September 1, 2020 | 3:09 p.m. PDT
A firefighter-EMT from Texas died in a vehicle accident Monday August 31 while working on a wildfire in northern California.
Fox4 News reported the deceased was “…Diana Jones, a firefighter and EMT with the Cresson Volunteer Fire Department, about 25 miles southwest of Fort Worth. Her son was also a member of the department. Each summer, they would work with a company that contracts with the federal government to respond to wildfires in western states.”
A statement from the Mendocino National Forest said two additional firefighters were involved in the accident; one is receiving medical attention for burns to their hand and arm, while the third received no injuries.
The Press Democrat reported that Ms. Jones was widowed and lived in Cresson, Texas. She had been with the Cresson Volunteer Fire Department about five years.
KQED reported Cresson Fire Chief Ron Becker said Tuesday the community was stunned by news of Ms. Jones’ death.
“We’re all numb. We’re shell-shocked. She’ll be sorely missed,” Becker said.
The firefighters were working on the Tatham Fire, part of the August Complex of fires southwest of Red Bluff, when the vehicle accident occurred.
The Cresson Volunteer Fire Department wrote on their Facebook page, “Our department is numbed by the news and we are hurting.”
“This was a tragic incident and our hearts go out to the family, friends, and colleagues of the fallen firefighter,” said Acting Forest Supervisor Sandra Moore. “Right now we are committed to providing support to those involved, while safely continuing firefighting operations.”
California Highway Patrol is currently leading the investigation. Forest Service officials, Federal Southern Area Blue Team Incident Management, and CAL FIRE Incident Management Team 4 are working to support the families, who have been notified.
The August Complex of fires has burned nearly a quarter million acres, 242,941, the Forest Service said Monday morning.
Our sincere condolences go out to Ms. Jones’ family, friends, and co-workers.
Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Tom.