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Jim, 44, died July 6, 1994, on the Storm King Mountain Fire in Colorado along with 13 other firefighters. He was born December 23, 1949, in Sacramento, California, grew up in Arizona and moved to Idaho in 1973. He is survived by his wife, Holly, and two children. Jim grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, graduating from Cortez High School in 1968. He went on to college at Pasadena (California) Nazarene College on a baseball scholarship. He graduated in May 1972 with degrees in History and Spanish. Jim married Holly Kliewer in May 1973 and they moved to Nampa, Idaho, in December 1973. After receiving a teaching certificate from Northwest College, he taught history and Spanish for four years at Middleton High School. In 1979 he and Holly moved to McCall, where he began his career in firefighting on the Krassel Ranger District, Payette National Forest. In 1981, he was hired on at the McCall Smokejumper Base where he worked seasonally until his death. Jim was very much at home in the backcountry. He and his wife owned and operated a big game hunting business in the mountains of west-central Idaho. Over the years, Jim was a key player in the Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association, serving on the board as vice president, and as president. Jim jumped at McCall 1981-94 and had 213 jumps.



Publication Date

June 2021


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


Forest Management

Smokejumper Obituary: Thrash, James Robert (McCall 1981)