BOISE – A 20-year-old U.S. Forest Service firefighter died after she was struck by a falling tree in north-central Idaho, highlighting the dangerous job crews face as at least a dozen blazes continue to burn across the state.
Anne Veseth, of Moscow, Idaho, died Sunday while helping extinguish the 43-acre Steep Corner fire near Orofino. She was killed when a tree fell and crashed into another tree, causing it to topple, too.
“The Forest Service is devastated by the loss of one of our own,” said Forest Supervisor Rick Brazell, adding that his agency is investigating the fatal incident. “We ask the public to join us in keeping the family in their thoughts and prayers.”
This was Veseth’s second season as a firefighter. Her older brother is also a wildland firefighter in Idaho.
Veseth was a graduate of Moscow High School and a student at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, where she studied auto mechanics.
Two years ago, she was featured in a Lewiston Tribune story when she graduated from high school. In the article, Veseth spoke of her father’s death in 2003 following an accident, describing how that family tragedy changed her life.
“It made me appreciate who I have in my life, while I have them,” Veseth told the newspaper in June 2010. “It made me realize life is short.”
Her family asked for privacy. A memorial service is set for Saturday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, in Moscow.
“The family appreciates all the prayers and concern,” said a statement provided to the media.