21-year-old firefighter from Boulder killed in on-duty crash in Oregon

A 21-year-old firefighter from Boulder who had been battling Oregon’s Flat fire died in an on-duty crash near Powers, Oregon, on Friday.

Benjamin Charles Sapper was working as a first-year hand-crew member with the Gold Beach Ranger District in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, according to a Saturday news release from the U.S. Forest Service.

“This is a devastating loss of one of our own Gold Beach firefighters,” Gold Beach District Ranger Kailey Guerrant said in the news release. “We have a tight-knit community on the Gold Beach and Powers Ranger Districts, and we stand together in grief and support for his family, friends, and fellow firefighters during this heartbreaking time.”

Sapper graduated from Boulder High School and the University of Colorado with a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics.

According to the news release, Sapper joined the Forest Service because he wanted to serve the community and planned to start graduate school at the University of British Columbia to study earth sciences this fall.

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