National Wildfire Coordinating Group

2023 Week of Remembrance

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Letter to Leadership

May we never stop learning.


As we approach the Week of Remembrance (WOR) for fire year 2023, we all take a moment to reflect on the wildland fire incidents that took the lives of many of our brothers and sisters. Since 2014, we have been honoring the fallen while also providing a deeper look into the incidents and discussing lessons learned. This year, ‘A Time to Reflect’ theme was established to look back at some incidents that may have fallen off the radar but still provide lessons to learn. Also, setting aside time to discuss these seven incidents more in depth and incorporating the action items.

Unfortunately, honoring the fallen can be a double-edged sword that affects individuals in different ways. How do you navigate the ‘anniversary effect’ after a loss or highly stressful event? It is common to experience heightened emotions and memories leading up to and on the anniversary date. While anniversaries during the first years after a loss can be particularly difficult, it is normal for anniversary reactions to occur years after an event. Memories and emotions of these incidents and the loss of loved ones often resurface. This year, as we take a moment to honor our fallen, please also remember it is important to 'check in' with those around us who may be impacted and ensure they know there is a support system. They are not alone. The wildland fire community is a close-knit family, and it takes all of us to ensure that no one feels alone during difficult times. A simple phone call, text, or just stopping by goes a long way.

Mental Health is a priority for all agencies and the WOR is a time when our brothers and sisters need our support the most.


Week of Remembrance
Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
Jun 2023

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