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Our hearts are in the right place, but ...

September 2, 2022

By Mike Weland

After hearing from a reader this morning requesting information on making donations to firefighters, I called the Bonners Ferry Ranger Station and was told that donations were welcome, that tables had even been set in the staging area in anticipation of the desire of members of the Boundary County to show their appreciation to the hard working firefighters working on our behalf. But this afternoon, I was informed by an Idaho Panhandle National Forest Headquarters official that while are hearts are in the right place, such donations go against USFS policy.

"It has come to our attention that there have been social media posts/conversations about donating to the U.S. Forest Service Fire Management Teams," she wrote. "We greatly appreciate the support and generosity of the community, but we are not accepting or requesting donations.

"Our team focuses on the fire suppression mission while keeping firefighters and public safety our number one priority. Our wildland fire crews are well equipped and cared for. However, if you are interested in showing support, below is a list of ways you can support our team and mission:
  1) Help keep firefighters safe by creating defensible space around your home. Creating a secure space around your home is the BEST thing you can do to help firefighters. Learn how at http://firewise.org.
  2) Post thank you banners/signs in the community and social media. This is a great morale booster for firefighters after a long shift!
  3) Write thank you notes to firefighters. Drop them off at the incident command post so they can be posted or shared.

"Rest assured, we feed our fire crews three meals a day, including snacks!

Consider a financial contribution to a voluntary organization of your choice. You might consider a donation to:
  1) Your Local Fire Department
  2) The Wildland Firefighter Foundation or other firefighter support organization
  3) The American Red Cross or other community relief organization
  4) Your local Humane Society or other animal support organization
  5 )Other organizations of your choice

"Thank you for your kind consideration!"

Questions or Comments? Send us an email!

Mike Weland, Publisher

6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

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