20-year-old Eric Aarseth passed away Monday, September 3, 2018.
Below is an excerpt from an article at KEZI.com posted September 3, 2018:
Springfield, Ore. — A Eugene wildland firefighter has died after he suffered irreversible brain damage after contracting pneumonia, which became septic.
The family of 20-year-old Eric Aarseth tells ABC News just a day after he came home last Monday [August 27] he was found unconscious in his apartment. Eric was taken to PeaceHealth Riverbend Hospital in Springfield. Eric’s family said they’ve made the difficult choice to take him off life support.
Kellie Mathews, a spokesperson for Miller Timber services, tells KEZI 9 Eric passed away Monday afternoon [September 3, 2018].
Eric worked for Miller Timber Service. Mathews said this was Eric’s first year as a firefighter and he battled the Garner Complex Fire in southern Oregon and the Horns Mountain Fire in Washington.
“We’re heartbroken for the family and friends of our firefighter, Eric Aarseth,” said Lee Miller, President of Miller Timber Services in a statement. “It’s devastating to lose any member of our team and Eric seemed to have found his passion and purpose on the fire line.”
“We take our responsibility to our firefighters seriously and I’m confident we did our best for Eric,” Miller said. “In order to ensure we continue to take good care of our employees, we plan to review our training and support materials, fire line resources, and protocols.”
(end of excerpt)
We send our sincere condolences to the friends, family, and co-workers of Mr. Aarseth.
Draper City, Utah has identified the firefighter that was killed August 13 on the Mendocino Complex as Draper Battalion Chief Matthew Burchett. He leaves behind his wife and their 6-year-old son.
Below is a press release that the city issued today.
Press Release 8/14/2018 from Draper City.
1020 East Pioneer Rd. Draper, UT 84020
August 14, 2018
Draper Battalion Chief Dies Fighting Mendocino Fire
DRAPER, Utah. – It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the tragic loss of one of our own. Last night while fighting the Mendocino Complex Wildfire in California, Draper Battalion Chief Matthew Burchett lost his life in the line of duty. Draper deployed five fire fighters to California on August 2nd, and the team has worked tirelessly to protect lives and property. The entire community of Draper is grieving our loss.
Chief Burchett came to Draper City Fire Department in May of this year. Prior to working for Draper, he worked for Unified Fire Authority for the past 20 years. Chief Burchett had extensive experience in wildland and structure fire. Chief Burchett leaves behind a wife and a young son. He was 42 years old.
This is not only a loss for our Draper Fire Department, but a loss for all fire departments in the Nation.
We appreciate all the heartfelt support from the Draper Community, Cal Fire, the State of Utah, and our family of firefighters from across the nation.
At this time, we ask for some privacy for Chief Burchett’s family as they process this tragedy.
In the coming days we will have information about funeral plans, a donation fund for Matt’s family and more details as they become available.
Another release issued by Draper City on August 14 included a statement from the Fire Chief:
Draper City’s Fire Chief Clint Smith is out of the country and he has given us his statement about this tragic event.
“Draper City Fire Department has no words to describe the depth of sorrow we are feeling upon learning of the death of Battalion Chief Matt Burchett while assisting with the devastating California Wildfires. Matt is a true hero who has given the ultimate sacrifice while serving others. Matt is a strong leader and experienced wildland firefighter who always put the safety and needs of his subordinates first, but most of all, Matt was a devoted husband and loving father. His family was his world. We are grateful to those fellow firefighters that were with Matt and for the immediate aid they were able to render. We pray for all firefighters, friend and family affected by this tragic loss. This event has rocked our small department to its very core but we will work to honor Matt’s legacy and sacrifice and care for his family.”
(UPDATED at 8:22 a.m. PDT August 14, 2018)
Officials on the Mendocino Complex of Fires reported Monday night that a Utah firefighter who was working on the incident was killed in an accident. No other details or the identity of the person has been released.
Fact finding is ongoing and notification of next of kin is in progress.
We send out our sincere condolences to the firefighter’s friends, family, and co-workers.
The sender of the tweet below is in Draper City, Utah.
Our hearts are breaking as we announce the loss of one of Draper City’s firefighters in the Mendocino Fire last night. Words cannot explain how it feels to lose a true hero. We sent five of our team members to California to battle these terrible fires. A very sad day in Draper. pic.twitter.com/xwblMVzzJt
It has been a tragic summer in California. Five other agency employees or contractors have died in the line of duty in the last month while working on wildfires in the state:
-Andrew Jason Brake, a heavy equipment mechanic, died August 9 on the Carr Fire. –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. Typos or errors, report them HERE.
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.
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. Typos or errors, report them HERE.
The National Park Service has identified the firefighter who was killed Sunday morning July 29 while battling the Ferguson Fire on the Sierra National Forest in California west of Yosemite National Park. It was Captain Brian Hughes of the Arrowhead Hotshots.
The incident occurred just before 9:30 a.m. Captain Hughes and his crew were engaged in a tactical firing operation on the east side of the fire. In an area with a large amount of tree mortality, he was struck by a falling tree. Captain Hughes was treated at the scene, but passed away before he could be transported to a hospital.
Another firefighter has been killed while working on the Ferguson Fire west of Yosemite National Park in California.
The Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that Sunday morning July 29 while battling the Ferguson Fire on the Sierra National Forest, a Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park firefighter suffered a fatal injury.
The incident occurred just before 9:30 a.m. At the time, the firefighter and his crew were engaged in a tactical firing operation on the east side of the fire. They were operating in an area with a large amount of tree mortality. The firefighter was struck by a tree. He was treated on scene, but passed away before he could be transported to a hospital.
“The team at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park is devastated by this terrible news,” says Park Superintendent Woody Smeck in a statement released July 29. “Our deepest condolences go out to the firefighter’s family and loved ones. We grieve this loss with you.”
Further public information will be made available once the firefighter’s family has been notified.
The firefighter was escorted to the Stanislaus County Coroner’s office in Modesto, Calif., Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
The Ferguson Fire has burned over 54,000 acres since it started July 13, 2018.
Heavy Fire Equipment Operator Braden Varney was killed July 14, when his dozer rolled in steep terrain on the Ferguson Fire.
The number of fatalities on the Carr Fire rose to five Saturday when officials confirmed that two young children and their great-grandmother were found dead. James Roberts, 5, and Emily Roberts, 4, were stranded with Melody Bledsoe, 70, when the fire ran through the family’s property July 26 outside Redding, California.
To see all of the articles about the Carr Fire, including the most current, click HERE.
That same day two firefighters were also killed at approximately 6:40 pm when a dramatic increase in fire behavior occurred on the east side of the Carr Fire. Entrapped in a burn over were a call when needed contract dozer operator, Don Ray Smith, 81, of Pollock Pines and Redding fire Inspector Jeremy Stoke who had been with the Fire Department since 2004.
Also on July 26 three firefighters from Marin County were injured on the fire. They were treated at a hospital in Redding for burns to the ears, face, and hands, the department’s release said. One is receiving additional evaluation at the UC Davis Burn Center.
Our sincere condolences go out to the families, friends, and co-workers of these eight victims.