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1 Cheechako  Mon, Jul 8, 2013 4:46:48pm

LGF Members

It is with a very heavy heart that I bring this topic to your attention. As most of you are aware, last weekend 19 members of the Prescott Fire Department’s Granite Mountain Hotshot Crew lost their lives on a wild-land fire near Yarnell, Arizona. Tomorrow, Tuesday, July 9th, a memorial service will be held in Prescott for the crew and their families. The service will be from 11 AM to 1 PM (AZ time). I invite you to watch the memorial service here:azcentral 12 news

I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it before but I have been involved with wild-land firefighting for the past 50 years. In fact, I’m posting this message from the Incident Command Post (ICP) for the Skinny’s Road Fire near Fairbanks, Alaska. While I didn’t know any of the Granite Peak Hotshots personally, a tragedy like this hits very close to home. The wild-land fire community is relatively small and we are very close.

For the families of the fallen firefighters the next few days, months, and years are going to be very difficult. About 10 years ago the wild-land firefighting community got together and established the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. The 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. The Foundation has the ability to provide immediate financial assistance to the affected families such as plane tickets, lodging, meals, rental cars, and cell phone service. In addition to financial assistance, the Foundation provides immediate and ongoing emotional support, advocacy, and recognition to fallen and injured wild-land firefighters. The Foundation presents program information and in some instances, onsite crisis support, to government and private fire agencies and other organizations.

Remember, wild-land 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.

As you can imagine, a tragedy of this magnitude has had an enormous impact on the financial resources of our Foundation. Any assistance you might be able to provide would be greatly appreciated. You can visit the Wildland Firefighter Foundation website at the above link for information on how to donate.

Thank you,

Cheechako

2 klys  Mon, Jul 8, 2013 4:54:10pm

re: #1 Cheechako

I grew up out east so the impact of wildland firefighters was much less noticable than now that I live out in California. My hat is off to all those who serve this way, who are fighting for our homes and lives, because it does have the capacity to turn deadly in a flash, like we saw so recently.

I will keep them in my thoughts and have bookmarked the link for a time where things are a little less stretched.

3 wrenchwench  Mon, Jul 8, 2013 5:05:10pm

re: #1 Cheechako

The Southwest is getting rain now. I had a firefighter in here today who has to stand down for two days, then he’s either going back to where he was in NM, or he’s going to Alaska, he doesn’t know yet. We had a huge fire, but it’s smouldering now, and when lightning strikes, it no longer ignites a fire 100% of the time.

Had another firefighter in today who is assigned here in NM through August, from Missoula. If the rains quit soon, we’re still in drought and tinder-dry.

Take care of your guys and gals, and yourself, Cheechako.


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