Biden raising funds for California firefighters: 'We owe them'

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations Biden to debate for first time as front-runner Rules for first Democratic primary debates announced MORE on Wednesday sent a Thanksgiving email fundraising for California firefighters currently working to contain the damage from the deadliest and most destructive wildfires in the state's history, saying Americans "owe them." 

"This week, as families gather together to give thanks for their blessings and loved ones, there's a group of folks who wake up every morning, put on a helmet, get on the back of a truck or ambulance, and go to work saving lives," Biden wrote in the email, which he sent out through his political action committee, American Possibilities.

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Biden noted that many of the firefighters in California have lost their homes. 

"Today, as we enjoy the warmth of our homes and the presence of our loved ones, we have the opportunity to help these heroes get back on their feet," he wrote, linking to a fundraiser. 

"Integrity is measured by whether you respond to the needs of your neighbors when you know you can help. Our firefighters know that better than anyone," he added.

"We owe them."

The disaster relief donation effort was launched by the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Foundation. 

"Thank you for supporting efforts for who have been affected by the California wildfires," the IAFF wrote in a tweet. "You too can help firefighters who have been on the frontlines of this devastating disaster by making a donation this ."  

The California wildfire death toll stands at 82 people, with about 800 still missing. It has so far laid waste to nearly 400 square miles, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. It has destroyed thousands of homes and properties as it incinerates huge swaths of land in Northern California. 

Biden is a possible 2020 presidential contender. He has sought the Democratic presidential nomination twice before, dropping out after failing to gain significant support in 1998 and 2008. 

The former vice president went on an eight-state, 12-stop campaign blitz for Democrats ahead of Election Day.