Laguna Hotshot Camp Weather

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Sad Loss

I am saddened to share with you the tragic loss of two of our fine firefighters; 

Crew Superintendent Dale Mendes of the Salyer Type 2 IA crew, stationed on the Lower Trinity Ranger District of the Six Rivers NF; and Jason Price who had been hired as a contractor i.e, Administratively Determined (AD) employee, to meet staffing needs for the Salyer Crew.

Sometime after 10 pm on July 8, 2015, Forest Service employees Dale Mendes and Jason Price died in an off-duty motor vehicle accident near Willow Creek, California. Their vehicle was discovered down a steep embankment upside down in the Trinity River directly across from Camp Kimtu Beach Recreation Area. 

Dale started his career with the USFS in 2004 right out of high school, as a GS-3 firefighter on the Ukonom Hotshots. In 2010, through hard work and recognition as an excellent firefighter, he became a GS-8 Captain on this crew. In 2014, Dale became the Salyer Crew Superintendent. 

Jason was recruited by Dale as an AD firefighter. Jason’s first fire was the Bluff Fire that started the 8th of July on the Orleans RD, the day prior to the accident. The Salyer Crew was assigned as an initial attack resource for this incident. Dale and Jason were from the local area and were long-time friends.

The Region mourns with the Six Rivers National Forest the loss of two of its own. We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and our thoughts are with their family and friends. They will be lovingly remembered and deeply missed by the Region, Six Rivers National Forest, the U.S. Forest Service and the local communities that they called home.

Randy Moore
Regional Forester
Forest Service
Pacific Southwest Region

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