BLM firefighter Brett Stearns to be remembered

Brett Stearns

Engine Captain Brett Stearns who passed away in a tree falling accident on June 26 will be remembered during funeral services at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Chapel, 1295 W. Ninth St., in Craig, Colorado. (map)

From the Steamboat Pilot & Today:

Stearns was working on a project with about 12 other Bureau of Land Management firefighters when he was struck by a falling tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Stearns was an engine captain and had worked in the fire program for the BLM Little Snake Field Office in Craig since 1999.

“He was a leader,” said Lynn Barclay, a BLM fire mitigation/education specialist with the Little Snake Field Office. “People looked up to him. He had the capability to inspire people, all those around him, to go the distance and do their best.

“He was a wonderful person.”

Stearns is survived by his wife, mother, father, brother and half sister, the BLM reported.

John Husband, Little Snake Field Office manager, said Stearns was a brave public servant.

“On behalf of the Little Snake Field Office and the Northwest Colorado Interagency Fire Management Unit, I offer my condolences to the family and friends of Brett Stearns,” Husband said in the news release. “He dedicated his life to protecting the lives and property of the public. Firefighting is a dangerous profession, and firefighter safety is the number one priority on fires and projects such as this.”

There are more than 40 active firefighters working for the BLM’s offices in Meeker, Kremmling and Craig.

Barclay said Stearns’ death has been hard on his fellow firefighters and BLM officials.

“The fire community is a family,” she said. “We’re tight-knit, close. It’s hit everyone very hard, but people are banding together and supporting the Stearns family and looking at how we can best remember Brett and honor him.”

Stearns was “always eager” to work with children on fire education and prevention programs at area schools, Barclay said, and he was a mentor to new recruits. Stearns served as an instructor at times with the Colorado Wildfire and Incident Management Academy.

“He was a really kind and caring person,” Barclay said.

“He was someone that is well respected and held in high regard by his peers, and not just locally, but across the country.”

11 thoughts on “BLM firefighter Brett Stearns to be remembered”

  1. While this is a real tragedy for the family and co-workers of Brett Stearns, keep in mind that this was not a fire related event, rather a hazard tree removal projerct near a recreation site. The hazards are still there for everyone working in the woods, even when there is no smoke in the air.

  2. I was in shock when I saw Brett Stearns’ name in the newspaper. I went to school with him and his brother. I had Brett with a teacher named Spears. We wish him well. God bless him and his family.

  3. This was an accident that no one wants to happen. With all the beetle kill trees in the forests and many individuals not wanting the "poor trees" cut down is not right. These men were out there doing a job to make the forests safe and better to look at when in fact something should have been done long before it got to this point. Now that Brett lost his life, maybe someone will take the situation with the trees more serious before another firefighter has to pay the price.

  4. Our thoughts and prayers are with Brett’s family and friends. Us in the fire fighting community always hate to hear about these . Just re-inforces our safety awareness. New folks take heed Brett was an experienced firefighter. We must always keep our head in the game. Again our thoughts and prayers are comming your way from Idaho and Montana

  5. Had the opportunity to work with Brett for one season. A great leader and roll model. My condolences to the family and friends of Brett Stearns.

  6. Brett is my brother and all I can say is a person with his drive is very rare; if you knew him you know what I’m talking about. Brett made everyone around him a better person in one way or another. Brett died doing his job, which he loved. I can only hope I can go out while doing what I love. Thank you for all the prayers and support. I would also like to thank the Federation of fallen fire fighters.

  7. brett is my cousin and a he will be missed i love him very much i wish i had known sooner it is heart breaking to find out that such an amazing person is gone he was such a great influence and had such drive and i am in shock he is gone. he was so full of life.

  8. i never got to meet brett but i wish i could of met him i heard alot about him he sounded like a real cool guy he is missed every second of every minute of every hour of everyday. he lived his life to the fullest and he went to heaven doing what he loved.

  9. IM BRETTS MOM I MISS HIM SO VERY MUCH HE WAS A WONDERFUL AMAZING UNBELEAVABEL SON TREASURE YOUR CHIDREN

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