Exactly, Will. Hundreds of research studies have shown that wood smoke levels of the kind being experienced in Santa Rosa can kill the elderly, in part by triggering heart attacks and strokes. To add more localized wood smoke pollution to that defies all common sense and basic science.

      • Stacey McNeill

        OK, we get that wood smoke is bad for our health, but really, this is not the time or the place to get all political and promote your agenda about this. Just be appreciative that people are stepping up to feed folks who are displaced or who are fighting to keep all of our lives and property safe, and let’s revisit this issue later. Really!

        • D. Katz

          There’s nothing “political” about caring about public health and people’s well-being. Lots of people were stepping up to help feed folks, including other restaurant owners, and they were doing it without adding harm to anyone.

  • Caprice Stowe

    Guy so proud of you right now! You are making Ferndale prouder also. The help you giving is so generous and kind. Helping all those people in need. Praying for you and your family. Please stay safe.

  • Nancy

    thank you so much to you and all the chefs and crew who came to help! Disregard any negative statement — their will always be haters you know your intention is good and so do the majority of the public bless you!

    • D. Katz

      Caring about public health isn’t “hating.” Air pollution is a very, very serious issue. Caring about everyone — including medically vulnerable people — is not hate.

  • Janelle Schneider

    This article is poorly written and appears ridiculously biased. I think he’s pretty awesome. I met him once when I was working at SFO. I kind of ignored him because celebrities didn’t impress me much. He paused, looked at me picking up bins, and extended his hand to shake hands with me. He read my name tag and said, “Nice to meet you, Janelle.” I said, Nice to meet you too. Have a nice flight.” Co-workers shared with me that he was usually very arrogant when he came through security, but that wasn’t my experience. He could have ignored me like the thousands of other travelers, but he took the time to give a friendly greeting. I’ve watched quietly over the years as he’s donated to victims of the Valley fire and donated Christmas presents to Lake County children. I’m not a fan of very many celebrities, but I’m a fan of his. I’m so glad his “Publicity Stunts” as some claim them to be, are acts of kindness and helping others.

    • Paul L

      Biased is exactly the right word. We should, and do, expect more of our news article authors. This is where you can post that feedback so that someone at NPR might pay attention:

  • Jeannie Mitchell

    Guy’s hometown gets burned down and he tries to do something right by feeding people….why does the negativity have to even be there??? Shame on the haters!!!

    • D. Katz

      It’s not “negativity.” It’s pointing out that air quality is a very serious health matter. No matter how well-intentioned, it was not a good choice to add to the smoke levels, near people who were dealing with the effects of smoke inhalation and dangerously high smoke pollution levels. Medically vulnerable people can wind up in the hospital and literally die from smoke pollution levels that high. If caring about everyone, including frail elderly people and people with lung and heart issues makes me a “hater,” then I’m happy to be a “hater.”

    • Mcat

      Lots of good food will do people who have damaged lungs from smoke by adding more smoke!

  • Linda Rosas-Bill

    Ain’t that some bull pucky! You take someone’s generosity and through that in they face? That ain’t right. If Guy wants to head up north and feed the evacuees of the Redwood and Sulphur fires I gladly invite him. We in Lake and Mendocino County would love and appreciate his assistance.
    There is no place for negativity or slanderous comments in times of such destruction. You who talk make these moronic statments, must not have lost your home or family. I am sure others appreciate any assistance they receive, from whome ever is assisting. It takes a people to build a village……we will over come this horrific event. I know we will.

    • D. Katz

      It is not slander or “negativity” to point out that cooking with wood fires in the midst of an air pollution crisis is not wise. It is just pointing out the scientific reality.

  • Brian Keith

    Seriously, KQED? The headline is written in such a way to encourage criticism of Guy. All he did was provide thousands of meals for folks who really need it. I’m pretty ashamed of you right now.

    • Paul L

      I feel the same. Post a comment here:

    • D. Katz

      He deserved criticism for willfully adding to the extremely unhealthy air pollution levels. KQED deserves praise for bringing this up — it was a serious public health hazard, and completely unnecessary. There are other ways to cook that don’t pollute!

  • Bonnie

    Guy don’t even give those haters a thought. You do what you feel is right and that’s all that matters, as most of us all do. We’re in Georgia now but we’re from Lucerne in Lake County for over 20+ year’s, seen alot of fire’s over the years living there. We have 2 son’s in Santa Rosa, that, like alot of others that have no idea how long these fire’s are going to last or how far they will go. Some people need to stop complaining with hate and maybe help instead. To get to my point, we all do what we feel is right and if someone doesn’t like it so what, they don’t matter. Thank you for what your doing and if we were there we would be helping too. Most folks are in a situation for help and your just helping them out in the best way ya can. It shouldn’t matter what your cooking, it is food to fill bellies that need it. Again a huge THANK YOU for what your doing.

    • D. Katz

      Caring about everyone — including frail elderly people and people with heart and lung conditions — is not “hate.” In this case, it very much mattered — the added smoke could literally kill a medically vulnerable person.

