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The U.S. Forest Service confirmed Tuesday that a firefighter was killed while fighting a lightning-strike fire in the Modoc National Forest on Monday.
According to Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, 28-year-old smokejumper Luke Sheehy was killed after being struck by a dead tree just before 5 p.m.
Sheehy, a member of the Redding-based California Smokejumpers, was helping to battle the Saddle Back Fire in the South Warner Wilderness about 15 miles southeast of Alturas.
Efforts to resuscitate Sheehy were not successful. He was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Alturas where he was pronounced dead.
Sheehy is the son of Doug and Lynn Sheehy. Lynn Sheehy is the Plumas County Librarian. Doug Sheehy is an adjunct faculty in the music department at Lassen Community College in Susanville.
“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of this brave young smokejumper who lost his life yesterday working with his team to control a blaze on the Modoc National Forest,” Tidwell said. “We are launching a full review in the cause of his death to learn everything we can to prevent future tragedies like this.”
According to the Forest Service, the Saddle Back Fire is one of several lightning-caused fires that ignited in Northern California on Sunday and Monday.
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