Eva Marie Schicke, Firefighter

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Firefighter Schicke was a member of an elite 9 person helitack team. The team was called to fight the beginning stages of the Tuolumne Fire in the Stanislaus National Forest. When the team arrived aboard their helicopter, 7 members of the team were dropped off, and 2 members remained with the helicopter to begin water drops.Firefighters established safety zones and began their decent into a steep canyon. The fire was moving up the canyon away from them and had displayed mild behavior at this point in the incident. While the crew was working, a wind shift blew the fire toward the crew.With only moments to react due to the speed of the fire, firefighters were forced to run to their safety zones. Firefighter Schicke and another firefighter attempted to run uphill to the roadside safety zone. The first firefighter made it to safety; the fire overran Firefighter Schicke before she could reach the safety of the road.The cause of death for Firefighter Schicke was smoke inhalation. Firefighter Schicke was the first female CDF firefighter to be killed in the line of duty.

Department information

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
1416 9th Street
PO Box 944246
Sacramento, California 94244-2460

Chief: Director Dale Geldert

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Eva Marie Schicke 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.
Age: 23
Rank: Firefighter
Classification: Wildland Full-Time
Incident date: September 12, 2004 15:00
Date of death: September 12, 2004
Cause of death: Caught or Trapped
Nature of death: Asphyxiation
Activity type: Advance Hose Lines/Fire Attack (includes Wildland)
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Outdoor Property