Firefighter Trenton M. Johnson, age 19, of Grayback Forestry, Inc., died on July 19, 2017, after he was struck by a falling tree while fighting a wildfire in the Lolo National Forest.
Submitted by his parents
Dan Rama was a wildland firefighter from Baker City‚ Oregon. He and four other firefighters were killed in a van rollover accident on June 21‚ 2002 while en route to the Hayman Fire in Colorado.
Dan grew up in North Platte‚ Nebraska‚ graduating from North Platte High School in 1992. He had been a basketball player on a state tournament team that year. He then spent a year at Northeast Community College‚ as a student and member of the basketball team. He had worked at a variety of jobs in Lincoln‚ Nebraska‚ for several years‚ before moving to Oregon in 1998. At that point‚ he found work as an on-call firefighter with Grayback Forestry. From that humble beginning‚ he developed a great love of the work he was doing. He moved quickly through the ranks‚ working as a sawyer‚ squad boss‚ engine boss‚ and as the crew boss of a 20 man crew of firefighters.
He was excited about his job‚ and would talk for hours about the experiences he had had. At 6’6′ and 235 pounds‚ he was equipped for the physical challenges‚ but the mental stimulation was just as important. He would describe the places they had seen‚ and the wildlife encountered‚ and make it seem as if you were there. He was fascinated by the way the forces of nature brought fuel‚ man‚wind‚ lightning‚drought together to create a forest fire. The other side of that coin was how to apply the resources available to curtail that forest fire. He loved to be in the dirt and the smoke‚ and maybe even the poison oak he encountered regularly. He said‚ ‘ We get to visit the most dazzling places in the country‚ and we do something worthwhile while we are there.’
In his off-season hours‚ Dan could be found working on his guitar skills‚ playing recreation basketball‚ and enjoying the company of family and friends. Snowboarding‚camping‚ hiking‚video games and trivia‚ and keeping in contact with distant friends all occupied his leisure hours.
Dan is survived by his parents‚ David and Judy Rama; three brothers‚Matthew‚ Anthony‚ and Christopher; two sisters‚Taylin and Meagan; and a multitude of friends. He is missed by all.