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Arizona BIA Firefighter Succumbs to Burn Injuries

by Chris Sorensen |

BIA Firefighter Rick Lupe 42, died Thursday at the Arizona Burn Center. Rick received burns over 33% of his body during a prescribed burn on Sawtooth Mountain in Arizona on May 14th.

According to Rick deployed his fire shelter but the accident remains under investigation. He was working alone at the time of the burnover and walked half a mile to a location where a helicopter transported him to the hospital. He had 20 years of experience as an Apache Hotshot, Hoshot Supervisor and recently as a Fuels Management Specialist.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Flowers can be sent to Owens Mortuary at 320 North 9th St. in Show Low, Arizona 85901.

According to a BIA press release, donation accounts have been established for Lupe's family. Donations may be made at any Wells Fargo Bank to the White Mountain Apache Tribe - Rick Lupe Donation Fund, Account #3828332563.

An account has also been established through The 100 Club, a nonprofit organization established to provide assistance to injured firefighters and law enforcement officers. Donations may be made for Rick Lupe, Account #468902, at the Arizona Federal Credit Union. Credit card donations may be made in Rick's name on the Internet at under the contributions heading


When duty call's me, oh Lord,
Wherever Flames may rage,
Give me strength to save some life
Whatever Be it's age.

Help me embrace a little child
Before it is too late
Or save an older person from
The horror of that fate.

Enable me to be alert,
and oh Lord, guide my every move,
for life is so precious,
please don't let us lose.

I want to fill my calling and
To give the best in me
To guard my every neighbor
and protect their property.

And if according to thy will,
That I must give my life,
Then with thy protecting hand my Lord, I pray thee, protect my
children and my wife.

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