Law Enforcement Procession Accompanies Body of 29-Year-Old San Bernardino Firefighter Killed in Montana

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A procession accompanied the body of a 29-year-old San Bernardino firefighter who was killed battling a wildfire from the San Bernardino Airtanker Base to Montecito Memorial Park on Monday.

The remains of Brent M. Witham, a firefighter for San Bernardino National Forest, arrived from Montana at the air tanker base around 3 p.m., and were from there taken to the memorial park on Washington Street in Loma Linda. The procession arrived at the cemetery just after 4:30 p.m.

Witham died Aug. 2 after being struck by a falling tree while fighting the 7,200-acre Lolo Peak Fire in the mountains southwest of Missoula. Further details surrounding the tragic incident are pending a forest service investigation.

The Mentone resident was a member of the Vista Grande hotshot crew, based in Idyllwild.

Witham began his firefighting career in 2011 as a member of the Tahquitz Hand Crew before joining Engine-56 in 2013. He joined the Vista Grande Hotshots in 2015, according to the forest service.

“Our hearts go out to Brent’s family, friends, fellow Vista Grande Hotshots, the Forest Service, and the entire wildland fire community,” San Bernardino National Forest Supervisor Jody Noiron said. “Brent was a hardworking professional, who was eager to learn and be the best that he could be—he will be missed by all he touched.”

The Lolo Peak blaze broke out July 15 and continued to burn Monday at high elevations, according to the U.S. Forest Service.