BLM Fireﬁghter Dies While Working on Texas BlazeAn Idaho firefighter died while battling a wild fire in north central Texas Thursday afternoon, possibly a victim of the extreme heat that has gripped the region in the last few weeks, officials said.
Caleb Hamm, 24, died as he was working with a firefighting crew on the 337 Fire near Mineral Wells, according to the Texas Forest Service.Officials said Hamm, of Boise, Idaho, collapsed while he was working on the fire line. He died while he was being rushed to a nearby hospital.
An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of his death, but initial indications are the extreme heat in the region was a primary factor, officials said.Temperatures climbed to triple digits in the area Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.
Officials said the 337 Fire has blackened 932 acres and is 75 percent contained.Hamm was a member of the Bureau of Land Management's Bonneville Interagency Hotshot crew, based in Salt Lake City, Utah. He had been a seasonal firefighter for six years. This was his first assignment as member of a hotshot crew."Our entire organization deeply mourns the death of one of our own, Caleb Hamm," said Robert V. Abbey, BLM's national director. "His passing gives us pause to consider what truly matters in life. We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to his family, friends and members of his crew."
Since fire season began Nov. 15 in the state, firefighters have responded to 14,069 fires that have burned more than 3.2 million acres.