Some areas of our website are not available at this time. We’re working to correct the problem and apologize for any inconvenience.

Gary Helming

While returning from an assignment on the Railroad Fire in the Sierra National Forest, Battalion Chief Gary Helming was killed when a Ford F-350 traveling in the opposite direction suffered a tire failure, crossed the middle of the road, and struck Chief Helming's vehicle head-on.

Incident Location: Highway 41 just south of state Route 33 in Kings County (Vicinity of U.S. National Grid: 10S GE 6631 7520)

Department Information

Los Padres National Forest - Santa Lucia District
6750 Navigator Way, Suite 150
U.S. National Grid: 11S KU 3671 1332
Goleta, California 93117

Chief: Acting Forest Supervisor Merv George

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

Age: 47 
Rank: Battalion Chief 
Classification: Career 
Incident date: Aug 31, 2017 08:30
Date of death: Aug 31, 2017 
Cause of death: Vehicle Collision - Includes Aircraft 
Nature of death: Trauma 
Activity type: Driving/Operating Vehicle/Apparatus 
Emergency duty: No
Duty type: Returning 
Fixed property use: Street/Road