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Douglas “Doug” Ritchie


On Sunday, June 26, 2022, Pilot Douglas "Doug" Ritchie, the sole occupant of a Bell UH1B Helicopter, was supporting firefighting efforts at the Clear Wildland Fire, when the helicopter crashed after takeoff, killing Pilot Ritchie. Investigation into the incident continues.

Fatality status is provisional and may change as USFA contacts State Fire Marshals to verify fatality incident information.

Department information

State of Alaska Division of Forestry and Fire Protection
101 Airport RD
Palmer, Alaska 99645

Chief: Deputy Director of Fire Programs Norm McDonald

Age: 56
Rank: Pilot
Classification: Wildland Contract
Incident date: July 26, 2022 7:38 p.m.
Date of death: June 26, 2022
Cause of death: Vehicle Collision - Includes Aircraft
Nature of death: Trauma
Activity type: Support
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: Responding
Fixed property use: Outdoor Property

Last updated: November 10, 2022