Tim Hart, a Cody resident and wildland firefighter, died Wednesday evening from injuries sustained while fighting a fire in southern New Mexico on May 24.
“I am deeply saddened to share that Tim Hart, a Forest Service Smokejumper, has died from injuries sustained on May 24 while responding to the Eicks Fire in Hildago County, New Mexico," a U.S. Forest Service News Release said. "Our hearts go out to Tim’s family, loved ones, friends, fellow Forest Service employees, and the entire wildland fire community and I ask that you keep them in your thoughts and prayers during this time of sorrow while respecting the family’s privacy.”
A funeral procession honoring Hart took place through Cody on Sunday.
According to the Forest Service, in 2006 he began his wildland firefighting career on the Coconino National Forest and then the Fremont-Winema National Forest as an Engine Crew Member. Then in 2009 he joined the Shoshone National Forest as a Lead Forestry Technician on an engine and in 2010 detailed to the Asheville Interagency Hotshot Crew as a Lead Firefighter.
Hart worked for the Bureau of Land Management on the Ruby Mountain Hotshot Crew. He joined the smokejumper program in 2016 and re-located to Grangeville, Idaho as a rookie. In 2019 his wildland firefighter journey took him to West Yellowstone, Mont. as a Smokejumper Squad Leader and in 2020 as a spotter.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, Hart took a hard fall during a fire jump. He was flown by air ambulance to a hospital in El Paso, Texas, where he remained in critical condition as of Wednesday morning.
Hart was fighting the Eicks Fire, located on private land in the Animas Mountains along the rugged Continental Divide.
Hart had been working for the West Yellowstone Smokejumpers for about two years. He also has been a wildland firefighter since 2006.
His GoFundMe page has already raised $91,404 for his cause as of Thursday morning. A total of 854 people have donated, including a $2,500 contribution made by the National Smokejumper Association. To donate visit: gofundme.com/f/support-smokejumper-tim-hart-his-family