The North Coast Builders Exchange (NCBE), an 1,150-member contractors association  in the North Bay, is sponsoring a tool replacement program for contractors and tradespeople who lost their tools in the recent wildfires.

NCBE had received reports over the past month of the additional burden many tradespeople are facing with the loss of their tools and turned to several tool manufacturers and private donors to provide replacement tools at no cost to construction industry victims of the wildfires.

Jon Richards, a sales associate with APEX Tool Group, spearheaded an effort to get tool manufacturers from around the U.S. to donate tools necessary for fire victims who make their living in construction.

Suppliers of tools included Construction Electrical Product, which provided the program with extension cords, portable lighting and more.

Donations are being accepted for either new or slightly-used tools in good repair. All donated items are tax- deductible through the NCBE Community Fund.

"We couldn't be more pleased than to see our members, suppliers and associates step up to help contractors and tradespeople who were victims of the wildfires," said NCBE President Jeff Scott, general manager of Mead Clark Lumber in Santa Rosa. "These tools are required to keep people working, whether NCBE members or not, so that we can get on with rebuilding the North Bay."

To be eligible for tool replacement, a person needs to be employed in construction and either show a Federal Emergency Management Agency case number or provide an address of where their home or business was lost in the fires. Warehouse space has been donated by Pruitt Industrial Park in Windsor and is located at 5900 Pruitt Ave., Unit 210, which is west of Highway 101 using the Shiloh Road turnoff.

Current distribution is set for Wednesdays from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 1-5 p.m. through Dec. 16. For additional information, visit

The NCBE is a nonprofit contractors association that provides services and representation to construction-related firms in Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, and Napa counties.