The California Wildland Firefighter Memorial (CWFM)



This is a tribute to firefighters that have paid the ultimate sacrifice fighting wildland fires in the State of California.


This came about in 1995 when a group of retirees, fire survivors, CAL FIRE, and USDA Forest Service sought to repair and replace missing markers from the Decker Fire of 1959. This fire killed 6 firefighters within the Santa Ana Mountains above Lake Elsinore.


This Memorial is located along its dedicated highway, the Ortega Highway between Elsinore and San Juan Capistrano. A Forest Service picnic area is adjacent to the Memorial, where Highway 74 and the South Main Divide Road intersect.

Remembering California's Fallen Wildland Firefighters

After the 1995 ground breaking ceremony, several concepts for the Memorial arose. All aspects are coordinated partnerships with the USDA Forest Service, CAL FIRE, Orange County Fire Authority and CWFM committee members.

Presently the Memorial site consists of a circular area containing a red brick Maltese cross in the center with a rock wall behind in a semi-circle. Picnic benches and tables are placed around the perimeter with native plants integrated into the Memorial area. The serene tree filled area promotes the tranquility that inspires the Memorial.

Fire plaques on the rock wall give the fire name, county, year and number of fatalities for each fire. Engraved paver bricks with private dedications complete the Maltese cross foreground.

All funding for the Memorial is derived solely from donations, contributions, and service partnerships. Now completed, the Memorial will be maintained through donations and endowments.

There have been over 200 wildland firefighter fatalities in California.

Together lets honor and acknowledge California’s wildland firefighters that have lost their lives in the line of duty protecting our lives and property. 

All donations are welcome for the Memorial and will receive a commemorative pin. Any donations $100 or more are eligible for a brick inscription of their choice. See sample brick below. We appreciate your contributions. Thank you for the help.

Additional Resources: Cal Fire

Get Involved To Help CWFM


The California Wildland Firefighter Memorial has been in existence for 7 years built entirely with contributions. Its sole purpose is to honor anyone who perished fighting wild land fires in California, regardless of agency or position. 

Now that it is established, there is a great need for maintenance funding and we are asking for your assistance!


We are actively seeking donations to create an endowment to perpetuate the Memorial. This includes upkeep, repairs, updating the names on the wall and engraving the Maltese Cross bricks in memoriam.

Please check our web page or telephone us for more information!

Please help us to see this important Memorial continue. You may make contributions through Pay-Pal or by simply mailing a check to the P.O. Box listed above. There is no minimum amount required. Remember all donations are tax deductible.