U.S. Forest Service names firefighter killed in El Dorado Fire; Cal blaze sparked in gender-reveal party

Charlie Morton, squad boss, Big Bear Interagency Hotshot Crew. Photo: fs.usda.gov/

SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY, California, Sept. 22, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The U.S. Forest Service has identified the 39-year-old firefighter who was killed Thursday, Sept. 17, while working to suppress the El Dorado Fire in Southern California.

“Charlie Morton, Squad Boss for the Big Bear Interagency Hotshot Crew of the San Bernardino National Forest, was tragically killed during efforts to suppress the El Dorado Fire on their home unit,” USDA Forest Service Chief Vickie Christiansen tweeted Tuesday.

“Our hearts go out to Charlie’s loved ones, friends, coworkers and the Big Bear Hotshots,” the tweet said.

A Forest Service news release on Tuesday said:

Charlie joined the San Bernardino National Forest in 2007 and worked on both the Front Country and Mountaintop ranger districts, for the Mill Creek Interagency Hotshots, Engine 31, Engine 19 and the Big Bear Interagency Hotshots.

His family has asked us to share, “Charlie is survived by his wife and daughter, his parents, two brothers, cousins and friends. He’s loved and will be missed. May he rest easy in heaven with his baby boy.” 

The El Dorado Fire, in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, started Sept. 5 when it was sparked by a pyrotechnic device that was used in a gender-reveal party, according to a report from the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The blaze is one of 27 wildfires currently burning in California.


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