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Incident Name: Straberry Fire in Great Basin National Park, Nevada
Date:  8/13/2016, about 1600 hours
Personnel:  Justin Beebe
Age: 26
Agency/Organization:  USFS firefighter fighting a National Park Service fire; managed by Great Basin Team 7, the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management
Position: hotshot firefighter, first year with the crew

Summary: At approximately 1600 hours, Justin Beebe a Lolo Interagency Hotshot crew member was hit by a falling tree, sustaining critical injuries. Line EMTs and paramedics assigned to the division responded and a short-haul-capable helicopter was launched.  A short-haul extraction was initiated at 1730 and the injured firefighter was transported to helibase.  Life Flight paramedics, in consultation with a physician in Ely, declared the firefighter deceased at 1746. A Coordinated Response Protocol (CRP) Team and Learning Review Team (LRT) has been mobilized.

Photo credit: USFS

Justin Beebe, Lolo Hotshot Justin Beebe, Lolo Hotshot


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Great Basin National Park in Nevada, about 5 miles west of Baker, NV

Incident Location: Great Basin National Park, NV (Vicinity of U.S. National Grid: 11S QD 36 27)


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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • Message from the FS Chief:

    From: FS-Office of the Chief
    Sent: Sunday, August 14, 2016 1:22 PM
    To: FS-All FS

    Subject: ***MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF***Mourning Our Loss

    We are deeply saddened to learn of the loss of Justin Beebe, a firefighter with the Lolo Hotshot Crew based in Missoula, Montana. Justin lost his life Saturday, August 13, while fighting the Strawberry Fire in Great Basin National Park in Nevada.

    Our deepest condolences go out to Justin’s family, those he worked with, and his friends.

    It takes great courage to be the person willing to fight wildland fires. Yet despite the courage it takes to work in this profession, it does not lessen the sadness we feel when we lose one of our own.

    As details become available we will pass them on, but for now I ask that you keep Justin’s family and those close to him in your thoughts.

    To those touched by this heart-wrenching event, please know we are thinking of you; we are here for you and we are sending you our support in this time of loss.

    Chief Tidwell

  • From the Lolo National Forest, Forest Supervisor to employees:

    This is difficult news to share with all of you and I wish I had all employees together in one room to make this announcement. Yesterday we lost Justin Beebe from the Lolo Hotshot Crew. Justin was killed yesterday afternoon by a falling snag while assigned to the Strawberry Fire in Great Basin National Park in Nevada. The Forest and the Missoula Ranger District are taking all steps at this moment to support members of the Hotshot Crew. Details of the accident are still being gathered and an accident investigation will be initiated. Every employee is impacted by such a tragic loss. Some of you knew Justin, others did not. I can tell you he was a fine person and tremendous employee and his loss is deeply felt. I spoke with his mother late last night, and we are providing all needed support to them. Justin was from Vermont and this was his first season with the Lolo Hotshot Crew. His mother Betsy and the rest of his family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers. I will share more information with you as it becomes available. For now, please reach out to your fellow employees and support them and keep Justin’s family and friends in your thoughts.

    Tim Garcia, Forest Supervisor, Lolo National Forest

  • National Park Service News Release of Justin's Line of Duty Death

    National Park Service Announcement from the WFF Facebook page National Park Service Announcement from the WFF Facebook page

  • National Park Service PIO Julie Thomas said Justin Beebe was killed while fighting the Strawberry Fire near Baker, Nevada.

    The incident is still under investigation, but what we believe happened was that they were in an area where lots of snags were falling, and we believe that a snag hit him. Every measure was taken to assist the firefighters to get him off the hill and bring him down for emergency treatment; unfortunately, we lost Justin Beebe due to the injuries he sustained in the fire.

  • US National Park Service: 24 Hour Report (46 K pdf)
  • US National Park Service: 72 Hour Report (120 K pdf)
  • Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center: Links to Strawberry Fire Tree Strrike Fatality (2016) files


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Media Articles and Other Information and Reports

  • Hotshot crew member dies fighting fire near Baker, NV

    8/14/2016 | Online Article

    see article at link for announcement of Justin Beebe's death:

    “This loss of life is tragic and heartbreaking,” Great Basin National Park Superintendent, Steve Mietz said. “Please keep the family and Forest Service employees in your thoughts and prayers during this time.”

