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Incident Name:
Date: July 4, 1942
Personnel: Peter Mahrt
Age: 48
Agency/Organization:  Joshua Tree National Park
Position: firefighter/roads foreman

Summary: On July 4, 1942, Peter Mahrt, a roads foreman for the national park was killed by smoke inhalation while fighting a Joshua Tree National Park wildfire.

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Joshua Tree National Park

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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • Fire-Fighter Dies, Overcome by Smoke

    Coroner Ben F. White said today his office has closed its investigation of the death of Pete Mahrt, 48, of 29 Palms, who died on July 4 after being overcome by smoke from a fire he had been fighting.

    Deputy Coroney(sic) Seymer L. Cash reported to White that Mahrt, employed by the national park service in Joshua Tree National monument, had been fighting a fire Saturday afternoon in the national monument within the area of Riverside county.

    He suddenly collapsed and died, and investigation verified that he had been overcome from the smoke of the fire, Cash said.

    The death was signed out without formal inquest.

    Riverside Daily Press; Riverside, California
    July 6, 1942; Page Eight.

  • California Death Index: Pete Mahrt
  • 1940 Census: Pete Mahrt

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Media Articles and Reports



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Photos, Videos, & Tributes

  • Peter Mahrt's name is inscribed on the Fallen Firefighters Memorial Wall in Sacramento, CA.
  • Gravestone at 29 Palms Inscription:

    91 DIV.
    MAR. 27, 1893 -- JULY 4, 1942
    He gave his all.

Pete Mahrt's Gravestone Pete Mahrt's Gravestone

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Contributors to this article: Tom Patterson; Jeff Ohlfs, Joshua Tree NP Chief Ranger


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