Jeffery “Jeff” Clayton Allen


Firefighters Allen and Heath rappelled off of a helicopter into a rugged part of the Salmon-Challis National Forest. The 2 were charged with establishing a helicopter landing zone to facilitate efforts to fight the Cramer fire. The fire was started by a lightning strike. The firefighters were dropped at the site at 0943hrs. They were contacted throughout the day by radio to assess their progress. At approximately 1500hrs, they made radio contact and requested that they be picked up. No helicopters were available at that time. A more urgent request for pickup was received at 1509hrs. At 1513hrs, the firefighters reported fire below them and that the fire was advancing toward them. A helicopter arrived at approximately 1524hrs but was unable to land due to smoke conditions. Observers on other aircraft witnessed fire progression and extremely high flame fronts in the area of Firefighters Allen and Heath. Further attempts to contact the firefighters by radio were unsuccessful. The bodies of both firefighters were found together by other firefighters later in the day. Both firefighters carried fire shelters but neither shelter was found fully deployed. The cause of death for both firefighters was listed as massive burns. A full report on the incident prepared by the United States Forest Service is available at:
photo of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Jeffery “Jeff” Clayton Allen 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

U.S. Forest Service, Salmon - Challis National For
Upper Columbia - Salmon Clearwater District BLM
50 Highway 93 South
Salmon, Idaho 83467

Chief: Patty Bates

Age: 24
Rank: Firefighter
Classification: Career
Incident date: July 22, 2003 15:25
Date of death: July 22, 2003
Cause of death: Caught or Trapped
Nature of death: Burns
Activity type: Advance Hose Lines/Fire Attack (includes Wildland)
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Outdoor Property

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