For immediate release: 8:00 AM – Tuesday, January 22, 2019  

Funds from a statewide fundraising effort to raise money for areas affected by Colorado’s summer fires are going to the Upper Huerfano Fire Protection District (UHFPD) in Gardner. Colorado’s 2018 wildfire season was one of the worst on record, affecting communities all over the state.

“This small, all-volunteer fire department is very deserving of this donation. They should be very proud of their professional response to the Spring Fire. They did a wonderful job protecting our community and their own lives with the limited resources they have,” Colorado Energy Educational Institute (CEEI) Board member Ray Garcia said. Garcia also serves on San Isabel Electric’s Board of Directors, representing San Isabel Electric member-owners in the Gardner and eastern Trinidad areas.

Mike Cortes , the Chairman of the UHPFD Board of Directors said the money will likely be used for several firefighter needs, such as new breathing apparatuses used during structure and vehicle fire calls or winter firefighter coats. Currently the department only has a few coats and in only two sizes.

“We never expected anyone to help out the fire department financially after the Spring Fire and are very grateful to those who thought of our fire department,” Cortes said.

“We would like to thank the readers of “Colorado Country Life” and the Colorado Rural Electric Association for the generous donation to the Upper Huerfano Fire Department. This recognition of volunteer firefighters is special to us. We could never do this work without the support of the community and many other volunteers. Thanks to all,” UHFPD Fire Chief Joseph Pfander said.

Electric co-ops and readers of a statewide electric co-op magazine, Colorado Country Life, raised $3,185 in 2018. The money was donated to the Colorado Rural Electric Association’s non-profit, CEEI. At its October meeting, the CEEI board voted to send the money raised to the Upper Huerfano Fire Protection District in Gardner.

The Upper Huerfano Fire Protection District is also a member-owner of San Isabel Electric. The Spring Fire, in the summer of 2018, grew to become the third largest wildfire in Colorado history. In just a matter of weeks, more than 108,045 acres were burned, 218 homes destroyed in Huerfano and Costilla Counties.


As a not-for-profit cooperative utility, San Isabel Electric provides affordable, reliable electricity with exceptional service to communities throughout southern Colorado. Serving nearly 20,000 member-owners and 24,000 meters, San Isabel Electric has been keeping the lights on since 1938. We don’t just serve communities. We are part of communities.