Last Fire Call to remember Walker, San Bernadino heroes

  • Discuss Comment, Blog about
  • Print Friendly and PDF

The Last Fire Call memorial honoring firefighters past and present has been rescheduled for Friday.

"It is in honor of the crews from the two tankers from the Minden area that we lost, but more importantly, to recognize all firefighters whether they (work) aerial, structural or on the ground and support personnel," said Len Parker, owner of Minden Air Corp.

"I don't think they get the recognition they deserve."

In the last two years, five Douglas County firefighters have been killed.

During the Cannon Fire in Walker, Calif., on June 18, 2002, a three-man crew, including pilot Capt. Steve Wass, 42, of Gardnerville, was killed when its C-130A air tanker lost its wings and crashed into a field. The other crew members were Craig LaBare, 36, of Loomis, Calif.; and Michael H. Davis, 59, of Bakersfield, Calif.

The final National Transportation Safety Board report cited "fatigue or stress cracks" as the likely cause of the accident.

On Oct. 3, Minden Air Corp. employees pilot Capt. Carl Dolbeare, 54, of Chandler, Ariz., and co-pilot John Attardo, 51, of Fort Collins, Colo., were killed when their P2V air tanker crashed nine miles west of San Bernadino, Calif. They were assisting at a fire in Arizona and making their way back to a base camp in California. Parker said the cause of that crash is still under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Parker and his wife, Janet Parker, established a memorial fund for the Dolbeare and Attardo families.

The Last Fire Call begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch Center, 2311 Firebrand Court, near the Minden-Tahoe Airport.

Minden Air Corps tanker 48 will carry out the last fire call and water drop in honor of the crews. The event was rescheduled from October because of inclement weather.

Contact Regina Purcell at or 782-5121, ext. 211.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment