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Honoring Wildland Firefighters through July 2, 2024  

Celebrate our national wildfire crisis heroes on National Wildland Firefighter Day

Michelle Burnett and Stanton Florea 
Washington Office Fire and Aviation Management 
June 7, 2024

Federal wildland firefighters, fire support staff and contractors work on the frontlines of the nation’s wildfire crisis to protect life, property, and natural and cultural resources. That’s why we celebrate National Wildland Firefighter Day on July 2, to show how much we appreciate and support our wildland fire workforce.

Image of a person jumping in the air on a trail with runners behind him
More than 500 individuals participated in the Fireline 5k to celebrate National Wildland Firefighter Day in Boise, ID on June 2, 2024. Photo courtesy of the National Interagency Fire Center. 

Everybody Wins: Boise’s Fireline 5k

This year, the National Interagency Fire Center External Affairs Team in Boise, ID, made up of public affairs professionals from the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service, debuted the first annual “Fireline 5k” in honor of National Wildland Firefighter Day.

The “fun run” took place at the Ann Morrison Park in Boise on June 2 with over 500 participants registering for the free event, an impressive number for an inaugural, local road race. The scenic 5-kilometer course ran along the city’s beloved Greenbelt, a system of trails along the Boise River in the downtown area.

“The ‘Fireline 5K’ was a great way to celebrate the 3rd annual National Wildland Firefighter Day," said Sarah Fisher, U.S. Forest Service Fire and Aviation Management deputy director for aviation and operations. "We really appreciate all the NIFC staff members and our partner organizations who made it possible.”

Image of the back of a female child with blonde hair in a ponytail wearing a black t-shirt with the words, “Wiland Firefighters in Training” on the back and aqua colored leggings
 Individuals who participated in the Fireline 5k ranged from aged 3-years old to people in their 70s. Photo courtesy of the National Interagency Fire Center. 

No official times were kept for the race and there were no age categories. Each participant received an official medal from Wildland Firefighter Foundation, one of the event’s co-sponsors. NIFC hosted the event with support from other sponsors including the City of Boise and the Idaho Department of Lands, as well as local running store Fleet Feet, which managed the event.

Fireline 5k virtual option open through July 2, 2024    

If you weren’t able to make it to Boise on Sunday, no worries. NIFC is also sponsoring a virtual Fireline 5k for anyone wishing to show their support for wildland firefighters.  

Runners, walkers and hikers can complete 5 kilometers on their favorite trail, home treadmill or by taking a simple walk around their neighborhood. Registration is free by signing up online and can be completed any time between now through National Wildland Firefighter Day on July 2.  

All participants are encouraged to share photos on their personal social media platforms using the National Wildland Firefighter Day photo templates, available on NIFC’s website, and hashtags #Fireline5K, #NWFFD #ThankAFirefighter and/or #NationalWildlandFirefighterDay. You can also submit your photos to NIFC.

Image of a baseball field with filled bleachers and the words,” Wildland Firefighter Appreciation Day” at the top
 The Seattle Mariners will hold a “Wildland Firefighter Appreciation Day” on June 20, 2024, when they host the Minnesota Twins. Of every ticket sold, $5 will go to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. Image courtesy of the Seattle Mariners. 

Support the Wildland Firefighter Foundation at a Seattle Mariners’ game!

In addition to the Fireline 5K, NIFC is also sponsoring “National Wildland Firefighter Appreciation Day” in partnership with the Seattle Mariners when they take on the Minnesota Twins on Sunday, June 30, 2024, at 1:10 p.m. at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.  

Of every ticket sold, $5 will benefit the Wildland Firefighter Foundation and its mission to help families of firefighters killed in the line of duty and to assist injured firefighters and their families.

"These types of events are a great way to raise money for firefighters who have been injured or worse, that lose their life," said Burk Minor, executive director of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. "Having the Wildland Firefighter Foundation involved is a great way for the community to know who we are and how to get involved in helping these unsung heroes."

 Image of mountains with the text, “In Boise, the Wildland Firefighter Foundation prepares to assist survivors and families of the fallen.”
 The Wildland Firefighter Foundation, who co-sponsored the Fireline 5K and will receive $5 for every ticket purchased for the Seattle Mariners’ baseball game on June 20, 2024, focuses on helping the families of firefighters killed in the line of duty and assisting injured firefighters and their families. They honor and acknowledge the past, present, and future members of the wildland fire community, and partner with private and interagency organizations to bring recognition to wildland firefighters. Image courtesy of the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. 

The U.S. Forest Service Honor Guard will present the colors prior to the game and a special wildfire survivor will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

This fun-filled family event is being held in in cooperation with the Wildland Firefighter Foundation, the Seattle Mariners and interagency wildland fire partners in the Pacific Northwest.  

Image of six members of the Forest Service honor guard, three of whom are holding the U.S. flag, and two Forest Service Flags. Two other members are holding pulaskis at their sides.
 The U.S. Forest Service Honor Guard will present the colors at the Seattle Mariners baseball game on June 20 on “Wildland Firefighter Appreciation Day.” The mission of the USDA Forest Service Honor Guard is to honor and remember Forest Service employees who have sacrificed their lives for the safety and security of national forests, employees and the public. The Honor Guard is proud to honor these employees by providing full honors funeral and graveside services and by participating in ceremonies and official events when called upon by the Forest Service. USDA Forest Service photo. 

More information about the game is available at this Seattle Mariners’ website.

Host your own National Wildland Firefighter Day event!

National Wildland Firefighter Day was established in 2022. For more information, including a toolkit to assist federal, state and local agencies and organizations in holding their own events, visit:  https://www.nifc.gov/nwffd


https://www.fs.usda.gov/features/honoring-wildland-firefighters-through-july-2-2024