SUN VALLEY -- The Wood River Valley is giving back in a big way after hundreds of firefighters came from around the country to help them during the Beaver Creek Fire.
With events over the weekend, the community raised more than $30,000 for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, one of the most significant it's received.
Events included a community picnic for the firefighters and residents, with barbeque and live music at Sun Valley Resort, as well as a Sun Valley on Ice benefit on Saturday night.
Wood River Valley individuals and businesses donated, and are still donating, thousands of dollars to the Boise-based Wildland Firefighter Foundation, which helps families of injured and fallen wildland firefighters around the nation.
Sun Valley's been through a lot, and they've got guys on the ground there and they're watching them do their thing, the air show, the helicopters and the retardant, and Sun Valley definitely stepped up to pay tribute back to those wildland firefighters, Burk Minor, Wildland Firefighter Foundation Director, said. [More money] was just in today's mail. It's still coming. It wasn't just a one-time shot. I'm sure these will be coming in all week long.
Minor says with any large wildfire, people begin asking how they can help. Many want to donated bottled water or food, but he explains that's all well-accounted for in fire camps. So many times, commanders will encourage people to donate to the WFF.
Donations help all wildland firefighters and their families, including the families of those 19 hotshots killed in Arizona earlier this year. Small versions of memorial statues have been cast and are now in the Boise office to be delivered to the Arizona families soon. The firefighters' photos have also been added to the memorial wall.
The Foundation says this year has been tragic for wildland firefighting, with 32 deaths this year. Minor says that's the most since 1994, which is the year the Storm King Fire in Colorado, which killed 14 firefighters.
For more information about the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, click here.