HAYFORK, Calif. — "Are people avoiding you? Do you smell?"
These are hardly questions one would kindly pose to strangers, particularly strangers who may have just saved your house.
But the neighborly folks of Hayfork, a farm town of 2,500 about 75 miles southwest of Redding, are asking those very questions in a tongue-in-cheek poster that advertises a new laundry service for the more than 2,000 sweaty, smoky firefighters battling wildfires throughout Trinity County.
In appreciation of the firefighters' successful efforts to keep the flames out of Hayfork and several other remote communities in the Trinity Alps, area residents have offered to wash the firefighters' personal laundry for free.
"We were all looking for a way to pay all these wonderful firefighters back," Darlene McMahon said. The dozens of hand-lettered "thank you" signs posted around town just didn't seem enough.