BLM Firefighter Killed By Falling Tree

Firefighter Was Working On Tree Removal Project

A Bureau of Land Management firefighter was killed Friday when he was hit by a falling tree.

Brett Stearns, 29, from Craig, Colo., was working with 12 other firefighters to clear trees at Freeman Reservoir, 15 miles northeast of Craig, said BLM spokeswoman Lynn Barclay.

The accident is still under investigation. Barclay said Stearns was hit by a falling tree and pronounced dead at the scene.

"Firefighting is a dangerous profession and firefighter safety is the No. 1 priority on fires and projects such as this," said Little Snake Field Manager John Husband. "A detailed investigation is being conducted by a federal accident investigation team."

Stearns was an engine captain and had worked in the fire program for the BLM Little Snake Field Office in Craig since 1999. He is survived by his wife, mother, father, brother and half-sister.

Husband said Stearns "dedicated his life to protecting the lives and property of the public."

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