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FireWatch: Community comes together to honor fallen Medford wildland firefighter

The Forest Service and fire crews from all over the Rogue Valley honored Frumencio Ruiz Carapia, a Medford man who died while working as a contracted wildland firefighter in Lane County last month.

Posted: Sep 9, 2021 5:22 PM
Updated: Sep 9, 2021 5:37 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — Thursday, September 9 was a day to honor the life and the legacy of a life that was taken far too soon.

The US Forest Service and fire crews from all over the Rogue Valley gathered to honor Frumencio Ruiz Carapia, a Medford man who died while working as a contracted wildland firefighter in Lane County last month. Thursday marked the memorial ceremony before Carapia's body is sent to Querétaro, Mexico, where his mother and brothers live.

Flags flew at half-staff around the state on Thursday in Carapia's honor.

“I'm from Arizona, I didn’t get to meet him — and it hurts just as bad as anybody else here . . . any of these guys would do the same thing for me,” said Jorge Amaya, the liaison to the Ruiz-Carapia family and his employer, GE Forestry.

The 56-year-old Carapia was working along the eastern edge of the Gales Fire in August when he was struck by a falling tree. Though crews immediately tried to help him, Ruiz Carapia succumbed to his injuries at the scene.

“I knew him from a long time ago. We born in the same town in Mexico, and we came to US . . . and we know each other for a long time, we did the same kind of work for over thirty years,” said Esteban Gonzalez, president of GE Forestry.

Friends and family remembered Carapia as a caring, honest, and humble man. On August 26, a procession of firefighters and law enforcement officers from multiple agencies escorted Carapia's body as it was returned to Medford.

“I know the family is really hurting and we will try to help them the best way we can,” Gonzalez said.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 391099

Reported Deaths: 5161
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60298839
Washington41981395
Marion39886506
Clackamas32773378
Lane30113355
Jackson24880360
Deschutes23557185
Umatilla15126180
Linn14637179
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Josephine10148244
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Klamath9053146
Polk8212100
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Malheur592487
Coos5664106
Columbia430455
Jefferson420266
Lincoln362152
Union338755
Crook334056
Wasco316146
Clatsop261835
Baker219833
Tillamook216645
Hood River213737
Morrow197525
Curry191939
Harney119933
Grant108515
Lake105416
Wallowa75713
Sherman1913
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 5083462

Reported Deaths: 74473
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152713227166
San Diego4069274335
Riverside3876785358
San Bernardino3745435962
Orange3343985725
Sacramento1683542443
Kern1576621804
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Tehama10275130
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Lake7043110
Amador577366
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Calaveras441588
Del Norte375542
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Inyo256646
Plumas19367
Mono18784
Mariposa160018
Trinity99717
Modoc7655
Unassigned3220
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Medford
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Hi: 60° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 39°
Brookings
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Crater Lake
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Klamath Falls
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Stagnant and dry weather continue all week
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