First Responders

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 has 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. His creative outlets include Skovlund Photography and Concentrated Emotion.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
navy seal training
Navy SEALS Training Plagued by Massive Problems, According To Investigation

Medical oversight and care were “poorly organized, poorly integrated and poorly led and put candidat...

memorial day arlington
Memorial Day Is a Day of Remembrance, Not Celebration

Memorial Day was created as a remembrance to honor the fallen by decorating graves — a holiday meant...

air force joint chiefs
Air Force Fighter Pilot Tapped As Next Joint Chiefs Chairman Has History of Firsts

The Air Force fighter pilot about to be nominated as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ...

sowf special operations warrior foundation
BRCC Donates $500K to Special Operations Warrior Foundation

In an effort to continue Black Rifle Coffee Company’s mission of supporting the veteran community, B...

Coca Cola 600
BRCC to Honor Fallen Marine During NASCAR’s Legendary Coca-Cola 600

Black Rifle Coffee Company will honor Marine Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Menusa during NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 this Memorial Day. Menusa was killed in 2003 during the invasion of Iraq.

uss gerald r. ford oslo
US Aircraft Carrier Arrives In NATO Member Norway, To Take Part In Drills

The nuclear-powered ship USS Gerald R. Ford entered the Oslo fjord escorted by a rapid dinghy-type boat with armed personnel on board.

adam driver indy 500
Marine Vet, Actor Adam Driver Named Honorary Starter for Indianapolis 500

Two-time Academy Award nominee Adam Driver, who will soon be starring as Enzo Ferrari in a biopic of...

  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved