Inspired by the devastating fire season of 1994, founder Vicki Minor decided that after the loss of 14 courageous firefighters on the South Canyon fire in Colorado, she would start a campaign to raise money for the families of those who died. A memorial t-shirt was created, produced, and sold across the nation. At the end of this successful fundraiser, Vicki sent all the money she had raised to a foundation on the East Coast for distribution to the families. Two years later, she found out that NOT ONE of those families received any of the money that she worked so hard to raise for them. Out of frustration over the situation and not wanting this to happen to anyone else ever again, she created the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.
Vicki’s main focus at that time was to be able to provide financial support to the families of those who died or were injured in the line of duty while fighting wildland fires. Her vision of helping the injured and the families of the fallen was and still is her calling.
On average, 17 wildland firefighters die every year while protecting our homes, our communities, and our great outdoors. The Wildland Firefighter Foundation truly came up from the ashes of fire, dirt, and tragedy. We are primarily supported by firefighters for firefighters. There are no agency or jurisdictional boundaries. Through the darkness of death and injury, the Wildland Firefighter Foundation exists not only because of Vicki’s tenacity but also because of you, the boots on the ground.
May your compassion continue to spread like wildfire.
The Wildland Firefighter Foundation’s main focus is to help the families of firefighters killed in the line of duty and to assist injured firefighters and their families. We honor and acknowledge the past, present, and future members of the wildland firefighting community, and partner with private and interagency organizations to bring recognition to wildland firefighters.
The Foundation helps maintain and grow the national monument established for our fallen. We operate a financial fund that provides critical assistance to the families of fallen and injured firefighters. In addition, we partner with private and interagency organizations to educate the public about wildland fires and promote excellence and safety in firefighting. We present program information and in some instances, onsite crisis support, to government and private fire agencies and other organizations.
Coors Banquet is in its sixth year of supporting the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, donating over $1.5 million dollars to the foundation.
We’d like to acknowledge Ken Perry in his heroic efforts for his fallen brother. Ken did what any other wildland firefighter would do for this community. Stories like this are why we are so proud to serve the wildland firefighter. We hope Ken’s story will inspire all of you to pay it forward. Smokejumpers and SPAM go hand in hand.
None of this would have happened without the generosity of Hormel Foods. A Big Thank you to all who were involved!
Your 52 Club Membership helps the Foundation with the following programs:
Right now the need is greater than ever.
If you are coming through Boise please let us know in advance so we can make arrangements to meet you and show you around. Our NEW address is below. We’re so excited to show you around!