July 16, 2012
Colorado is finally seeing some relief from the devastating wildfires that have engulfed much of the state in recent weeks. Firefighters have contained many of the fires, including the Waldo Canyon blaze, which was the most destructive fire in Colorado’s history with more than 18,000 acres scorched and nearly 350 homes destroyed.
News of this and other raging wildfires have received international attention. A letter from Toshifumi Akimoto, President of the Japan Firefighters Association, to the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) expressed deep concern for those who are battling the blazes.
“Even in Japan the big wild fire in west US was reported, and we know that the volunteer fire fighters have been working hard against the fire,” Akimoto wrote. “We express sympathy to those who suffered in the disaster and respect those volunteer firefighters for their hard work. We offer a prayer for a quick restoration in the disaster area.”
Even as some areas start to see relief, the danger is far from over. Wildfire season still has a few months left, and firefighters in many states continue to battle devastating blazes. In other parts of the country, severe storms, flooding, and tornadoes have caused widespread damage and destruction. In each of these cases, the community relies on firefighters and emergency medical personnel to respond.
However, many of these firefighters are also victims, losing homes and property as they work to protect their neighbors. The NVFC offers the Volunteer Firefighter Support Fund to provide support for volunteer firefighters and EMS providers that are affected by state- and federally –declared disasters. Eligible first responders can request a $250 stipend to help with basic necessities in the aftermath of a large-scale disaster. Click here to read the full criteria and access the application for assistance.
The following wildand fire resources are also available: