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Thread: Four Killed in Helicopter Crash At Idaho Wildfire

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    Four Killed in Helicopter Crash At Idaho Wildfire

    Probe begins into fatal helicopter crash at Idaho wildfire

    JESSE HARLAN ALDERMAN
    Associated Press Writer
    August 15, 2006

    BOISE, Idaho (AP)

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    Stone, Quin R.

    Age: 42
    Cause of Death: Vehicle Collision
    Rank: Pilot
    Nature of Death: Trauma
    Classification: Wildland Contract
    Emergency Duty: Yes

    Incident Date: 08/13/2006
    Duty Type: On-Scene Fire
    Incident Time: 17:36
    Activity Type: Driving/Operating Vehicle/Apparatus
    Death Date: 08/13/2006
    Fixed Prop. Use: Outdoor Property

    Fire Dept. Info:
    US Forest Service, Payette National Forest
    PO Box 1026
    800 West Lakeside Ave.
    McCall , Idaho 83638
    Chief: Forest Supervisor Suzanne Rainville

    Initial Summary:
    A wildland contract pilot and three Payette National Forest workers on fire suppression duty died when their helicopter crashed while they were enroute to a guard station. The cause of the crash is still to be determined.

    Memorial Fund Info:
    Donations in lieu of flowers can be sent to the Wildland Firefighters Foundation in Quin

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    Zajanc, Monica Lee

    Age: 27
    Cause of Death: Vehicle Collision
    Rank: Firefighter
    Nature of Death: Trauma
    Classification: Wildland Part-Time
    Emergency Duty: Yes

    Incident Date: 08/13/2006
    Duty Type: On-Scene Fire
    Incident Time: 17:36
    Activity Type: Riding Vehicle/Apparatus
    Death Date: 08/13/2006
    Fixed Prop. Use: Outdoor Property

    Fire Dept. Info:
    US Forest Service, Payette National Forest
    PO Box 1026
    800 West Lakeside Ave.
    McCall , Idaho 83638
    Chief: Forest Supervisor Suzanne Rainville

    Initial Summary:
    A wildland contract pilot and three Payette National Forest workers on fire suppression duty died when their helicopter crashed while they were enroute to a guard station. The cause of the crash is still to be determined.

    Memorial Fund Info:
    Donations in lieu of flowers can be sent to the Wildland Firefighters Foundation in Monica's name at http://wffoundation.org or by phone at (208) 336-2996.


    http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/applications...eath_year=2006

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    Lewis, Michael Gene

    Age: 37
    Cause of Death: Vehicle Collision
    Rank: Firefighter/Assistant Helitack Manager
    Nature of Death: Trauma
    Classification: Wildland Full-Time
    Emergency Duty: Yes

    Incident Date: 08/13/2006
    Duty Type: On-Scene Fire
    Incident Time: 17:36
    Activity Type: Riding Vehicle/Apparatus
    Death Date: 08/13/2006
    Fixed Prop. Use: Outdoor Property

    Fire Dept. Info:
    US Forest Service, Payette National Forest
    PO Box 1026
    800 West Lakeside Ave.
    McCall , Idaho 83638
    Chief: Forest Supervisor Suzanne Rainville

    Initial Summary:
    A wildland contract pilot and three Payette National Forest workers on fire suppression duty died when their helicopter crashed while they were enroute to a guard station. The cause of the crash is still to be determined.

    Memorial Fund Info:
    Donations in lieu of flowers can be sent to the Wildland Firefighters Foundation in Mike's name at http://wffoundation.org or by phone at (208) 336-2996.


    http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/applications...eath_year=2006

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    Patten, Lillian M.

    Age: 32
    Cause of Death: Vehicle Collision
    Rank: Firefighter/Lookout
    Nature of Death: Trauma
    Classification: Wildland Part-Time
    Emergency Duty: Yes

    Incident Date: 08/13/2006
    Duty Type: On-Scene Fire
    Incident Time: 17:36
    Activity Type: Riding Vehicle/Apparatus
    Death Date: 08/13/2006
    Fixed Prop. Use: Outdoor Property

    Fire Dept. Info:
    US Forest Service, Payette National Forest
    PO Box 1026
    800 West Lakeside Ave.
    McCall , Idaho 83638
    Chief: Forest Supervisor Suzanne Rainville

    Initial Summary:
    A wildland contract pilot and three Payette National Forest workers on fire suppression duty died when their helicopter crashed while they were enroute to a guard station. The cause of the crash is still to be determined.

