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Luke Douglas Sheehy ( Redding 2009 )

posted: Oct 27, 2013

Luke, 28, died June 10, 2013, while fighting a fire in the South Warner Wilderness southeast of Alturas, California. The USFS reported that he was hit by a section of a falling tree. He was born in Susanville, California, and graduated from Lassen H.S. Before becoming a smokejumper, he worked for the Diamond Mountain Hotshots with the Bureau of Land Management and as a firefighter for Cal Fire.

His biggest passion was smokejumping, which he started in 2009 for the U.S. Forest Service smokejumpers in Redding, Calif. Luke excelled in the smokejumper program due to his candor and work ethic. He could never get enough action. He was active from the start. Whether it was hunting, fishing, dirt biking, motorcycling, snowmobiling, mountain biking, road bikes, logging or general overall fitness, he enjoyed it all.

"People usually have valleys and peaks in their life," said Redding smokejumper Luis Gomez (RDD-94), "but for Luke there were no valleys. He danced from peak to peak."

"His love of life and love for the people around him made him easy to be around," said his friend Aaron Burrough. "These qualities allowed him to excel at whatever adventure he decided to tackle. He was extremely family-oriented and selfless. To sum Luke up in one word, he was 'genuine.'"

"Put me in a box; I will just kick my way out of it," fellow smokejumper Joe Maggio (RDD-09) reported Luke saying. "He was genetically designed to be a smokejumper. He was the only guy driving a Cummings diesel with Simon and Garfunkel coming out of the window."

Luke was not one to be boxed in. In addition to his active lifestyle, he enjoyed playing numerous musical instruments. "Put me in a box; I will just kick my way out of it," fellow smokejumper Joe Maggio (RDD-09) reported Luke saying. "He was genetically designed to be a smokejumper. He was the only guy driving a Cummings diesel with Simon and Garfunkel coming out of the window."