Forest Service lookout one of four killed during McKinney Fire in Northern California

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Kathy Shoopman. USFS photo.

The US Forest Service has announced that one of the four people killed in the McKinney Fire in Northern California was Kathy Shoopman, a long-time FS employee. The agency said she died in her home in the community of Klamath River as a result of the fire on July 29, the day the fire erupted.

Ms. Shoopman started her career as a lookout at Baldy Mountain Lookout, west of Happy Camp, in 1974. Since then, she has staffed Lake Mountain Lookout, and most recently Buckhorn Lookout, a post she has held since 1993. She lived in the community of Klamath River for nearly five decades and was a talented artist, gardener, and a devout animal lover.

All four victims lived in Klamath River, which was ordered to evacuate on July 29 as the fire spread rapidly. It has now burned more than 60,000 acres. Ms. Shoopman was the first victim to have been positively identified.

Our sincere condolences go out to Ms. Shoopman’s family, friends, and co-workers.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.
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