Category Archives: Communications

Helping crews on the Tenderfoot Fire

WFGI delivered fruit and jerky to Tenderfoot IC. Vice Chairman Deborah Pfingston shares her amazing experience here and how some things come full circle.

Tenderfoot Fire, Yarnell, Az 2016. Photo courtesy of Deborah Pfingston
Tenderfoot Fire, Yarnell, Az 2016. Photo courtesy of Deborah Pfingston

“When I heard there was another fire in Yarnell I honestly couldn’t believe it. And that this fire is in the month of June was very surreal. I cannot put my emotions into words. I got a call from Chairman Roxanne Warneke, “what can we do?” After some conversation it was decided that we would take the crews on the line fresh fruit (strawberries, grapes, cherries) and beef jerky. I wasn’t even sure if it was a location we should even go to. For us and for those working.
But when the IC Commander was contacted it was confirmed it’s what we needed to do. Alan Sinclair was one of the first to offer genuine condolences from the wildland world. At one point I wanted to make daddy dolls for Andrew’s children. I did not want to ask Juliann for one of Andrew’s shirts. So I posted on Facebook the need for one dirty yellow stinkin’ of fire nomax shirt. It wasn’t 20 minutes before I was contacted by Alan he would be bringing me 20 dirty shirts from the Payson hotshot crew. They were coming off a fire they were putting them in my bag and they were giving them to me. Instead of just Andrews four children getting a hotshot doll all of the children from the crew got dolls handpicked by each person. Plus the Prescott hotshot crew got a doll, the Payson crew got a doll, and so did Alan.

Alan Sinclair and Deborah Pfingston at the IC post during the Tenderfoot Fire. Photo courtesy of Deborah Pfingston.
Alan Sinclair and Deborah Pfingston at the IC post during the Tenderfoot Fire. Photo courtesy of Deborah Pfingston.

On Friday, June 10th, 2016¬†when Alan graciously welcomed us to the command center there on his desk was his hotshot doll. When driving in watching the smoke, watching the retardant drops, driving by the tents, the trucks, the crews and the media I felt as if I was all alone just walking through this experience. But when I saw that doll I knew I wasn’t alone – I knew that my son wasn’t forgotten, I knew the crew wasn’t forgotten and I knew that this tragedy of losing these incredible men was not forgotten.

The loss of the 19 had now caused positive change. To “Be Better” there must be good from bad. The positives- Yarnell did several changes. The state of Arizona is instituting several changes. And these changes will save lives. This group, this fire and seeing this doll – all brings a peace which passes all understanding. Thank you, Alan for letting a mom walk where hotshots walk.”