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Curtis Ray Hillman, Sr.

Equipment Operator - Firefighter

Hillman, a member of the Karuk tribe, was operating a grader to improve road conditions and access for firefighters. They were working the Siskiyou and Blue 2 Complex of fires when Hillman was injured on August 25, 2008. Heavy Equipment Operator Hillman was working on forest roads 14 and 21, about half a mile from Highway 96 just south of Dillon Creek Campground. The area is halfway between Happy Camp and Orleans. When his grader failed to start, Hillman and another worker tried to fix the problem. The grader then started, but its brake failed and it began to roll backward. Both men fell or jumped off the machine, and Hillman hit his head. He was flown to Mercy Medical Center in Redding, where he died from his injuries on September 11, 2008.
photo of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Curtis Ray Hillman, Sr. 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

United States Forest Service - Shasta-Trinity National Forest
3644 Avtech Parkway
Redding, California 96002

Chief: Forest Supervisor J. Sharon Heywood

Age: 77
Rank: Equipment Operator - Firefighter
Classification: Wildland Contract
Incident date: August 25, 2008
Date of death: September 11, 2008
Cause of death: Fall
Nature of death: Trauma
Activity type: Driving/Operating Vehicle/Apparatus
Emergency duty: No
Duty type: Other On-Duty
Fixed property use: Outdoor Property

Last updated: March 11, 2014