Oregon smokejumper dies from injuries suffered after battling Alabama wildfires

REDMOND, Ore. -- An Oregon firefighter who went to Alabama to help battle November’s wildfires died on Monday.

U.S. Forest Service firefighter and smokejumper Ray Rubio died from injuries he suffered on Nov. 23 while in Alabama helping fight the region’s wildfires.

"The loss of one of Oregon's own is heartbreaking, and I extend my sincere condolences to Ray's family, friends, and the firefighting community who knew him well," Gov. Kate Brown said in a statement on Wednesday. "Ray will be remembered as a loving husband and father who dedicated his life to service and helping others."

The U.S. Fire Administration reported Rubio was staying overnight in Birmingham, Alabama and was on his way home to Oregon when the injury occurred.

According to a GoFundMe page set up for Rubio and his family, "Just before Thanksgiving Day, after completing a fire assignment, Ray was in Birmingham Alabama, about to travel home. A serious accident occurred, that left Ray critically injured."

Rubio, 52, was from Redmond and an Army veteran. On Rubio's GoFundMe page, he was described as someone who was unselfish and always willing to help those in need.

“Ray is the guy who knows how to fix everything, and help everyone else with his or her problems, any time of day. He is a real life McGyver."

KGW


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