2nd Annual walk/run to honor fallen BLM firefighter | CraigDailyPress.com

2nd Annual walk/run to honor fallen BLM firefighter

Joshua Gordon

Brett Stearns

When Brett Stearns died nearly two years ago, he left an imprint on his co-workers, family and friends, Mac Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman, who worked with Stearns at the Bureau of Land Management's Little Snake Field Office in Craig, said the best way to remember his late friend was to do something Stearns loved to do.

On May 14, Zimmerman, along with many of Stearns' friends and family, will host the Second Annual Brett Stearns Memorial Walk/Run at Cedar Mountain.

The event will start at 11 a.m. sharp, regardless of weather, Zimmerman said.

"It is just a group of friends and family enjoying a day together to remember a close friend," he said. "Anyone and everyone is welcome to come out and enjoy the day with us."

Stearns, who was a BLM engine captain, was clearing hazardous trees with other firefighters in June 2009 at Freeman Reservoir.

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The captain was killed when a tree came down on him.

Zimmerman said he grew up with Stearns and knew him well.

"He was a great friend and a great firefighter," he said. "We want to celebrate the memory of a great person."

The trail that will be used during the memorial event, which has been renamed Stearns Memorial Trail, is about three miles long.

Stearns used to run the trail often, usually making two loops, Zimmerman said. To closely resemble Stearns' runs, a six-mile walk/run will be an option during the event.

Zimmerman said the terrain is rocky, muddy and changes elevation often, so participants should be prepared.

"Last year, it snowed and we still went," he said. "We don't know how the weather or conditions will be, but we will go, no matter what."

Last year, the event included T-shirt sales with proceeds going to a local scholarship fund. Because of BLM rules and regulations, Zimmerman said event organizers wouldn't be able to do the fundraiser again this year.

However, Zimmerman said there would still be a potluck-style picnic after the walk/run.

"Anyone who wants to bring food or drinks is welcome," he said. "We are asking for volunteers to help wherever possible. We just want to have a great day with friends and family."

Zimmerman said participants will meet just before 11 a.m. in the parking lot on BLM Route 2190 off of Moffat County Road 7.

For more information, call Zimmerman at 826-5040 or 629-2845.

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