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Don died Monday, Oct. 2, 2006, at his home in St. Regis, Montana, after a lengthy illness. He attended Darby Schools and received a B.S. degree in forestry from the University of Montana. While in high school, he joined the Army Air Force Reserve and was honorably discharged in 1945. He started a career as a smokejumper, but it ended in 1947 when his chute malfunctioned while jumping to a fire in Roaring Mountain Canyon in the Bitterroot Valley. The accident resulted in a fractured back requiring a rescue team to transport him 13 miles via a stretcher. He retired after 36 years with the U.S. Forest Service, with assignments in Montana, Idaho and Alaska.
Smokejumping; Smokejumpers -- United States; National Smokejumper Association; Wildfire fighters; Obituaries
National Smokejumper Association, "Smokejumper Obituary: Durland, Donald M. (Missoula 1947)" (2006). Smokejumper Obituaries. 1078.