Six Rivers National Forest release:
Acting Six Rivers National Forest Supervisor Michael Green announced today the loss of firefighter William “Bill” Jaros.
Bill had been a Forest Service firefighter for more than 12 years, most recently as the fire engine operator on Engine 312 on the forest’s Gasquet Ranger District/Smith River National Recreation Area.
“It saddens me to announce the untimely and heartbreaking death of one of our own,” said Green. “Please keep Bill’s family and all of our Forest Service employees in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”
On Saturday, July 8, Bill was on a conditioning hike with several crew members when he became ill and collapsed. Immediate life-saving efforts were initiated by his fellow crew members; however, they were unable to resuscitate him.
Conditioning hikes, such as the one Engine 312 crew members were participating in on Saturday, are part of the continuing preparedness routine for firefighters.
Bill was a valued Forest Service employee, kind coworker, and beloved friend. The land, the community, and the Forest Service are better for having been touched by him. He will be missed and remembered by all that knew him.
In the coming days, the Forest Service will conduct a facilitated learning analysis to gather all information we can about this tragic loss.
The cause of death is under investigation through the Del Norte County Coroner’s office.