Wildland Firefighter Foundation’s main focus is to help families of firefighters killed in the line of duty and to assist injured firefighters and their families. We honor and acknowledge past, present, and future members of the wildland firefighting community, and partner with private and interagency organizations to bring recognition to wildland firefighters.
Wildland firefighters represent the diversity of the land they protect. They are federal, state, and local firefighters, contract firefighters, and volunteers from rural communities and towns across the United States. Many are long-time career professionals, some much newer to the job. They’re ordinary people doing an extraordinary job, a community of committed individuals who work and train to protect our private and public lands.
The Foundation came together as a group of volunteers in 1994, shortly after the Storm King tragedy. The Wildland Firefighter Foundation was officially formed in the spring of 1999. Our board members realized that there was a great need to have emergency support services for the families of fallen firefighters. With dedication and lots of volunteer work, plans were developed for a national monument to honor firefighters, a dream that was realized in May 2000.
Active volunteers and supporters of wildland firefighters established the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, a 501(c)3 to maintain the Wildland Firefighters National Monument at the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho.
Since 1999, the Foundation has also provided emergency support services to the families of firefighters, seriously injured or killed in the line of duty. Families left behind, many with young children, often find themselves with few resources, and the Foundation steps in to help.
The Board of Directors and the Wildland Firefighter Foundation are focused on developing realistic goals and objectives designed to guide the Foundation into the future. The following organizational goals have been identified:
Burk Minor is the Co-founder of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. Burk has been taking care of injured and fallen firefighters since 1994 after Storm King in Colorado occurred. Burk works closely with all of the wildland community. There are very few situations that he has not dealt with. He supervises workers comp cases all the way down to working with the Honor Guard during memorials. Burk has dedicated thirty plus years in wildland fire and is a voice for the boots on the ground.Close Burk Minor's Bio
Dina handles the administration, fiscal oversight and management of the day-to-day business operations for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. Dina is dedicated to serving the wildland community, ensuring our mission is carried out effectively and efficiently. In her off time, Dina loves spending time with her husband and two beautiful daughters as well as creating and sewing quilts for fundraisers; including quilts for wildland firefighter families.Close Dina Pfeifer's Bio
Joyce has been with the foundation since 2013 and champions the day to day processing and office organization. If you come to the foundation you are likely to be greeted by Joyce with a warm smile. Joyce is a valued employee of the foundation, and will direct you to the right person to handle your needs.Close Joyce Sposito's Bio
Betty started her career with the Forest Service in 1978 as a Corps member for both the Youth Conservation and Young Adult Conservation Corps Crews on the Big Bear Ranger District, San Bernardino National Forest. In 1980 she was hired as a seasonal in Timber Management and often responded to fires with her resource management crew. It was a coin toss that landed her a spot on an engine that was short staffed for the Siege of 1980. She finished out that season on an engine and has been in fire management until her retirement in 2016. Betty has worked all but one year on the Big Bear/Mountaintop Ranger District. She also worked on the Angeles National Forest as a Special Use Technician on the Saugus Ranger District. Some of the positions she has held and/or performed the duties of include, Supervisory Fire Engine Operator, Assistant District Fire Management Officer, Fire Prevention Technician, OHV Technician, Customer Service Representative, administrator for the District Casual Hire Program, Honor Guard Member, Family and Hospital Liaison. She considers herself an Employee Advocate and Proud supporter of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.Close Betty Ashe's Bio
Layn Minor has been in and around the Wildland Firefighter Foundation for over two decades. Son of Executive Director Burk Minor, and grandson of Founder & Board President Vicki Minor, he is experienced with the Foundation and its operations. Starting full-time in February 2022, Layn handles the majority of the website and social media. He plays a role in fundraising and operates the technical equipment around the facility.Close Layn Minor's Bio
Nicci joined the Foundation at the beginning of 2022. She has been involved with the Foundation since she was ten and officially joined us this year. She handles the accounting, mail, and retail. In her off time, she enjoys spending time with her family and three dogs, reading, and listening to music. Nicci has always loved the Foundation and is excited and proud to be an employee.Close Nicole Pfeifer's Bio
In 1987 Vicki Minor contracted with the US Forest Service to provide commissary units for remote incident command posts in the forest during fire seasons. Her business and love of the firefighter community grew as she provided dry goods and what was needed, to soften their harsh environment.
While being involved with the forest fires Vicki felt the devastation not only to the land but the people who fought to protect it. As a result, Vicki founded the Wildland Firefighter Foundation in 1997 in an extra room in her home in the Foothills of Boise. After seeing the Vietnam Wall she dreamed of having a place for wildland firefighters to honor their dead and help them heal. She started the funding and spearheaded the building of the Wildland Firefighter Monument at the National Interagency Fire Center, in Boise, Idaho. Until then there was no place to recognize the efforts of all wildland firefighters. In a short time she had funded and obtained non-profit status for the Foundation, that not only serves wildland firefighters across our nation but reached its arms out internationally to help firefighters killed in wildfires in other countries.
