STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Forest Service mourns the loss of Happy Camp wildland firefighter

Forest Service firefighter Joe Hillenburg passed away earlier this month, according to the Six Rivers National Forest.

Posted: Jul 13, 2020 12:24 PM
Updated: Jul 13, 2020 12:30 PM

ORLEANS, Calif. — Staff at the Six Rivers National Forest are mourning the loss of a U.S. Forest Service wildland firefighter who passed away earlier this month.

Joe Hillenburg worked in the Orleans/Ukonom Ranger District of Six Rivers. He passed away on July 1 "following a brief illness," according to the agency.

"Although Joe had only been with the Six Rivers for 3 years, he started his firefighting career nearly 25 years ago with the National Park Service at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area on their prescribed fire crew," Six Rivers said in a statement.

Hillenburg joined the Forest Service in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest during 2002 — moving to the Malheur National Forest in 2007, the Klamath National Forest from 2008 until 2017, and finally joining Six Rivers.

“I got to know Joe when we both worked on the Klamath National Forest,” said Ted McArthur, forest supervisor for the Six Rivers. “He and his family spent many wonderful years in the area, growing to love the Klamath Mountains — and we grew to love him — his easy going nature, his upbeat personality, and his steadfast approach to his duties and his willingness to help others.”

Hillenburg reportedly served in the U.S. Army in Germany and during Desert Storm before becoming a firefighter in 1996. He was an avid hunter and fisherman in the Klamath River basin.

"His adoration and unwavering devotion to his children and grandchildren carried over in his interaction with all children making him a beloved figure in the community both at the annual Father’s Day parade and during education initiatives at local schools," Six Rivers said.

Hillenburg is survived by his wife Kris Hillenburg; his children Patrick, Kymmy and Josselynn (Jossie); and his grandchildren Ashland Parker and Anna Douglas.

A celebration of life event will be held at River Park in Happy Camp on July 18. Memorial contributions may be made to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 19978

Reported Deaths: 338
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah460893
Washington292124
Marion275568
Umatilla214126
Clackamas146438
Malheur71512
Deschutes5558
Lane5403
Jackson4211
Lincoln4149
Yamhill40412
Union3922
Jefferson3323
Morrow3272
Polk30112
Linn26310
Klamath2001
Hood River1780
Wasco1723
Benton1626
Douglas1401
Josephine1082
Coos890
Columbia860
Clatsop830
Crook421
Baker360
Tillamook340
Lake320
Wallowa191
Curry140
Sherman140
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant20
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 530606

Reported Deaths: 9808
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1981654827
Riverside38487738
Orange38131665
San Bernardino34237487
San Diego30516568
Kern21433152
Fresno15945157
Alameda12136193
San Joaquin12034187
Santa Clara11030192
Sacramento10174148
Tulare10078193
Imperial9513232
Stanislaus9308135
Contra Costa8324131
Ventura787777
San Francisco708162
Santa Barbara652664
San Mateo5758120
Marin518076
Monterey496634
Merced458351
Kings445356
Solano380638
Sonoma320842
Madera211432
Placer199819
San Luis Obispo197016
Yolo161442
Santa Cruz11964
Butte10128
Napa10079
Sutter8406
San Benito6894
El Dorado6681
Lassen6320
Yuba5334
Shasta4049
Colusa3594
Glenn3462
Mendocino3419
Nevada3161
Tehama2491
Humboldt2454
Lake2111
Mono1461
Tuolumne1442
Amador1370
Calaveras1361
Del Norte900
Siskiyou880
Inyo661
Mariposa592
Plumas330
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
Broken Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 64°
Brookings
Overcast
59° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 59°
Crater Lake
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 60°
Grants Pass
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 64°
Klamath Falls
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 60°
Cool and breezy Thursday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events