Hikers brave elements to honor fallen Craig firefighter | CraigDailyPress.com

Hikers brave elements to honor fallen Craig firefighter

More than 40 people participate in Brett Stearns Memorial Walk/Run

Ben Bulkeley

Brett Stearns

Despite snowy and cold conditions, more than 40 people made the trek Saturday around Cedar Mountain for the first annual Brett Stearns Memorial Walk/Run.

Stearns was a local Bureau of Land Management engine captain who died in June 2009 while in the line of duty.

Brett's wife, Joy Stearns, said the memorial event helps fund the Brett Stearns Memorial Scholarship Fund.

"All donations go towards the Brett Stearns Memorial Scholarship Fund," she said. "That money is donated to students. (On Friday) we gave a $1,000 scholarship to a CNCC student in Craig."

Sarah Dill was the student who received the scholarship, Joy said.

The trail, which was more than three miles long and weaved through Cedar Mountain, was one of Brett's favorite places to hike, Joy said.

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"I do think it's fitting," she said. "He loved this trail. It has a beautiful view and it takes a while to conquer."

Bryan Yeager, who helped organize the event, said more than $800 in donations was raised for the scholarship.

Stearns was killed June 26 while removing a tree at Freeman Reservoir.

He worked at the BLM Little Snake Field Office in Craig for 10 years.

Lynn Barclay, a spokeswoman for the BLM's Little Snake Field Office, said Stearns will again be honored in May.

"On May 8, they will honor him in Denver at the Fallen Firefighters Memorial," she said. "Michael St. Martin will drive an engine there to honor him."

Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or bbulkeley@craigdailypress.com.

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