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Incident Name: Curran Mountain Fire, Nez Perce National Forest
Date: 8/10/1989, 1430 hrs
Personnel: Kevin Michael Yeager of Libby, Montana
Age: 20
Agency/Organization: US Forest Service
Position: firefighter

Summary: On 8/10/1989 at about 1430 hours, Kevin Yeager was relaxing and swimming with two friends at the Curren Mountain Fire base camp, 3.33 miles east of Riggins. The three got caught in a strong current. His two friends managed to break free and make it to shore but Kevin was trapped in the current and drowned. Western rivers are notorious for unexpected strong currents and keeper whirlpools.

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Salmon River near Riggins, ID

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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • NWCG Brief Record from Fire Fatalities 1910-1996

    Year: 1989

    Fire/Location: Curran Mountain Fire, NezPerce NF

    Agency: USFS

    Fire behavior: Unknown

    Remarks: Forest Service firefighter drowned while in fire camp

  • USFA Memorial Database: 1989 Anlysis Report on Firefighter Fatalities, p39 discussion (1066 K pdf)

    The remaining seven victims were involved in a variety of activities. One was swimming for recreation at the base camp during a 24-hour rest break during a wildland fire. He was considered by his department to be on-duty at the time of the drowning.

    Seasonal wildland firefighter and Factor: swift current

  • Kevin Yeager named as fallen

    Kevin Yeager Kevin Yeager
    Kevin Yeager Kevin Yeager

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Contributors to this article: Brett Rogers


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