Fallen Calif. U.S. Forest Service firefighter returns home
Firefighter Brent Witham was killed in the line of duty in Montana when a tree fell on him while battling a wildfire
By FireRescue1 Staff
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, Calif. — A fallen U.S. Forest Service firefighter returned home from Montana after being killed in the line of duty.
Redlands Daily Facts reported that Brent Witham made his final journey home in an orange-and-white Forest Service airplane that is usually used to transport parachute firefighters. Witham’s colleagues, the Vista Grand Hotshots, stood at the tarmac with their caps over their hearts as they stood at attention.
Mourners who had never met Witham also came to pay their respects.
“We felt compelled to come out to honor and show respect and condolences to the firefighters, families and Brent,” Carmen Marquez said.
The casket was transported into a hearse, and a procession of firefighters escorted him to a mortuary. They passed the San Bernardino National Forest Supervisor’s Office, where a long row of U.S. Forest Service engines were parked along the road to show respect.
“It’s real important to show support today because we’re basically the same; we just have a different name,” Arroyo Grande Hotshot Capt. Phil Hernandez said. “The hotshot community is tight.”