  • INCIWEB: Strawberry Fire Incident Fire Information, photos and fire map.
  • USFS: Lolo Hotshot webpage The Lolo Hotshots are stationed in Missoula, Montana when not away fighting fire.
  • Smoke from the Strawberry Fire on 8/9/16 from the NPS Strawberry Fire website More photos of the Park campground show how devistating the fire was.

    Strawberry Fire Smoke, 8/9/16 Strawberry Fire Smoke, 8/9/16

  • Vermont family mourns loss of their hotshot

    8/15/16 | Online Article

    Justin Beebe's big dream came true this spring, when he became a Lolo Hotshot firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service.

    But Beebe's dream became a nightmare this weekend for his family and friends , as the 26-year-old was killed by a falling tree as Beebe and other wildland firefighters fought to contain the 4,600-acre Strawberry Fire in Great Basin National Park in eastern Nevada, started by lightning a few days earlier. (More at the link...)


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Photos, Videos, & Tributes

  • From Lolo National Forest and the planners: Justin Bebee Memorial Planning,

    Tuesday, 16 August 2016
    This page is dedicated to providing information about the Justin Beebe Memorial Service. The planning process is underway and at this time there is no definite information to provide regarding where and when the service will take place. Please check back again as this page will be updated as information becomes available. Thank you. (More personal insight into Justin Beebe at the link.) Condolences Page

  • Funeral Procession in Las Vegas for Fallen Firefighter (from Justin's blogspot page, link above)

    Las Vegas - On Wednesday, Aug. 17, firefighters with the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Clark County, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and a variety of other local agencies will pay their respects to a fellow fallen firefighter by providing an escort to the airport. Justin Beebe, a firefighter with the Lolo Hotshot Crew based in Missoula, Montana, lost his life Saturday, Aug. 13, while fighting the Strawberry Fire on the Great Basin National Park in Nevada. The funeral procession will begin at 10 a.m. and cause temporary traffic closures and delays as the procession travels through Las Vegas. The public and media are welcome to view the procession from locations along the route. The funeral procession route is as follows:

    • Exit Davis Funeral Home, 1401 S. Rainbow Blvd.
    • To U.S. 95 northbound
    • Exit Lake Mead Blvd. eastbound
    • Left turn on N. Decatur Blvd.
    • Arrive at North Las Vegas Airport

    Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department advises travelers to avoid these areas and plan alternate routes, if possible. Otherwise, be aware of officers in the street controlling traffic, expect long delays and please be patient and respectful. Out of respect for the family, no media or public will be allowed access to the transfer of remains at the North Las Vegas Airport.

  • Justin Beebe Memorial Service Announced (from Justin's blogspot page, link above)

    Missoula, Montana – A memorial service for fallen firefighter Justin Beebe will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, August 20 at Ogren Park at Allegiance Field, 700 Cregg Lane, Missoula. The public is invited to the memorial to pay their respects.

    Justin is from Bellows Falls, Vermont and is a member of the Lolo Hotshots. He died from injuries while on the Strawberry Fire in Great Basin National Park, Nevada on August 13.

  • Police, firefighters escort body of Justin Beebe during Las Vegas funeral procession

    8/17/16 | Online Article

    Firefighters from Las Vegas, Nye County, the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management joined dozens of officers from the Metropolitan Police Department for a funeral procession. (More at the link plus slideshow...)

  • Thousands honor local 'Hotshot' firefighter Justin Beebe who died battling Nevada wildfire

    8/28/2016 | Online Article

    Bellows Falls — The sun was shining and the Bellows Falls Union High School auditorium was filled with thousands of people on Saturday afternoon, all to honor Justin Beebe, who died fighting a wildfire in Great Basin National Park in eastern Nevada.

    The 26-year-old was remembered as someone who lived life to the fullest and encouraged others to live by the motto "don't hold back." (More at the link...)

  • USFS Fallen Heroes Memorial: Justin Beebe

Justin Beebe Justin Beebe

(cropped from a photo of Justin and his girlfriend)


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Contributors to this article:  John Miller, RJM, Mellie, WFF


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