MODOC COUNTY, Calif. — A U.S. Forest Service wildland firefighter died Monday while fighting a small lightning-strike fire.
Redding.com reported that Luke Sheehy, 28, was a member of the California Smokejumpers based in Redding.
Sheehy was struck by a falling portion of a tree as he battled the Saddle Back Fire in the South Warner Wilderness just before 5 p.m.
Efforts to resuscitate Sheehy were unsuccessful and he was flown by helicopter to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the report.
"Our hearts go out to the family and friends of this brave young smokejumper who lost his life yesterday working with his team to control a blaze on the Modoc National Forest," U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said. "We are launching a full review into the cause of his death to learn everything we can to prevent future tragedies like this."
The Saddle Back Fire is one of several dozen lightning-sparked fires that began at various national forests throughout California on Sunday and Monday.