The public will have several opportunities this week to pay tribute to fallen U.S. Forest Service firefighter Brent Witham of Mentone, culminating with a public memorial service on Thursday in San Bernardino.
Witham, 29, was in his second year with an elite firefighting unit, the Idyllwild-based Vista Grande Hotshots. He was sent to Montana to fight the Lolo Peak fire, which started July 15 and is currently 7,292 acres. On Aug. 2, he was killed by a falling tree.
Witham’s body was returned to San Bernardino County in a solemn ceremony Monday that included a procession from the airport to a Colton mortuary.
Thursday’s memorial service will be held at the National Orange Show Events Center at 689 S. E St. in San Bernardino. It will be held in the Orange Pavilion, which has theater seating for 3,600, according to the venue’s website.
The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m., with doors opening about 9 a.m. Attendees should enter through Gate 8 or 9 on South Arrowhead Avenue, between Orange Show Road and Mill Street. A website set up by the U.S. Forest Service said parking information will be posted when it’s available.
The Forest Service has not said whether there will be a procession from the mortuary to the National Orange Show or what route it might take, or whether his burial will be public or private.
On Tuesday, two large condolence cards for well-wishers to sign were put out at the San Bernardino National Forest Supervisor’s Office at 602 S. Tippecanoe Ave. in San Bernardino, where the flags were flying at half-mast.
The cards, about 2.5 feet square and each bearing a photo of Witham, will be…
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