BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — A Wyoming smokejumper has died of injuries suffered last month while fighting a wildfire in New Mexico, the U.S. Forest Service said Thursday.
Tim Hart of Cody, Wyoming, suffered a hard fall on May 24 while responding to a fire in Hidalgo County, New Mexico. He was flown via air ambulance to a hospital in El Paso, Texas, where he died Wednesday evening, the agency said.
“Our hearts go out to Tim’s family, loved ones, friends, fellow Forest Service employees, and the entire wildland fire community and I ask that you keep them in your thoughts and prayers during this time of sorrow while respecting the family’s privacy,” Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen said in a statement.
Hart, 36, was working for the West Yellowstone Smokejumpers based in the Custer Gallatin National Forest in Montana at the time of his death.
He had been a wildland firefighter since 2006, working in North Carolina, Arizona, Oregon, Wyoming and Nevada. He joined the smokejumper program in 2016 and worked his rookie season in Idaho, the agency said. He was based in Montana beginning in 2019.
The cause of his hard fall is still being investigated, said Marna Daley, spokesperson for the Custer Gallatin National Forest.