Every year, wildfires threaten the vegetation and homes of many different communities in a number of states. In June of 2013, lightning strikes in Arizona ignited brush blazes which quickly consumed a few hundred acres. However, by the end of June, drought conditions and scorching temperatures helped fuel the Yarnell Hill Fire that eventually destroyed more than 8,000 acres.
Trapped in a boxed canyon while fighting the inferno, a team of Granite Mountain Hotshots lost their lives. The men became known as the Granite Mountain 19. At the end of June every year since, local residents host a memorial dinner to honor the Granite Mountain 19 who died during the Yarnell Hill Fire.
The Wildland Firefighter Foundation
Fighting wildfires comes at a cost for equipment and the wages paid to those dedicated to extinguishing the blazes. The cost all too often also results in personal injury or a loss of human lives. In 1987, Vicki Minor determined to find a way to assist injured firefighters and families who lost loved ones while acting in the line of duty. She established the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. The organization was founded to help people like the surviving loved ones of the Granite Mountain 19 who were scarred by the Yarnell Hill Fire. The project soon grew and today offers emergency services internationally. The function of the organization depends on the generous donations of caring and concerned citizens.
Protect Our West Campaign
In 2014, the MillerCoors brewing company started the Protect Our West campaign, which was designed to raise funds for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. The corporation raised more than $250,000 by donating a portion of the proceeds gained from the sales of their Coors Banquet beer. The success of the campaign influenced the company to annually continue their efforts. In order to spread the word, MillerCoors creates radio and television advertising to enlist the aid of as many people as possible. The Cowboy Lifestyle Network plays its part in the Protect Our West initiative by helping spread the word about the campaign and providing information concerning the cause.
In addition to raising funds for the cause, the brewer is very much interested in honoring the men and women who risk their lives to contain wildfires. To do this, the company requests that anyone having action photographs or video footage capturing the heroic efforts of wildland firefighters in the line of duty share their media with MillerCoors.
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