The memorial has concluded and posting to this blog has ended. While there will be no new posts, the blog will remain visible to allow you to access the donation information in support of the families.
The Memorial Staff
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Wenatchee, WA. (August 29, 2015) – U.S. Forest Service officials today asked the public to avoid using any type of unmanned aerial vehicles (“drones”) between the hours of 10:30 AM and 3:00 PM in the City of Wenatchee on Sunday, August 30. The request comes as part of an effort to clear air space so that an aircraft is able to drop three ceremonial streamers in the vicinity of the Town Toyota Center, 1300 Walla Walla Avenue. The streamers are being dropped as a part of the memorial honoring Richard Wheeler, Andrew Zajac, and Tom Zbyszewski who died in the line of duty on August 19 while assigned to the Twisp River Fire.
If a drone is detected near the operational area, the Forest Service aircraft must immediately exit the area and will not be able to drop the streamers. Remember, “If you fly, we can’t”!
at 4:45 PM
Friday, August 28, 2015
The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, USDA Forest Service
A memorial for firefighters Richard Wheeler, Andrew Zajac, and Tom Zbyszewski will be held at 1:00 PM on Sunday, August 30, 2015. It will be at the Town Toyota Center, 1300 Walla Walla Avenue, in Wenatchee. All Forest Service employees, retirees and spouses are welcome to attend. The doors to the Toyota Center will open at 11:00 am. Forest Service employees will be directed to a designated seating area. Those who have been designated as official representatives for their unit are authorized to drive a government vehicle to the memorial. Everyone else should drive their personal vehicle and attend on their own time. Members of the public will be seated as space allows after family members and agency personnel have been seated. The venue will accommodate up to 4,500 people.
Parking and Shuttle Bus Information
Those who plan to attend are encouraged to arrive early, carpool if possible, or consider taking the shuttle bus. Limited parking will be available at the Town Toyota Center and space will be provided on a first come, first served basis. Additional parking will be available at Lowes, Cetto’s, Walla Walla Park – North and South, and Good Fellow Brothers (ADA accessible). Parking will also be available at Pybus Market, located at 3 North Worthen Street; from this location, a shuttle bus will take guests to the Town Toyota Center beginning at 10:00 AM. The shuttle bus will return guests to their vehicles after the memorial. See this map for parking details: Parking maps
A procession of agency vehicles and emergency apparatus will travel through downtown Wenatchee on Sunday morning before the memorial. Traffic delays should be expected. Those who wish to pay their respects are invited to line the procession route. Click here for a map of the procession route: Procession Route Map
The procession will begin at approximately 11:10 AM near the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Supervisor’s Office at the Big Lot store parking lot. Emergency Service personnel who are planning to participate in the procession should contact Wenatchee Police Department Captain John Kruse at 509-888-4203 or email@example.com
The procession route is as follows:
South on Access Road to Penny Drive
Right on Penny Drive
Left to on-ramp State Route 285 (Wenatchee Avenue)
Left on 5th Street
Left on Pierre Street
Right on 9th Street
Left on Walla Walla Avenue
Left into Town Toyota Center
The families have given permission for media representatives to cover the memorial. A live broadcast of the memorial will be available on line at Q13Fox.com. Here is the URL:
http://q13fox.com/ The planning team is looking into options for those who are not able to watch the live broadcast and details will be published on the blog spot once they are confirmed.
To date, the media has been very professional and respectful and we have every reason to believe that this will continue through the memorial. The media will be located on the second floor of the Town Toyota Center, away from family members and employees. Numerous Public Information Officers will be on hand to escort the media for the duration of the memorial.
All attendees are encouraged to wear the field uniform (short-sleeved shirt, no tie, dark green pants, green nomex pants) or crew shirts and nomex pants. Shrouds will be available for FS badges and they should be positioned horizontally across the badge. Purple ribbons or pins should be worn above or to the left of the badge. Those who do not have a Forest Service uniform should be prepared to show government identification to access the seating area that has been reserved for Forest Service employees.
Please visit our blog at http://twispriverfirememorial.blogspot.com/ for the most recent information about the memorial. New information is posted throughout the day as plans are confirmed.
No flash photography will be permitted. Cell phones should be placed on silent before the start of the event.
at 5:00 PM
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Proudly Display Your Purple Ribbon
Showing your support for the wildland firefighter community is as simple as a purple ribbon. This small gesture shows your appreciation and gratitude for their sacrifice while protecting our Nation's communities and natural resources.
The symbolic flame of the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) coupled with purple ribbon symbolizes the extended fire families' commitment to wildland firefighters. The purple ribbon is worn and displayed in memory of all wildland firefighters.
Show your support today and on the day of the memorial. Make one for you and one to share.
at 11:02 AM
Monday, August 24, 2015
Daniel Lyon, the fourth firefighter, remains in Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center with third degree burns over a large portion of his body. Daniel’s parents are thankful for the prayers and support that they have received.
The same fire also injured two firefighters and a contract employee from the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Donald Smith, Reed Callis, and the contract employee (whose name has not been released) have been discharged from the hospital and are recuperating.
Family Liaisons Established
Family Liaisons have been meeting on a daily basis with family members to determine their concerns, issues, needs, and wishes. The liaisons then relay this information to the teams.
The Honor Guard is coordinating with other agencies to schedule assistance with both the memorial and other funeral services. Multiple agencies are represented on the Honor Guard.
Critical Incident Stress Management Team
A Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) team has been working with the Methow Valley Ranger District, and will eventually work their way around the Forest to meet with all district and SO personnel who are interested. The Seattle Fire Department has a similar team in place working with affected state and federal employees.
Burke Minor, from the Wildland Firefighter Foundation has arrived. The foundation provides support to injured fire fighters as well as the families of those who are killed in the line of duty. Several representatives from the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation have arrived to provide planning and operational support and to assist the families with submission of the Public Safety Officers Benefit claim.
For additional information, contact Judith Downing,
U. S. Forest Service, National Incident Management Organization (NIMO), at the listed email address
at 2:12 PM
Teams Arrive to Assist the Forest
Wenatchee, Wash.— Several teams have arrived to support the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest (OWNF). A National Incident Management Team (NIMO) has been assigned to provide support as requested by the Forest, so that employees can deal with forest business and take care of their families, employees, and friends. A second NIMO Team will be helping to organize any memorial services to honor our fallen firefighters.
In the coming days, a Coordinated Response Protocol will review the circumstances surrounding the events leading to the fatalities of three agency firefighters and the critical injuries of one agency firefighter. This includes a Learning Review that replaces the Serious Accident Investigation Process used in previous years.
Condolences for the families can be sent to the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Supervisor’s Office at 215 Melody Lane, Wenatchee WA 98801.
at 10:39 AM