      I do hope your sons are ok. This is a very scary time for so many in Sonoma County.

      • CaliforniaRepublican

        Perhaps he should have brought thousands of packages of raw bologna, and flung them individually toward the hungry, like little frisbees? Or would u then be concerned about the amount of plastic from said bologna adding to the landfills? Or perhaps that a fly might have been hit mid flight by one? The guy spent thousands of dollars and a lot of time to HELP people in his community.

        Here’s a question “DKatz”… What , EXACTLY, have YOU done to help fire victims? Besides complain about a well intentioned act?

        • D. Katz

          It may have been well-intentioned, but the method chosen was an extremely poor choice.

          • CaliforniaRepublican

            What did YOU do to help the victims?

  • abbytodd

    Its so awesome of Guy & all the chefs and volunteer’s helping out! Kudos to all of you! 💛🖤💛

  • Holle

    This would have been a good time to share this news in a grateful, community building and heartwarming way. This was a sad (and unnecessarily snarky) missed opportunity.

  • Richard

    KQED you people SUCK ……………You should be ashamed of this ……

  • Not one of your more shining moments, KQED. Does the “arts’ online editor” have an editor who could and should have questioned the snarky, critical stance of this story?

    • Paul L

      Well put Andrew. This is where to post a comment to call KQED, and the author of this article, out on this BS:

      • D. Katz

        Thank you. I’ll be sure to let them know my appreciation that somebody brought up the air quality issue. More media outlets should have been questioning this very poor choice of cooking method in the midst of an air pollution crisis. No matter how well-intentioned, it was the worst possible choice that could have been made. If anything, the author wasn’t critical enough.

  • Mel

    I’m not a huge fan of Guy, but his shows are fun, and you have got to be kidding dogging him for feeding people and helping his community. Who cares if it BBQ, he’s helping. Our society has enough f’ing anger, and you post this crap. Shame on you, good for Guy. Think I’ll support one of his places now.

  • Mel Sills

    Guy has a place here in Lake County and has been a real supporter of this county.
    Not always food the last fire he bought bikes for a lot of little children. Thanks to all people who can and do lend a helping hand.

  • Mary Hubner

    Guy has a big heart, just doing what he does best. Appreciate!

  • Ben Slaugh

    Gabe Meline, author of this article, should be reprimanded at minimum, or fired. What the hell is wrong with you! You ask if he is being insensitive to the plight of those displaced by fire because he brought a BBQ truck to feed people. How tone deaf are you? What is your agenda/bias here? Are you against meat eaters?

    You should be ashamed for this article. I never, never, never comment on posts/articles on news sights. But this made me so mad, that had to let you know. What a disservice! Find a new profession. You suck at this one!

  • Ryan Nestle

    KQED, as a resident of Santa Rosa this article disappoints me, and you should be ashamed. I’ll be taking what I was going to donate during your next pledge drive, doubling it and giving it to a non profit in Sonoma County.

    • Paul L

      100% agree, Ryan. I’d suggest you give that feedback to NPR, here (as I have):

    • Stacey McNeill

      I’ll be doing the same. Unbelievable that KQED allowed this type of article to be published.

      • Matt in the Box

        I have known people fighting wood smoke pollution for 20 years and a celebrity chef taking advantage of a situation to promote wood smoke pollution is not a good problem to have.

        We need to have full prohibition of cooking and heating with wood. Wood smoke pollution is too serious an issue and kills and sickens too many people.

        Absolutely his actions should be questioned. The smoke pollution he promotes does kill people.

  • Dee Dee

    I love Guy’s response. It is THE most ridiculous question! Media, once again, going for the negative. Thank you to Guy and his crew!!!!

  • Trina Champagne

    Cheese and rice, I cannot believe the things people bitch about. It honestly blows me away. He is doing something to help the community, for goodness sake, did he make mention of it before he needed to be evacuated? Was he sitting there staring at his watch, so he could offer help? I am sorry, but these people that do nothing but criticize and try to find fault, need to get a life. Try working for your money for a change. Stop looking for someone to offend you, so you can feel validated by complaining. Get off social media and get a life assholes. If you are offended by everything posted, even if it doesn’t partain to your offense, turn off your wifi and mobile data and move on. For real. He was helping people in need, without recognition.

    • Paul L

      I’m pretty sure that the author of this article falsified the supposed ‘storm’ of criticism. I searched on Facebook and Twitter and found only 2 tweets that were vaguely critical of Guy, and dozens (if not hundreds) that were complimentary. I think the reporter was just trying to bait Guy into being reactive so that it would make for a juicier story. If you agree with this hypothesis and feel that it doesn’t meet the standards of journalistic integrity, this is where you should comment:

      • D. Katz

        I know several people who are upset about him adding more pollution in the midst of an air quality crisis situation. The media hasn’t been covering this aspect nearly enough.

  • Trina Champagne

    And to everyone who was offended by his help, I sure as hell hope you didn’t get any food or help from him. I can’t believe people would bitch about someone helping people in need. It blows my mind.

