Maps Reports WLF Links Media Articles Multimedia Comments


Incident Name:  Horton Fire, Payson Ranger District, Tonto NF
Date:  July 10. 1989, about 0900 hours
Personnel: Ernie Cachini
Age:  19
Agency/Organization:  Bureau of Indian Affairs
Position: firefighter


On July 10, 1989 the Zuni Fire Crew from New Mexico was fighting the Horton Fire on the Payson Ranger District, Tonto National Forest in the Mogollon Rim Country, Arizona. They were working their way from the rim down towards the original location of the Zane Gray Cabin on SR 260. A front moved in with lightning and rain. Two strikes came down, one within the burn, one outside. Ernie Cachini was struck by lightning. He was airlifted to a Payson hospital, where he died... 19 years old.


Horizontal line


General Incident Location: W State Road 260 and Mogollon Rim , Arizona

Return to top

Horizontal line

Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • News Article about Ernie Cachini

    Ernie Cachini Ernie Cachini

  • USFA Memorial Database: Ernie Cachini
  • Memorial at the old Payson Station (now a museum); map of the museum location below.

    Memorial to Ernie Cachini and others Memorial to Ernie Cachini and others

    “Dedicated to Firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our magnificent Mogollon Rim Country.”

    • Chuck Cochane TBM Air Tanker Pilot 6/15/61 Roberts Fire
    • Constantine (Corky) Kodz FS Employee 6/21/61 Hatchery Fire air crash
    • Arthur G. Goodnow Pilot 6/21/61 Hatchery Fire
    • Ernie Cachini Zuni Fire Crew struck by lightning 7/10/89 Horton Fire
    • Sandra J. Bachman, Perryville Crew Guard, 6/26/90 burned over in Dude Fire
    • James E. Ellis, 6/26/90 Dude Fire entrapment
    • Joseph L. Chacon, 6/26/90 Dude Fire entrapment
    • Alex S. Contreras, 6/26/90 Dude Fire entrapment
    • James L. Denney, 6/26/90 Dude Fire entrapment
    • Curtis E. Springfield, 6/26/90 Dude Fire entrapment

Return to top
Horizontal line Links:

Return to top

Horizontal line

Media Articles and Reports.



Return to top

Horizontal line

Photos, Videos, & Tributes

Memorial location in Payson, AZ

Return to top

Contributors to this article: Mark Johnson, Mike Johns

WFF Boots & Wreath logo. Please support the Wildland Firefighter Foundation