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, private sector firefighters, interface 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 Wildland Firefighter Foundation provides help to the families of wildland firefighters who have lost their lives or are injured in the line of duty.
The Foundation came together as a group of volunteers in 1994, shortly after the Storm King tragedy. 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. 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.
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 is focused on developing realistic goals and objectives designed to guide the Foundation into the future. The following organizational goals have been identified:
Burk has been with the Foundation since 2003. He is currently the driving force behind the capital campaign to create and build the interpretive center. Burk spends much of his summer on the road at fire camp, pulling the WFF trailer to each site. He also represents the Foundation at varies conferences, regional meetings, and fire academies. Burk has become a big part of initial efforts to step in and help crews who lose one of their own, and he has reached out to children who have lost a parent. He connects very close with them as a single father of three. Burk sits on a Task Force Group that oversees the maintenance and ongoing inclusion of markers at the Willdand Fire Monument at the National Interagency Fire Center.Close Burk Minor'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
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
Mark is a native Californian. He started his career in 1986 on the Tahoe N.F., Came to the LPF in 1987. He has worked on Engines, Hotshots and Helicopters throughout his career. Mark has been a team member for 18 years. He was the Incident Commander for California Team 3 for 4 years, RXB2 as well as many other ICS qualifications. Mark has extensive fire experience across the country as well some all-hazard responses such as Hurricane Rita in Texas and Space shuttle Discovery recovery mission. He also commanded the Whittier, Thomas, and Soberanes Fires to name a few. Mark is also a member of the L-580 Cadre. He received the Paul Gleason lead by example award (Initiative and Innovation) in 2006 for the Family support branch of the Esperanza Incident. Mark served as a family liaison for Daniel Hoover-Najara during the Esperanza incident. Most recently he served as a hospital/family Liaison for a burn victim on a Hotshot crew in 2015. He has a passion for this work and wants to pay it forward. Mark currently works for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation as the director of outreach.Close Mark vonTillow'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
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
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
Renae Crippen has over 25 years in Wildland fire. She started her career as a firefighter and is now currently the Center Manager for Blue Mountain Interagency Fire Center in LaGrande, Oregon. The Fire Center includes a recently consolidated dispatch office, a Regional fire cache and a National tanker base. The Dispatch Center provides services for a land base of nearly 7 million acres and serves multiple Wildland Fire and Resource Management agencies.
Renae’s focus throughout her career has been the safety of those she serves. A priority has been building and fostering relationships with the many agencies within the dispatch community to enhance emergency response coordination. Renae has accomplished this through writing agreements, operation plans, and developing processes and procedures to facilitate the mobilization of resources safely and efficiently.
She has participated on many teaching cadres throughout her career to include dispatch classes, leadership, safety, emergency service coordination and peer support. Renae is always looking for ways to do the job more efficiently and safely through new opportunities in technology and dispatch innovation.
Renae has been recognized for her leadership in the dispatch community and fire management for her work locally on the dispatch consolidation and emergency response plans. She has received the Regional safety manager’s special recognition award for developing a serious injury and fatality guide for Region 6. Renae is currently a Board Member of the Wildland Fire Fighter foundation.
Renae lives in LaGrande, Oregon with her husband Willy who is also in Wildland Fire.Close Renae Crippen'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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