Official websites use .gov

A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS

A lock () or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Brian Hughes


Captain Hughes and other firefighters were assigned to the Ferguson Fire on the edge of a spot fire.  They were in the process of felling a high hazard tree, a 105-foot tall ponderosa pine that was burning about 10 feet from its top and producing a steady stream of embers.  The tree fell in an unexpected manner and Captain Hughes was fatally struck.  He was treated by firefighters and emergency medical responders, but he was pronounced dead as he was flown to the helibase.

Additional information about this incident is available at  Use the search function to find “Ferguson Fire Tree Strike Fatality”.

Incident Location: East Side of Ferguson Wildland Fire (U.S. National Grid: U.S. National Grid: 11S KB 5404 6626 (DD: 37.611, -119.787))

photo of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Brian Hughes 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

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
47050 Generals Highway
Three Rivers, California 93271

Chief: Superintendent Woody Smeck

Age: 33
Rank: Captain
Classification: Wildland Full-Time
Incident date: July 29, 2018 09:20
Date of death: July 29, 2018
Cause of fatal injury: Struck By
Nature of fatal injury: Trauma
Activity type: Other
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Outdoor Property

Last updated: July 11, 2019