Yaroslav Igorevich Katkov died after suffering a heat-related emergency while on a training hike with his crew in San Diego County. Katkov was a seasonal firefighter with CAL Fire and was assigned to Station 16 in the unincorporated area of De Luz, northwest of Fallbrook. He lived in Murrieta.
Katkov was born in Eastern Europe in 1990, and his family relocated to Toronto, Canada, in 1994. They later moved to San Diego County, California, where he attended Scripps Ranch High School. An accomplished athlete, he competed in football and wrestling and was recognized for his character and leadership. He graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in business and finance and received his real estate license before he decided to become a firefighter.
He attended the Miramar College Fire Technology Program, where he impressed his instructors with his enthusiasm, dedication, and passion. He was just starting his firefighting career at the time of his death.
Katkov was described by his family and friends as brave, kindhearted, positive, and outgoing. He valued experience over material things and was always up for an adventure.
Katkov is survived by his father, Igor Katkov; his mother, Nadia Katkova; his brother, Sam Katkov; and his partner, Ashley Vallario.