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Joshua Omer Burch

Forest Ranger

Forest Rangers Burch and Fulton were assigned to the Blue Ribbon Fire, a lightning-caused wildfire in Hamilton County, Florida. The fire had initially been contained on June 16th, but it had spread beyond the containment area when checked on June 20th. Both Forest Rangers operated tractor/plow units. During operations, one of the units became stuck. The second unit and operator attempted to provide assistance. As the wildfire approached, both operators abandoned their units and attempted to outrun the fire. They were overtaken by the progress of the fire and died. Neither firefighter attempted to deploy a fire shelter. Both firefighters died of burns. Incident Location: Vicinity of County Road 6, Hamilton County, FL (USNG: 17R LP 24 77)
photo of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Joshua Omer Burch was honored on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland and was included in the USFA’s annual report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.

Department information

Suwannee Forestry Center, Florida Division of Forestry
137 SE Forestry Circle
USNG: 17R LP 4650 4031
Lake City, Florida 32025

Chief: Sam Leneave, Manager

Age: 31
Rank: Forest Ranger
Classification: Career
Incident date: June 20, 2011 16:10
Date of death: June 20, 2011
Cause of death: Caught or Trapped
Nature of death: Burns
Activity type: Other
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Outdoor Property

Last updated: August 05, 2020