Hotshot Firefighter Who Died While Fighting the El Dorado Wildfire Identified

September 24, 2020Joshua Skovlund
el dorado, fire, firefighter

Firefighters attempting to suppress a section of the El Dorado wildfire. Photo courtesy of CalFire/Instagram.

The firefighter who died while fighting the El Dorado wildfire has been identified as Charles Morton, a Big Bear Interagency Hotshot Squad boss, in a press release from the San Bernardino National Forest/US Forest Service. Morton died on the night of Sept. 17, 2020.

“Charlie was a well-respected leader who was always there for his squad and his crew at the toughest times,” said US Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen in the release. “Our hearts go out to Charlie’s loved ones, coworkers, friends and the Big Bear Hotshots. We will keep them in our thoughts and prayers.”

Morton was born Aug. 7, 1981, in San Diego, California. He started his firefighting career in 2002 when he entered the California Conservation Corps as a corpsman at the Butte Fire Center in Magalia, California. During the 2006 fire season, he joined the ranks of Firestorm Fire Suppression Inc. in Chico, California. 

charles morton
Charles Morton taking a well-deserved break during fire suppression activities. Photo courtesy of San Bernardino National Forest/Twitter.

Morton served for 14 years with the US Forest Service, beginning in 2006 with the Truckee Interagency Hotshots tasked with serving the Tahoe National Forest. He moved on to the San Bernardino National Forest in 2007 and, according to the press release, “worked on both the Front Country and Mountaintop Ranger Districts, for the Mill Creek Interagency Hotshots, Engine 31, Engine 19, and the Big Bear Interagency Hotshots.”

At the time of his death, Morton was engaging in fire suppression against the El Dorado wildfire. The details of what occurred to cause his death have not been released at the time of publication. 

The El Dorado wildfire is believed to have been caused by a pyrotechnic device used during a gender reveal party. Cal Fire Incident Command recorded Sept. 5, 2020, as the day the fire started. The wildfire is currently estimated to be 22,601 acres in size and is 81% contained, according to an InciWeb report.

Joshua Skovlund
Joshua Skovlund

Joshua Skovlund is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die. He covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. After five years as in paramedicine, he transitioned to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
Coffee Or Die Photo
From the Team Room to Team Room Design: An Operator’s Creative Journey

BRCC partners with Team Room Design for an exclusive T-shirt release!

Coffee Or Die Photo
Get Your Viking On: The Exclusive 30 Sec Out BRCC Shirt Club Design

Thirty Seconds Out has partnered with BRCC for an exclusive shirt design invoking the God of Winter.

Grizzly Forge BRCC shirt
Limited Edition: Grizzly Forge Blades on an Awesome BRCC Shirt

Lucas O'Hara of Grizzly Forge has teamed up with BRCC for a badass, exclusive Shirt Club T-shirt design featuring his most popular knife and tiomahawk.

BRCC Limited Edition Josh Raulerson Blackbeard Skull Shirt
From Naval Service to Creative Canvas: BRCC Veteran Artist Josh Raulerson

Coffee or Die sits down with one of the graphic designers behind Black Rifle Coffee's signature look and vibe.

Medal of Honor is held up.
Biden Will Award Medal of Honor to Army Helicopter Pilot Who Rescued Soldiers in Vietnam Firefight

Biden will award the Medal of Honor to a Vietnam War Army helicopter pilot who risked his life to save a reconnaissance team from almost certain death.

dear jack mandaville
Dear Jack: Which Historic Battle Would You Want To Witness?

Ever wonder how much Jack Mandaville would f*ck sh*t up if he went back in time? The American Revolution didn't even see him coming.

west point time capsule
West Point Time Capsule Yields Centuries-Old Coins

A nearly 200-year-old West Point time capsule that at first appeared to yield little more than dust contains hidden treasure, the US Military Academy said.

  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
Contact Us
© 2024 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved