PRINEVILLE, OR -- Crews will begin Friday repairing Prineville's Wildland Firefighter Monument, two weeks after it was vandalized. Duane Garner, with Crook County Parks and Rec, says it's troubling to see a memorial to such bravery disrespected. "It basically, I think got climbed on, and parts and pieces got broken off," Garner Tells KBND News, "How deliberate is hard to say, no one actually saw who did it, or what exactly happened."
The monument was erected in honor of a 1994 tragedy, "This was a memorial that was dedicated to firefighters that were killed in a Colorado fire," says Garner. Nine of the 14 killed were Prineville Hotshots, "The parents of the firefighters got together initially and then they built the memorial. It was a wildfire that they got trapped in, and it was really a tragic event."
Parks and Rec has a dedicated account to maintain the three-statue monument, but the agency didn't have enough to pay fix it. So, Garner says, one resident created a way for the community to help, "This GoFundMe account was dedicated to Raise funds to fix it, and within about 6 days, over $16,000 was raised to do just that. It was just a wonderful response from this community and those even outside this community; there was donations that came from all over the place."
That immense outpouring of support is more than enough for the repairs. Garner says, "We're going to try to put some surveillance cameras up in the area, and we're also going to be redoing the lighting that was once there, and adding a little bit more to keep the area lit at night." The work should be done by early next week.