'Been There. Fought that. Got the T-shirt.'

Station Fire T-shirt vendor Mark Halverson
Station Fire T-shirt vendor Mark Halverson
Brian Watt/KPCC

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“Been There. Done That. Got the T-shirt.” KPCC’s Brian Watt says the phrase applies - especially to firefighters.

Brian Watt: Big wildfires like the Station Fire are like big concert tours and sporting events: they bring out the T-shirt vendors. But fire T-shirts aren’t for the spectators. They’re for the performers.

Mark Halverson: These firemen, it turns out, that they’ve been collecting these T-shirts – we’re not the only vendors – but they’ve been collecting them for 20 to 30 years.

Watt: Vendor Mark Halverson came from Northern California to sell T-shirts with a distinctive Station Fire logo just outside the command center at Hansen Dam. About 5,000 fire personnel have come in from throughout California and other states. Halverson says many stop by between long shifts on the fire lines.

Halverson: They’re away from their families for two to three weeks at a time and they just want something to bring home.

Watt: Long sleeve, regular, tank-top, multiple colors – 20 bucks each. Extra-large runs out early. Halverson’s company donates 10 percent of every fire T-shirt sale to the volunteer fire department in Petaluma.