TUOLUMNE COUNTY (CBS13) — A Northern California firefighter was killed by a dead tree that fell while he was performing prep work for a prescribed burn in Tuolumne County on Friday, his employer Firestorm Wildland Fire Suppression announced over the weekend.
Darin Banks, 26, of Red Bluff leaves behind a son, 4, a mother, siblings, grandparents and great-grandparents, Jess R. Wills, president of Firestorm Wildland Fire Suppression, said in a statement.READ MORE: Wildfire In Colusa County Explodes In Size, Containment At 50%
“Our hearts go out to all who knew and loved Darin, and we ask you to keep them in your thoughts and prayers during this time of sorrow,” Wills said.READ MORE: CBS13 Investigates Mold Wars: Tenant Rights When You Find Mold In Your Rental Unit
The incident happened in the South Grove of Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Banks was assigned to an initial hand attack crew working to prep an area in the state park for a prescribed burn.
A GuFundMe has been set up to support Banks’ family.MORE NEWS: California Gov. Newsom Criticizes GOP After Texas School Shooting: 'Who The Hell Are We If We Cannot Keep Our Kids Safe'
Douglas Johnson, a spokesperson for California State Parks, released a statement on the incident, saying:
“California State Parks is saddened to learn that last Friday, May 6, a Firestorm Wildland Fire Suppression Inc. employee, who was doing contract work within the boundaries of Calaveras Big Trees State Park, tragically died after being struck by a dead tree that unexpectedly fell. The employee was assigned to a hand crew working to prepare an area of Calaveras Big Trees State Park for prescribed burning. Our heart goes out to his family and friends.”