Remembering Hotshot Brent Witham Idyllwild

5 years ago today… August 8, 2017
Inland firefighter fleeing falling tree made doomed run for safety
Stretch of Highway 38 named in memory of Mentone firefighter who died in 2017 blaze- A stretch of Highway 38 near Mountain Home Village has been named to honor a U.S. Forest Service firefighter from Mentone who died after he traveled to Montana to fight the 2017 Lolo Peak Fire.

The sign, which reads, “USFS Firefighter Brent M Witham Memorial Highway,” was placed along Highway 38 on Wednesday, according to Witham’s friend Nick Litt.

Witham was part of a hotshot crew with the United States Forest Service. The crews either hike or are dropped into remote areas to carve out fire breaks during a wildfire. Members of hotshot crews usually are sent in with only the equipment they can carry. Witham was a sawyer, someone who cuts down trees.

He died within minutes when a tree he was cutting down struck him. He was 29 years old
Witham was close to his family and held a strong faith, said Litt, 34, also of Mentone.

“To me, Brent was always someone who wanted to do the right thing for the right reason,” Litt said. “He made a big impact on my life.”

Litt, who moved from Orange County to Redlands in 2008, met Witham through mutual friends.