  • Ralph

    So for all of the haters….how about this do something more than posting derogatory comments. If you think there should be other types of food or the food should be prepared in a different manner than get off your a$$ and do it Instead of complaining about the people who are…you POS losers! KQED you suck! Thanks to Guy and all of the other volunteers you rock!!

    • D. Katz

      Other people, including other restaurant owners, have been pouring money and time into cooking meals for the displaced, and they have been doing it without burning anything and without adding more smoke to the already hazardous levels of pollution. But those people aren’t celebrities and they haven’t had camera crews following them around. There’s nothing hateful about caring about air quality and public health.

  • Mike Weakley

    Mr. Fiery is a stunning example of a caring human being doing what he can for the other humans he shares the planet with and people who criticize people for trying to bring a ray of sunshine into a very dark place, should try it! It brings joy to ones self for knowing you did something other than trying to discredit a truly caring man. The good in a man is measured in what he does and not what he says! ( Mark Twain )

  • Paul L

    If you feel, as I do, that this article does not meet the standards of journalistic integrity, you should post a comment here:

  • Craig

    People look to respond..not to understand.. most journalism today is a joke. Good for Guy Fieri God bless him for his efforts. It appears to me. the media is good at spreading hate and divide.

  • Brad

    This is a good thing. He is feeding the hungry people who are affected by the disaster. This is not a bad thing.

  • Hunter Graves

    Well he has done more than his critics, that’s for sure. Who cares about the attention, honestly? I don’t even like Guy Fieri, I really don’t. But if he’s nice enough to give people a bunch of free food, why hold it against him?

  • combatoverrideswitch

    Geez, people complain about everything.

  • D. Katz

    Thank you, KQED, for being one of the few media outlets to question the extremely poor choice of bringing a wood-fired oven and wood-fired smokers to an evacuation center where people are dealing with the health effects of smoke inhalation and record-breaking, very unhealthy air quality. For medically vulnerable people, especially, this was downright dangerous! This was a serious public health and safety issue.

    Wood smoke pollution is one of the most hazardous forms of air pollution there is, yet most people are still not aware of this fact. Guy Fieri seems to have meant well, but this was the worst possible cooking method that could have been chosen, and frankly should have been shut down by the authorities, rather than glamorized by much of the media.

  • Matt in the Box

    It is time to ban wood as a fuel for cooking (and for heating too). The smoke is linked to many diseases and should be breathed by no one.

    Irrespective of its popularity, or his celebrity status, the fact remains that the smoke is a health risk. Cooking with wood is one of the largest causes of deaths by environmental pollution with over 7 million worldwide deaths annually and both the UN environment program and the World Health Organization recommend that developed countries ban it altogether.

    Even if there wasn’t all the smoke pollution from the fires, turning up and burning with wood in any community is still an ignorant and unwelcome thing.

    • D. Katz

      I completely agree with you! It is shocking that people are so ill-informed about this that they are demanding the journalist be reprimanded simply for pointing out something that is an obvious, scientific fact — wood smoke is incredibly harmful. And adding more in a fire zone where air quality is already dangerous is not a smart thing to do!

  • Mcat

    Insane,people’s lungs already scorched from the smoke and poor air quality and he makes more smoke. Dunce!

    • Stacey McNeill

      Again, you are so rude. Why? You are missing the point of helping people entirely. We all do what we can with the resources we have. What are you doing to help?

  • Bo Bus

    Barbecue is the most efficient way to cook thousands of meals. The other choices for heating fuels are coal, electricity, propane, and natural gas. Was Guy supposed to run to Home Depot and fill up 1000 propane tanks? Microwave soup using extension cords?

    Compared to the 5,700+ homes that burned along with mattresses, couches, rugs, and other toxic materials, I doubt Guy Fieri’s cooking adds 0.0001% of pollutants to the environment these days.

    “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche!”

  • Mateo Martinez

    Trash jounalism. More of a very biased opinion piece, by a bad journalist who just used this tragedy as a poor excuse to smear unwarranted hate against Guy Fieri. Where was Guy Fieri during this disaster? In the middle of it trying to help and feed those in need. Where was Gabe Meline, lousy lazy journalist who should stick to Op-Ed pieces? He was sitting by a laptop computer, helping no one. Criticizing others while doing nothing himself. I have always thought of KQED as a place where one could find honest unbiased journalism, untainted by personal beliefs (and petty grudges). I guess that KQED of old is turning into a liberal form of Bietbart, where you can read regurgitated opinions of people similar to oneself, but not objective journalism. What a shame. Gabe Meline, you should be ashamed of yourself. Gabe Meline, you owe Guy Fieri and apology.

  • Peg Jones

    Guy Fieri is an AWESOME person! He has a heart of gold and he’s always there to help when he can! THANK YOU GUY & CO.! Without you a whole lot of people would’ve went hungry! GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!! ❤❤❤


Gabe Meline

Gabe Meline is KQED Arts’ Senior Editor. He lives with his wife, his daughter, a 1964 Volvo and too many records in his hometown of Santa Rosa, CA. Find him on Twitter at @gmeline.