California Firefighters Honor Colleague Who Died Battling El Dorado Wildfire

Firefighters and other first responders gathered at the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department in California on Friday, September 18, to honor their colleague who died battling the El Dorado wildfire the previous day.

The San Bernardino National Forest identified the firefighter on Monday as Charles Morton, a Squad Boss for its Big Bear Interagency Hotshot Crew.

Morton, who was born in San Diego in 1981, started his career in 2002 with the California Conservation Corps at the Butte Fire Center. His 14-year Forest Service career began in 2006 with the Truckee Interagency Hotshots in the Tahoe National Forest, the agency said.

Firefighters escorted Morton’s body to the Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Coroner’s Office in San Bernardino on Friday. The department released this footage of the body arriving at the site.

The El Dorado fire was sparked by a gender reveal, officials said. The cause of Morton’s death remained under investigation. Credit: San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department via Storyful