The U.S. Fire Administration has announced the official on-duty deaths of Captain Todd Tompkins, 48, and First Officer Ronnie Chambless, 40, of Neptune Aviation Services, Inc. on June 3, 2012.
Captain Todd Tompkins and First Officer Ronnie Chambless passed away while fighting the 5,000-acre White Rock Fire which was sparked by lightning in eastern Nevada. On the second run of the day in their model P2V Lockheed Martin aircraft, Captain Tompkins and First Officer Chambless were nearing the wildfire when they crashed in the Hamlin Valley area of Iron County, Utah, near the Utah-Nevada border.
It was estimated that the aircraft held approximately 1,600 gallons of fuel and 2,000 gallons of fire retardant. It was reported that the NTSB, FAA, and U.S. Forest Service officials are responding to the crash for investigation.
Tribute is being paid to Captain Todd Tompkins and First Officer Ronnie Chambless at http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fireservice/fatalities/
To date, 36 firefighter fatalities have been reported to USFA in 2012. Year-to-date monthly and annual USFA firefighter fatality reports are posted online at http://www.usfa.fema.gov/fireservice/fatalities/statistics/ff_stats.shtm
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