Pilot Who Lost Home In Carr Fire Honored

A pilot with the Forest Service has been honored for his firefighting service. A lead pilot for the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region 5, David Spliethof, lost his home in the Carr Fire, but continued his duties to help protect others. Although his family only had the clothes on their backs, Spliethof continued flying missions for days after the loss, saying that there was no place he’d rather be than flying and helping others, rather than feeling sorry for himself. His fellow pilots stated that, at the time, they had no idea he’d lost his home. The award was in the “Emergency Response” category, which recognizes a person or organization who went above and beyond their scope of duty. In presenting the award, the agency said that “Lead-plane pilots are a critical shortage and David had every reason to forego his duties and focus on his personal situation. However, he chose to serve the agency to support the efforts to manage the fire.”

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