When CNN heard of her work at various burn centers she was nominated as a CNN Hero. She has also received the “Meeting American Needs Award,” from the Chief of the US Forest Service. She has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine twice and recently received national recognition by receiving a Mother Teresa Caring award given each year by the Caring Institute in Washington, D.C.Close Vicki Minor's Bio
Over 37 years of service in wildland fire. She is currently the Deputy Director of Fire and Aviation and Regional Aviation Officer, RAO in Montana. Maggie is CSIM trained and looks forward to utilizing that training in service of wildland firefighters and their families.Close Maggie Doherty's Bio
My career as a wildland firefighter spanned over 27 years. Two of those years were with the National
Park Service, and 25 years with the US Forest Service. I have served as a member on hotshot crews,
prescribed fire modules, wildland fire engines, in air operations as an Air Tactical Group Supervisor, and
in various levels of Chief positions. Throughout my fire service career, I served on various training cadres
as teaching others and passing along knowledge is a true passion of mine. I retired from the USFS in
January 2020 as the Deputy Manager of the Northern California Geographic Area Coordination Center
and currently work as a casual hire (AD) Air Attack when the need arises.
My education includes earning a Certificate of Studies in Wildland Fire Management from Humboldt
State University in 2009.
In 2007, I was recruited to the US Forest Service Honor Guard, where I remained an active member until
retirement. I served as the Deputy Commander from 2012 – 2016. In 2016, I was asked, and accepted
the position of Honor Guard Commander, which I remained until retirement. It was during my tenure
with the Honor Guard that I developed and maintained a relationship with the Wildland Firefighter
Foundation and all the folks that operate the foundation. The first Line of Duty Death (LODD) I assisted
with occurred in 2008. This was Chief Daniel Packer on the Panther Fire on the Klamath National Forest.
On the heels of Chief Packers death, was the multi-fatality Iron 44 helicopter crash. It was during the
preparation and implementation of these LODD services that I was exposed to the Wildland Firefighter
Foundation and all that they do to take care of the friends and families of the fallen. It is because of this
relationship and my Honor Guard experiences, that my passion grew for taking care of those who were
unable to take care of themselves in times of need.
I am the proud father of four children and one son in law who are in the wildland fire business, either
with the US Forest Service, or Bureau of Land Management. I am extremely proud to be called “Papa” by
six grandchildren. I am married to a wonderful woman who has supported me throughout my career
despite all the challenges and nuances it has presented.
Close Curt Stanley's Bio
Dave joined the United States Forest Service in 1983 after graduating from the State University of New York with a degree in Natural Resource Conservation. During his career he worked for three regions and four national forests in a variety of fire suppression positions including; engine, smoke chaser, hotshot, helitack, and heli-rappel crews. In 2017 he retired from the USFS, finishing his career as the Helicopter Operations Specialist for the Northern Rockies Region. Over the course of his career the Wildland Firefighter Foundation has been vital in their support of numerous friends and coworkers and their families, helping them through the toughest of times. In retirement Dave looks forward to having the time to give back to this great organization.Close Dave Crumb's Bio
Mark De Gregorio has served as the Education Program Manager at Rocky Mountain National Park since 1992. With the Park Service, he has lead all aspects of curriculum design, electronic media development, instructional delivery, evaluation, and community outreach.
Prior to joining the National Park Service, he was the Environmental Curriculum Specialist for the Poudre School District in Fort Collins, Colorado. In that capacity, he served on the board of directors and as education chairman of Operation Osprey, a migratory raptor reintroduction project of the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife. Mark was an adjunct faculty in the Education Department at Colorado State University, and a junior and senior high school science teacher in Fort Collins and Creede, Colorado.
Mark is active in the community and currently serves as a citizen on the Larimer County Parks Advisory Board, with past appointments to the county’s Open Lands Board and its Environmental Advisory Board, and the board of directors of the Legacy Land Trust.
Mark has a 40-year career in wildfire suppression, having received basic firefighter training in 1976. He worked as a seasonal forestry technician for the US Forest Service for eleven seasons as a helitack firefighter, and helped staff district and zone fire crews. He has past experience as a Type 2A Crew Boss and Type 4 Incident Commander. He continues involvement with fire suppression with Type 1 and 2 Incident Management Teams as an Air Operations Branch Director and Public Information Officer.
He holds degrees in Forest Management and in Secondary Education from Colorado State University.Close Mark DeGregorio's Bio
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