Authorities have recognized three U.S. firemen who passed on this week while battling raising out of control fires in Australia.
The three were on a C-130 Hercules air tanker that smashed in New South Wales. They were recognized as Ian H. McBeth of Great Falls, Mont.; Paul Clyde Hudson of Buckeye, Ariz.; and Rick DeMorgan Jr. of Navarre, Fla.
McBeth, 44, was a C-130 pilot who’d served in the Wyoming and Montana Air National Guard. Hudson, 42, went through 20 years in the Marine Corps as a C-130 pilot and DeMorgan, 43, was an Air Force veteran and C-130 flight engineer.
Authorities said the tanker, working by Coulson Aviation, was on a “firebombing” strategic fire retardant on Thursday when it went down. Specialists are not yet certain about the reason.
“We have the extraordinary activity of battling fires far and wide and we invest heavily in this obligation,” Coulson said in an announcement. “Our hearts are with the team’s loved ones and our Coulson Family enduring in the loss of these three exceptional and well-regarded group individuals.”
California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection had utilized the plane to enable Australian teams to battle various flames. The New South Wales Rural Fire Service contracted with Coulson Aviation for the guide.
About 200 U.S. firemen are in Australia helping fire groups. By Friday, in excess of 70 flames were all the while consuming over the Australian scene.