Friday, September 23, 2016

Wildland Firefighter Fatalities (2016) - RIP

The recent death of Ryan Osler (38) on September 21st when a water tender rolled over en route to the Canyon Fire on Vandenberg Airbase is a reminder that wildland firefighter, and any firefighting for that matter, is dangerous.

There are always a number of wildland firefighter deaths each year in the United States and around the world and 2016 year to date is no exception. Always Remember, a site that "provides a permanent location to collect, organize, maintain, preserve, and share current and historical incidents in which wildland firefighters lost their lives, to remember our fallen firefighters, their contributions, and the lessons learned from their lives or in their passing (obtained from Always Remember on September 23, 2016)." I went to Always Remember just now to see who has died in 2016 (as of September 23, 2016). Always Remember maintains a list of wildland firefighters (by incident) who have died in the United States, with the latest on top, that may be found on the Always Remember Incident Page.

Please join me in remembering each of these fallen wildland firefighters who died to keep us safe, prayers for their families, friends, colleagues, and all who love them. May you all Rest in Peace. Thank-you for your service.

  • Shawana Jones (22) died on February 26. 2016 on a small wildfire in the Santa Monica National Recreation Area.
  • Jacob O'Malley (27) and Will Hawkins (22) died on July 10, 2016 died when their BLM vehicle rolled while returning from wildfire patrol duty near Denlo Nevada.
  • Charles Waterbury (56) died on July 24, 2016 after suffering from a medical emergency while fighting a wildfire near Lyme New Hampshire.
  • Robert Reagan (35) died on July 26, 2016 when the Bull Dozer he was driving while working the Soberanes Fire (Monterey County, CA) rolled over.
  • Justin Beebe (26) died on August 13, 2016 died in tree felling accident while his Hotshot crew, the Lolo Interagency Hotshot Crew was working the Straberry Fire (Great Basin National Park in Nevada).
  • Ian Howard (36) died of unknown causes during the night of August 20-21, 2016. His engine crew was positioned to work a wildfire on the Mendocino National Forest (near the Paskenta Work Center).
  • Alan Swartz (25) and Jimmy Shelifoe (23) members of the Beartown (Michigan) Firefighter Crew died on August 27, 2016 when their crew transport vehicle was in a motor vehicle accident in Minnesota. The Beartown Firefighter Crew was on their way to the Box Canyon Fire in Utah.
  • Ryan Osler (38) of the Ventura County CA Fire Department died on September 21, 2016 when his water tender rolled over en route to the Canyon Fire on Vandenberg Airbase.

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