Date: August 14, 1958
Personnel: Donald Lee West
Agency/Organization: US Forest Service
Position: patrolman on the BDF
Summary: While patrolling for additional lighting fires in this Butler Peak mountain area on the San Bernardino National Forest, Don West and Dennis W. Brayton, a fellow firefighter, climbed a rock outcropping to use as a vantage point to look for smokes. They noticed a storm building behind them and started to leave the area for their safety. As they retreated from the point, they were both struck by lightning. Dennis awoke to find Don unresponsive and the attempt to resuscitate was unsuccessful.
Don was 27 years old and was a 10 year veteran of the Forest Service. He left behind a wife and 3 children.
San Bernardino National Forest - Butler Peak Topographic Map T2N / R2W Section 13 (map at link, one section down)
Google Earth: Pin in "West Point" named in Don West's honor, altitude = 7,473 feet
- “West Point”, the peak was named after him.
San Bernardino National Forest - Butler Peak Topographic Map T2N / R2W Section 13 (2,588 K pdf)
In memory of
Donald Lee West
US Forest Service Patrolman
August 14th, 1958
- US Forest Service Heroes Memorial: Donald Lee West
- Note from John Miller, honor guard member and creator/editor of the USFS Heroes Memorial: "This one took us almost two years to nail down. It started as a third-hand story of someone here seeing me working on the USFS Heroes website."
Contributors to this article: John Miller
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