Lars B. Stratte

Eight airtankers and three helicopters were working a 270-acre wildland fire south of Ukiah, California. The fire began near a suspected methamphetamine lab. Airtanker Pilots Groff and Stratte were operating air tankers carrying 800 gallons of fire retardant each. The two aircraft collided above the fire as one prepared to make a drop while the second was joining the rotation orbit of ready aircraft. Both pilots were killed and both aircraft were completely destroyed. Two men were charged with arson, murder, and drug production charges in relation to the origin of the fire. (The NTSB reports are available on-line at https://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/query.asp#query_start -- use NTSB Accident Numbers LAX01GA291A and LAX01GA291B)

Department Information

California Dept. of Forestry & Fire Protect.
1416 9th Street
P.O. Box 944246
Sacramento, California 94244-2460

Chief: Andrea Tuttle, Director

Lars B. Stratte 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: 45 
Rank: Airtanker Pilot 
Classification: Career 
Incident date: Aug 27, 2001 18:35
Date of death: Aug 27, 2001 
Cause of death: Struck By 
Nature of death: Trauma 
Activity type: Other 
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire 
Fixed property use: Outdoor Property