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Wildland Firefighter Hootenanny

BASS LAKE – The Southern Yosemite Region was hit close to home and heart with the wildfires of 2013/2014. Surrounded by national parks, forests and wildlands, we depend on the over 300 wildland firefighters who live and work in our mountain communities.

The Wildland Firefighter Foundation was created “To honor, recognize, and support wildland firefighters, past, present and future, and to provide resources to assist fallen and injured firefighters and their families.”

Toward that end, the Wildland Firefighters Foundation and Cloverleaf Events have partnered with The Pines Resort at Bass Lake to throw a Hootenanny on Wednesday, Apr. 15, at 5 p.m., to raise funds and honor our current, previous and fallen firefighters.

Wildland Firefighter FoundationThere will be live entertainment by The Mountain Men String Band out of Mariposa, as well as a great barbeque crafted by Chef Frabotta. Adults are $25 and kids are $15, and The Pines will be donating $5 per person back to the Foundation.

There will be also a raffle where wildland firefighters can win gear, tools and specialized items, plus live and silent auctions for all attendees.

“When I realized that there were no fundraising events in the area for this foundation, I was shocked!” says organizer Erin Capuchino. “I knew I had to do something. It helps that many of my friends are USFS Firefighters and Cal Fire men and women.”

Capuchino proposed this event to the Pines Management and Banquet Teams, and they got behind it 100 percent.

Firefighting can be a dangerous occupation. The Wildland Firefighter Foundation, based out of Boise, Idaho, helps families of injured and fallen firefighters.

Headed for the line - photo by Gina Clugston“Wildland firefighters are groundpounders, hotshots, engine crews, helitack, smoke jumpers, airtanker and helicopter pilots and support personnel, dozer operators, water tender operators; and in fire camp, those who keep records and manage ops and planning, logistics and finance, those who oversee safety, critically assess risk at a systems and incident level, provide info to the public, and incident commanders (the “generals”) that have worked their way up through the ranks. They are a diverse, yet united interagency firefighting force of federal, state & local wildland firefighters, private sector wildland firefighters, and volunteers.” (WFFoundation.org)

The Wildland Firefighter Foundation provides immediate financial and crisis assistance to families of fallen and injured wildland firefighters, and brings recognition and honor to all these hardworking, dedicated individuals. The Foundation is financially self-sustaining, thanks to the overwhelming generosity of its supporters, and everyone is invited to join their ranks.

The Foundation also partners with agencies and others to work toward preventing line-of-duty deaths and provides timely safety messages.

Tired but still smiling - photo by Gina Clugston“Please join in supporting our wildland firefighters by attending the Hootenanny, donating items for the firefighter raffle, silent and live auctions or showing support through the WFFoundation.org,” says Capuchino. “The Foundation has a wall of crew tees in the office and we would like to send a tee for each of our local crews as well as use the tees for décor.”

Compassion spreads like Wildfire!

For more information, or to donate to the fundraiser, contact organizer Erin Capuchino at 559-308-1767 or email erincapuchino@gmail.com

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