Firefighter-engineer, retired CAL FIRE captain dies battling Calif. wildfire

Officials said Big Pine Volunteer Fire Department Engineer Pete Hein died from an "acute medical emergency" while fighting the Stagecoach Fire

Duty Death: Peter Hein - [Big Pine, California]

End of Service: 08/11/2020

By Laura French

KERN COUNTY, Calif. — A California firefighter-engineer died due to an "acute medical emergency" while battling the 7,700-acre Stagecoach Fire, officials said Tuesday. 

The Big Pine Volunteer Fire Department identified the fallen firefighter as Engineer Pete Hein, a member of the Big Pine department for more than five years and a retired CAL FIRE captain in Bishop. 

The California Interagency Incident Management Team 15 said in a media advisory Tuesday that Hein was working in a support role at the Incident Command Post for the Stagecoach Fire in Kern County when he died due to complications from a medical emergency. 

Hein was previously a firefighter for Inyo National Forest before joining CAL FIRE, according to the Big Pine Volunteer Fire Department. 

"He was active in helping Dispatch, sharpening tools in his spare time and his knowledge of Wildland firefighting during our annual refresher class every spring," the department wrote in a Facebook post. "Pete's sense of humor was great! He will be missed by the BP Fire Dept Family." 

Hein is survived by two sons, Keenan and Trevor. 


With great sadness that BP Fire lowers it’s Flag to Half Staff for passing of Engineer Pete Hein. He’s been a member of...

Posted by Big Pine Volunteer Fire Department on Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The Stagecoach Fire, which began on August 3, was 83% contained as of Tuesday morning, according to the Bureau of Land Management, Central California District. More than 750 personnel have battled the blaze. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. 

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