CAL FIRE employee killed on the Carr Fire in Northern California

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, CAL FIRE, announced that a heavy equipment mechanic for the agency was killed while assigned to the Carr Fire near Redding, California. Andrew Jason Brake died August 9 due to a single vehicle accident while assigned to the fire that has burned 177,000 acres west of the city.

From the Sacramento Bee:

Brake was headed north on 99, just south of Tehama Vina Road in Tehama, when the road made a slight curve to the left, California Highway Patrol officer Ken Reineman said. Brake “failed to maintain his path,” drifted off the road to the right and hit a tree. His vehicle, believed to be a pickup truck, was engulfed in flames, Reineman said. Brake died in the vehicle fire, Reineman said. The crash occurred at 12:17 a.m., he added.

Our sincere condolences go out to Mr. Brake’s family, friends, and co-workers.

Four other agency employees or contractors have died in the line of duty in the last month while working on wildfires in California:

–Don Ray Smith, contract dozer operator, of Pollock Pines, CA, on the Carr Fire July 26.
–Redding fire Inspector Jeremy Stoke, Fire Inspector for the Redding, CA Fire department, on the Carr Fire July 26.
–Brian Hughes, Captain on National Park Service Arrowhead Hotshots, Ferguson Fire, July 29.
–Braden Varney, CAL FIRE Heavy Fire Equipment Operator, July 14, Ferguson Fire.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Tom and Paula.
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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

2 thoughts on “CAL FIRE employee killed on the Carr Fire in Northern California”

  1. Driving is always hazardous, and even more so at night, on fires, in smoke and after long hours and days on shift. Lots of fire season ahead: be careful, even when doing normal routine tasks.

    1. I am very concerned too. As an ex Army officer I know when I am reading about tired and overworked people. We should be calling up a lot more Army personnel. We can stand the long hours in hard conditions.


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