20 Years of Wildland Fire Fund
On June 21, 2002, El Pomar Foundation announced the establishment of its ambitious Wildland Fire Fund to assist with fire protection and prevention during an extremely hazardous fire season which included the Hayman and Missionary Ridge fires. Upon the Fund’s creation, El Pomar Trustees committed up to $5 million for the immediate needs of qualifying volunteer fire departments and fire districts.
Priority was placed on volunteer agencies serving small fire protection districts to ensure support for groups who were stretched too thin and under-resourced to seek funding assistance for supplies and equipment. A command center was established at El Pomar headquarters to proactively connect with agencies and deploy funding where it was needed most.
Over the years, the Fund has evolved and adapted to the needs of firefighting agencies and responded to many more incidents impacting the people of Colorado, their property, and our treasured natural ecosystems. Another $5 million was added to the initial commitment, bringing the total Fund allocation to $10 million, and the Fund has become a core component of El Pomar’s annual grant making.
This year, we recognize twenty years of this critical Fund and will continue to share and reflect back on the moments of the Fund’s impact. To date, more than $6 million has been granted to districts all over the state and the work will continue to support prevention and protection efforts across Colorado.