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Dave, 86, died March 12, 2022, in Grass Valley, California. He was born in Aurelia, Iowa, in 1935. Dave jumped at Missoula 1957-58, and at Redding where he was Base Manager 1959, 65-67. He received his bachelor's in Forestry from Iowa State University. Dave and his family ultimately settled in Nevada City, California, and he led one of the nation's Type 1 Fire Teams in while working on the Tahoe N.F. When he retired, he continued for 20 years shaping emergency response policy for FEMA. For any of you that worked with Dave, you knew that he had a tremendous insight in fire management, was a no-known sense person, and expected the best of his associates. Back in the days of immediate initial attack, Dave would load the DC-3 at Redding, fly the forest after a lightning storm, jump fires as he found them (2-manners), and prevent them from becoming project fires. He was one of a kind and I don't think will ever be duplicated. (Ed.)



Publication Date

March 2022


Smokejumping; Smokejumpers -- United States; National Smokejumper Association; Wildfire fighters; Obituaries


Forest Management

Smokejumper Obituary: Nelson, David K.