After the tragic death of 19 Arizona firefighters yesterday, a Boise-based charity is doing what it can to console the community of Prescott. The Wildland Firefighter Foundation (WFF) will be there as the families of the elite hotshot crew grieve in the next few weeks.
Burk Minor is with the charity. He says their office was inundated with calls from people in the wildland firefighting community overnight. Minor says the foundation is the only one of its kind, and is a sort of a Red Cross. They provide families of injured and killed firefighters with resources to help them grieve and recover. He says the death of the 19 hotshots is the worst crisis the charity has dealt with since its founding in 1994.
“This is pretty much the 9-11 in the wildland [firefighting] community,” says Burke. “It’s just a tragedy.”
Besides assisting shocked families, Minor says the WFF will make sure the 19 hotshots will not be forgotten. The charity maintains a memorial wall at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise. But he says that for a loss of life of this scale, an entirely new section of the memorial may need to be built.
If you would like to donate to the WFF, call (208) 336-2996.