Smokejumper Dies in California Blaze

Killed by falling tree


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A falling tree struck and killed a smokejumper while he was fighting a wildfire in Northern California, prompting a review of the incident.

Luke Sheehy, 28, was a Redding-based firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service, specially trained to parachute into hard-to-access areas and combat blazes. He fighting the Saddle Back fire in the Modoc National Forest, one of dozens of lightning-sparked fires that blazed up in northeast California over Sunday and Monday. 

Governor Jerry Brown said Sheehy, who had previously served five seasons as a firefighter for CAL FIRE, was a “young man who devoted his life to protecting his fellow Californians.” Flags will fly at half-staff in his honor at the California State Capitol.