It is with heavy hearts that we share news with you the passing of USDA Forest Service firefighter Daniel J. Laird, who died in the line of duty March 27. A helicopter carrying Daniel and two other people was involved in an accident in the Sam Houston National Forest in Montgomery County, Texas. The team was supporting a prescribed fire operation. The two other crew members were transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Daniel served the agency for 23 years and worked as a helitack captain on the Tahoe National Forest in California. He leaves behind a wife and daughter. Our condolences go out to the entire Laird family, their friends and co-workers. We’re very grateful for his service to the agency and our nation.
Tragedies of this nature serve as a reminder of the honorable work and sacrifices made by women and men like Daniel. They commit themselves daily to supporting and protecting our communities around the country.
We are still gathering the details of this tragic event and will share them as we can.
The following is a list of current memorial events to honor Daniel:
- Public viewing: Friday, April 5, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Ullrey Memorial Chapel, 817 Almond Street, Yuba City, California.
- Processional: Saturday, April 6, from approximately 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. The processional will travel from Ullrey Memorial Chapel to Sutter Cemetery, 7200 Butte House Road, Sutter, California.
- Graveside Service: Saturday, April 6, at 10:00 a.m. This is a family service and seating is limited. The family has invited any members of the U.S. Forest Service, other agencies and the public to attend as room allows.
- Family Arriving: The Laird family will be arriving at House of Bread Church from the cemetery, through the Cordon of Honor, between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
- Memorial: Saturday, April 6, at 2:00 p.m. at the House of Bread Church, 6521 Hazel Ave, Orangevale, California.
Letters of condolence may be sent to the family through the Tahoe National Forest Supervisor’s Office at 631 Coyote Street, Nevada City, CA 95959. Flowers can be sent to the House of Bread Church at 6521 Hazel Ave., Orangevale, CA 95662.