Oregon firefighter killed Friday

A 21-year-old federal firefighter was killed in an on-duty vehicle accident on Friday, August 4, near Powers, Oregon. Benjamin Sapper from Boulder, Colorado was a handcrew member on the Gold Beach Ranger District of the Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest in southwest Oregon.

“This is a devastating loss of one of our own Gold Beach firefighters,” District Ranger Kailey Guerrant told KATU-TV. “We have a tight-knit community on the Gold Beach and Powers Ranger Districts, and we stand together in grief and support for his family, friends, and fellow firefighters during this heartbreaking time.”

Benjamin Sapper
Benjamin Sapper photo courtesy USFS

Benjamin graduated from Boulder High School and the University of Colorado with a degree in Applied Mathematics.

KDRV-TV reported that Sapper was on duty and traveling with his crew when their rig was involved in a vehicle crash. Coquille Fire & Rescue said the vehicle left the roadway above the community of Powers.

Sapper was an avid baseball player, chess player, and skier who planned to attend grad school in earth sciences this fall at the University of British Columbia.

Our sincere condolences to his family and friends, and to his co-workers on the Gold Beach crew.