Incident Name: Ferguson Fire
Personnel: Brian Hughes, Captain
Agency/Organization: National Park Service
Position: hotshot captain
Captain Brian Hughes and his crew were engaged in tactical fire operations on the east side of the Ferguson Fire in Mariposa County, California, when he was struck by a tree. Hughes was treated on scene, but passed away from the injuries he sustained before he could be transported to a hospital
Incident Location: East Side of Ferguson Wildland Fire (U.S. National Grid: U.S. National Grid: 11S KB 5404 6626 (DD: 37.611, -119.787))
Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned
- Inciweb- Ferguson FireFerguson Fire Evening Update for July 29, 2018
Ferguson Fire Wildfire
News – 2 days ago
Brian Hughes, captain of the Arrowhead Interagency Hotshots out of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, died today in the line of duty on the Ferguson Fire. The fatal incident occurred earlier this morning. Hughes, 33, and his crew were operating in a complex area when he was struck by a tree. He was treated on scene, but passed away before he could be transported to a hospital. Media inquiries regarding Hughes should be directed to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks at 559-565-3704.
Firefighters spent the day mopping up hot spots, containing a minor fire that slopped over a containment line near Eagle Peak, and preparing for nighttime tactical burning. Officials reported the fire grew by 835 acres throughout the day and was at 54,481 acres as of 6 p.m. Containment is at 30 percent. (more fire information for July 29th at the link…)
- Arrowhead hotshot killed in Ferguson fire, raising death toll in wildfires across California to 87/29/2018 | LA Timesphoto: Brian Hughes, a captain with the Arrowhead Interagency Hotshots, was killed when he was struck by a tree while fighting the Ferguson fire near Yosemite National Park. (Courtesy of Brad Torchia)
A firefighter was killed Sunday morning battling the massive Ferguson fire near Yosemite National Park, marking the second firefighting death in Mariposa County and the eighth fire-related death as more than a dozen wildfires rage across the state.
Brian Hughes, captain of the Arrowhead Interagency Hotshots, was killed when he was struck by a tree while working with his crew to set a back fire — a tactic designed to limit a fire’s spread — on the east side of the fire, according to the National Park Service. He was treated at the scene, but died before he could be taken to a hospital. He was 33. (More at the link…)
Media Articles and Reports
- Firefighter struck and killed by tree while battling Ferguson FireJuly 30, 2018 05:39AM | ABC7news.comFRESNO, Calif. — A firefighter from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks was killed in the line of duty at the Ferguson Fire, Sunday morning.
Officials say 33-year-old Brian Hughes and his crew were engaged in a tactical firing operation on the east side of the Ferguson Fire. They were operating in an area with a large amount of tree mortality. Hughes was struck by a tree. He was treated at the scene but passed away before he could be transported to a hospital.
“The team at Sequoia and Kings National Parks is devastated by this terrible news,” says parks superintendent Woody Smeck. “Our deepest condolences go out to the firefighter’s family and loved ones. We grieve this loss with you.”
- ‘He loved what he was doing’: Firefighter who died in California blaze captained elite team7/30/2018 | USA TodayBrian Hughes, a firefighter who died Sunday battling the Ferguson Fire near Yosemite National Park in California, captained an elite team of experienced firefighters called the Arrowhead Hotshots.
His colleagues remembered Hughes, 33, as a fearless man who led his crew in performing an intense, physically demanding job.
“He was motivated, he was enthusiastic, he loved what he was doing,” said Joe Suarez, superintendent of the Arrowhead Hotshots, based at Sequoia and Kings National Parks. “He woke up every morning with a smile.”
Hughes was one of thousands of firefighters fighting deadly blazes across the state. At least eight people, including Hughes, have been killed, and seven are missing. Hundreds of homes have been destroyed.
Hotshot crews go straight to the heart of wildfires, working long shifts removing trees and digging lines. They travel long distances to fight blazes and can go months without seeing their families during fire season. Hughes was killed after being struck by a tree.
Jessica Garcetti, a spokesperson for the National Interagency Fire Center, described hotshots as “some of the most hard-core firefighters that there are.” (Much more at the link…)
- Hotshot with ties to AK dies in fire near Yosemite7/30/18 | KTVA.comREDDING, Calif. — Authorities said a second firefighter died fighting a huge blaze near Yosemite National Park. Capt. Brian Hughes. (Source: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks via Facebook)
Brian Hughes, 33, was struck by a tree while removing brush and other fuel near the so-called Ferguson Fire’s front lines, officials said.
Originally from Hawaii, Hughes had been with California’s Arrowhead Interagency Hotshots for four years and reached the rank of captain. Hughes worked for the BLM Alaska Fire Service, detailed to the Midnight Sun Hotshots in 2006, then again from 2014-2015, working as a fire specialist before leaving for the Arrowhead Hotshots…
Photos, Videos, & Tributes
- USFA Memorial Database: Brian Hughes
- Procession: Beginning 3:30 PM, July 30 from Mariposa AirportA procession to honor the firefighter is set to begin at 3:30 p.m. The fire department is extending an invitation to the public to join and line the streets of Mariposa.It will begin at the Mariposa Airport and continue down Highway 49N turning right on Highway 140 through the town of Mariposa. Highway 140 to Left on Plainsburg, Right on Childs, Left on Mission to Freeway 99, Mitchell Road Exit to El Vista, Oakdale Road and finally arriving at 921 Oakdale Road.
- Go Fund Me : Brian Hughes
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