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Incident Name:
Date:  7/9/2015
Personnel:  Dale Alexander Mendes and Jason Fritz Price, Jr
Age: 
Agency/Organization:  US Forest Service
Position: firefighters

Summary: 

Firefighters who died:

Dale Alexander Mendes, 29, of Willow Creek, Salyer Crew Superintendent
Jason Fritz Price, Jr, 19, of Weitchpec, firefighter

Sometime after 10 pm on July 8, 2015, Forest Service employees Dale Mendes and Jason Price, Jr died in an off-duty motor vehicle accident near Willow Creek, California. Their vehicle was discovered down a steep embankment upside down in the Trinity River directly across from Camp Kimtu Beach Recreation Area. The highway patrol investigation is ongoing.

A wonderful turnout to honor Dale Mendes, Salyer Crew Superintendent. WFF Facebook page .

Here are some photos provided to the WFF (July 18, 2015) and used with permission Thanks T. Bailey.

Dale Mendes, Salyer Crew Supe Dale Mendes, Salyer Crew Supe
Procession for Dale Mendes Procession for Dale Mendes

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Maps

below Seeley McIntosh Road, opposite Camp Kimtu, Willow Creek, CA

 

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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • Message From Randy Moore, Region 5 Forester:

I am saddened to share with you the tragic loss of two of our fine firefighters;

Dale Mendes
Salyer T2 IA Crew
Crew Superintendent crew, stationed on the Lower Trinity Ranger District of the Six Rivers NF

Jason Price
who had been hired as a contractor i.e, Administratively Determined (AD) employee, to meet staffing needs for the Salyer Crew.

Sometime after 10 pm on July 8, 2015, Forest Service employees Dale Mendes and Jason Price died in an off-duty motor vehicle accident near Willow Creek, California. Their vehicle was discovered down a steep embankment upside down in the Trinity River directly across from Camp Kimtu Beach Recreation Area.

Dale started his career with the USFS in 2004 right out of high school, as a GS-3 firefighter on the Ukonom Hotshots. In 2010, through hard work and recognition as an excellent firefighter, he became a GS-8 Captain on this crew. In 2014, Dale became the Salyer Crew Superintendent.

Jason was recruited by Dale as an AD firefighter. Jason’s first fire was the Bluff Fire that started the 8th of July on the Orleans RD, the day prior to the accident. The Salyer Crew was assigned as an initial attack resource for this incident. Dale and Jason were from the local area and were long-time friends.

The Region mourns with the Six Rivers National Forest the loss of two of its own. We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and our thoughts are with their family and friends. They will be lovingly remembered and deeply missed by the Region, Six Rivers National Forest, the U.S. Forest Service and the local communities that they called home.

Randy Moore
Regional Forester
Forest Service
Pacific Southwest Region

  • California Highway Patrol Press Release
CA Highway Patrol announcement CA Highway Patrol announcement

 

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Wildlandfire.com Links:

 

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Media Articles and Reports

  • Firefighters killed in Trinity River Crash Identified

7/9/2015 | Online Article

According to the CHP, the two U.S. Forest Service firefighters who died in the Trinity River crash have been identified as 29 year old Dale Alexander Mendes of Willow Creek (driver) and 19 year old Jason Fritz Price, Jr. of Weitchpec (right front passenger).

Earlier story:

California Highway Patrol officials confirmed the two bodies in the car wreck found on Thursday afternoon were the firefighters reported missing earlier that day. According to CHP Public Information Officer Matt Harvey, the two U.S. Forest Service firefighters were last known to be in a private vehicle driving from Willow Creek to Salyer late Wednesday night after work.

Their disappearance was reported to the CHP Redding Communications Center when they didn’t show up to work on Thursday morning, according to a CHP press release. (more at the link...)

 

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Photos, Videos, & Tributes

 

 

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Contributors to this article:  T Bailey, Abby from the WFF, Mellie

 

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