Donald Ray Smith, Firefighter/Bulldozer Operator

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On July 27, 2018, at approximately 1700hrs, Firefighter/Bulldozer Operator Smith was assigned to improve a dozer line near the Buckeye Water Treatment Plant as a part of the Carr Fire.

At approximately 1744hrs, fire activity increased rapidly.  Other firefighters contacted Firefighter/Bulldozer Operator Smith to tell him to retreat from his position.  He told firefighters by radio that he was cut off by the fire, that he was attempting to construct a safe zone, and he requested a water drop.  After a number of attempts, firefighters were able to reach Firefighter/Bulldozer Operator Smith at approximately 1900hrs and found him deceased.  His death was caused by burns.

Incident Location: Benson Drive and Rock Creek Road, Redding, CA (U.S. National Grid: 10T EK 42992 96135 (DD: 40.615, -122492))

Department information

CAL FIRE
PO Box 944246
1416 9th Street
Sacramento, California 94424-2460

Chief: Director Thom Porter

Donald Ray Smith 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: 82
Rank: Firefighter/Bulldozer Operator
Classification: Wildland Contract
Incident date: July 27, 2018 17:00
Date of death: July 27, 2018
Cause of death: Caught or Trapped
Nature of death: Burns
Activity type: Other
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Outdoor Property