About Us

Our Mission

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.

Our Story

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.

Our 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.

We will not forget.

  • Vicki Minor - Founder and Executive Director

    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.

  • Burk Minor - Director - Outreach

    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.

The role of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation is to honor past, present, and future wildland firefighters by helping maintain and grow the national monument established for those who have lost their lives, operate a financial fund providing assistance to the families of fallen and wildland firefighters and to injured firefighters, and partner with private and interagency organizations to educate the public about wildland fires and promote excellence and safety in firefighting.

We provide financial assistance, immediate and ongoing emotional support, advocacy, and recognition to fallen and injured wildland firefighters.  We present program information and in some instances, onsite crisis support, to government and private fire agencies and other organizations.

Survivor family members are forever a part of the Foundation’s purpose.  We continue to provide emotional support and in some cases financial support many years after a firefighter’s death.  Additional support may include holiday sponsorships for families with young children, travel expenses to attend survivor gatherings and recognition programs, and counseling for immediate family members.