2 pilots added to Anchorage’s firefighter’s memorial wall
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Two Alaskan pilots who died last year in separate helicopter crashes while fighting wildfires were added to one of seven walls at the Alaska Fallen Firefighter Memorial in Downtown Anchorage on Monday.
The names were added at the Alaskan Fallen Firefighters Ceremony — where firefighters from across the state gathered for the annual ceremony. The event honors Alaskans who have died while fighting fires and also honors those who died in the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001.
Douglas Ritchie, 57, of Wasilla, died in June of 2022 after his helicopter crashed while assisting in firefighting efforts on the Clear Fire. Ritchie was operating a helicopter when it crashed while landing at Anderson Airport’s helipad.
Jared Bird, 36, of Anchorage, died when a helicopter he was operating crashed into the Salmon River in Idaho while he was helping fight the Moose Fire burning about 21 miles north of Salmon, Idaho.
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