Boise BLM smokejumper killed in accident Friday

csewell@idahostatesman.comSeptember 27, 2013 

A Boise BLM smokejumper died Friday afternoon in a training accident near Prairie, about 45 miles east of Boise.

Mark T. Urban, 40, was killed after his parachute failed to properly deploy during a training jump.

A serious accident investigation team is being assembled in Boise and will begin their work over the weekend, said National Interagency Fire Center spokesperson Don Smurthwaite.

This is the first fatality of an Idaho smokejumper this year and possibly the first line-of-duty death of a BLM Idaho smokejumper.

“This is a very sad day for the Great Basin smokejumpers, the Bureau of Land Management, and all wildland firefighters,” said Howard Hedrick, Deputy Assistant Director for Fire and Aviation with the Bureau of Land Management. “But it is far worse for Mark’s family and friends. We extend our deepest condolences to his family, and our thoughts and prayers are with them.”

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