West Yellowstone Smoke Jumper Dies in New Mexico
In a press release, the Custer Gallatin National Forest announced that Tim Hart, a smokejumper at the West Yellowstone Smokejumper Base, died in the line of duty after he sustained injuries while responding to the Eicks Fire in southern New Mexico on May 24, 2021.
According to the press release, Hart grew up in Illinois and lived in Cody, Wyoming with his wife Michelle and dog, Dash. He loved living in Cody with Michelle and Dash.
Early in his firefighting career, he worked as an engine crew member on the Coconino, Fremont-Winema, and Shoshone National Forests, as well as a Lead Firefighter on the Asheville and Ruby Mountain Interagency Hotshot Crews. Hart started smoke jumping in 2016 in Grangeville, ID and transferred to West Yellowstone in 2019 serving as both a Squad Leader and Spotter. Throughout his firefighting career, Tim dedicated his life to protecting others and keeping communities safe.
He loved music, the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago Bears, and always had a sense of humor and kindness about him.
The Custer Gallatin National Forest continues to support Tim’s family to ensure their wishes are being honored. They are working closely with the U.S. Forest Service - Shoshone National and arrangements are being made to bring the body of the fallen firefighter home to rest.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Tim’s loved ones, as well as the smokejumping and wildland fire communities as they go through this difficult time.
This is a developing story. More information will be provided as it becomes available.