Breaking News: San Bernardino County, CA: Firefighter who died battling El Dorado Fire identified as Charles ‘Charlie’ Morton, a Squad Boss with the Big Bear Interagency Hotshot Crew.

Source: San Bernardino National Forest (Information and Press Release):

Picture: San Bernardino National Forest (Charles ‘Charlie’ Morton Picture Courtesy):

San Bernardino County, California: The San Bernardino National Forest announced late on Monday, September 21st, 2020 the identity of a firefighter who died battling the El Dorado Fire last week.

According to the San Bernardino National Forest,”It is with deep sadness that USDA Forest Service officials on the San Bernardino National Forest announce the death of Charles Morton, a Big Bear Interagency Hotshot Squad Boss.”

Charles died while battling in fire suppression operations on the El Dorado Fire late on Thursday, September 17th, 2020 near Yucaipa, California.

“Charlies was a well-respected leader who was always there for his squad and his crew at the toughest times. Our hearts go out to Charlie’s loved ones, coworkers, friends and the Big Bear Hotshots. We will keep them in our thoughts and prayers,” said United States Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen.

Charlies was born on August 7, 1981, in San Diego, California.

Charlies started his career in 2002 as Corpsman with the California Conservation Corps at the Butte Fire Center in Magalia, moving to the 2006 fire season with Firestorm Fire Suppression in Chico.

Charlies 14-year Forest Service career began in 2006 with the Truckee Interagency Hotshots on the Tahoe National Forest. Charlie then joined the San Bernardino National Forest in 2007 and worked on both the Front Country and Mountaintop Ranger Districts, for the Mill Creek Interagency Hotshots, Engine 31, Engine 19, and the Big Bear Interagency Hotshots.

The San Bernardino National Forest is grateful for the support that has been extended through this tragic event. Cards and condolences may be sent to the Morton family at: P.O. Box 63564, Irvine, California 92602 or for FedEx and/or UPS: 1 League # 63564 Irvine, California 92602 in care of “Support for Charlie.”

Charles’ family release a statement saying, “Charlie is survived by his wife and daughter, his parents, two brothers, cousins, and friends. He’s loved and will be missed. May he rest easy in heaven with his baby boy.”

The U.S. Forest Service honor guard, along with the California Highway Patrol, will escort fallen Big Bear Interagency Hotshot Charles Morton in a solemn procession to a mortuary in Orange County on the morning of Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020.

The procession will begin at 10:30 a.m. PT from the main office of the San Bernardino County Coroner’s Division in San Bernardino, Calif., and end at Ferrara & Lee Colonial Mortuary in Orange, California.

– The route will be as follows:

Start at the San Bernardino County Coroner’s Division main office at 175 S. Lena Rd., San Bernardino, Calif. 92415

South on Lena Rd. to Mill St.

West on Mill St. to Waterman Ave.

South on Waterman to I-215 South Riverside Freeway

South to SR-91 to Imperial Highway

South on Imperial Highway to Santiago Canyon Rd.

West on Santiago Canyon Rd to Hewes St.

South on Hewes St.

Arrive at Ferrara Colonia Mortuary, 351 N. Hewes St, Orange, Calif. 92869

The cause of the El Dorado Fire is being investigated by CAL FIRE and the cause of the fire was a pyrotechnic device used at a gender reveal party.

At least 10 structures have been destroyed due to the blaze, which has burned more than 22,000 acres with 60% containment.

ZachNews and the community sends our thoughts, prayers and condolences to the family and friends of Charles Morton, a Squad Boss with the Big Bear Interagency Hotshot Crew. Thank you for your service to the community and county, battling fires to protect lives and communities.

*** Public Press Release (Identify Release): ***

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/sbnf/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD808985

*** Public Press Release (Procession): ***

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/sbnf/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD809158

***

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