    Memorial Fund Info:
    Donations in lieu of flowers can be sent to the Wildland Firefighters Foundation in Lillian

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    Flags to fly at half staff over Idaho Capitol Saturday

    10:28 AM MDT on Friday, August 18, 2006

    KTVB

    BOISE -- Governor Jim Risch has declared that flags will fly at half-staff at the State Capitol and other state buildings tomorrow and next Saturday, August 26th for the three Forest Service employees and a pilot who died last Sunday in a helicopter crash in the Payette National Forest.

    Two memorial services are scheduled for this weekend.

    A memorial service will be held for Monica Lee Zajanc on Saturday.

    It will be held at 4 p.m. at Brundage Mountain in McCall.

    The Mike Lewis memorial service will at 1 p.m. at Jug Mountain Ranch at in Donnelly.

    Memorial services for Quin Stone and Lillian May Patten are scheduled for Saturday, August 26th.

    Stone

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    Families Mourn Helicopter Crash Victims
    August 15, 2006

    Idaho - In the rugged, heavily wooded backcountry of the Payette National Forest, a blackened tangle of metal on a dirt road marks the spot where three firefighters and a pilot died Sunday when their helicopter crashed. "Oh, my gosh, it's burned completely," the pilot's father, Bryan Stone, said Monday when he saw televised photos of the crash site. "That wasn't recognizable as an aircraft."

    His son, 42-year-old Quin R. Stone of Emmett, died in the crash along with firefighters Michael Gene Lewis, 37, of Cascade, Monica Lee Zajanc, 27, of Boise and a third firefighter whose name has not been released pending notification of next of kin.

    The family of Zajanc declined to comment Monday. Attempts to contact family members of the other crash victims were unsuccessful.

    It's unclear what caused the single engine A Star helicopter to crash about 18 miles west of Yellow Pine, near the confluence of the South Fork of the Salmon and Secesh rivers, Payette National Forest spokesman Boyd Hartwig said.

    A Forest Service accident investigation team and a National Transportation Safety Board representative are scheduled to investigate the crash site today to determine the cause of the accident.

    Fires are burning across central and southern Idaho, including more than a dozen on the Payette National Forest that have engulfed the McCall area in smoke.

    Forest managers have closed parts of Lick Creek Road and South Fork of the Salmon River Road due to fire danger, Hartwig said. The helicopter crashed on South Fork of the Salmon River Road.

    The firefighters who died Sunday were part of the Krassel Helitack team based at the Krassel Guard Station; Stone flew for Evergreen Helicopter, an Oregon company that was contracting with the forest to ferry personnel.

    Lewis had worked as a firefighter for the Payette National Forest since 1988, and Zajanc has worked for the U.S. Forest Service since 1999, moving to Krassel in 2004.

    The helicopter was ferrying the firefighters to the Krassel Guard Station, though there are conflicting reports of where it was coming from, Hartwig said. He said the firefighters were not assigned to any particular fire.

    Quin Stone had been a pilot for about 15 years, his father said. This was Stone's second year working fire season with rappelling crews, he said. He was not married and had no children.

    "It's been pretty painful. A lot of tears," Bryan Stone said. "When you lose your son, you just want to hold him."

    Quin Stone was an athlete who went to high school in the Wood River area. He attended Western State College at Gunnison on a cross country skiing scholarship and also enjoyed kayaking and mountain biking, his father said.

    Sunday's crash was the first fire-related aviation accident in Idaho this year, National Interagency Fire Center spokeswoman Rose Davis said.

    Denise Cobb, who works in the Payette National Forest's Council station, drove to McCall after the crash to help her co-workers deal with the crush of phone calls.

    She said she fielded calls all day from media, worried firefighters and relatives, and other national forest workers offering condolences.

    At 4:30 p.m. Monday, a co-worker handed her a sandwich, the first time she had eaten since 5 a.m. Cobb said accidents such as Sunday's helicopter crash ripple throughout the fire community.

    "We're a family; people are really close," she said.

    Cobb, whose husband is a wildland firefighter, said she's had friends die in three separate helicopter accidents, but she did not know the firefighters who died Sunday.

    "Helicopters are sort of a way of life for firefighters, but it certainly doesn't make it easier when someone dies," she said.

    Written by The Idaho Statesman


    http://www.firefightingnews.com/arti...rticleID=15522

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