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Members of the Craig Interagency Hotshots watch Tuesday morning as members of the Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit remember fallen firefighter Brett Stearns, who died three years ago Tuesday during a hazard tree abatement project northeast of Craig. Attendees helped plant a Ponderosa Pine in Stearns’ honor during the ceremony at the Bureau of Land Management’s Little Snake Field Office.

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Firefighters honor fallen ‘leader, scholar and a friend’

Tree-planting ceremony in Craig recognizes 3-year anniversary

The Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit will recognize today the three-year anniversary of a firefighter who died while in the line of duty, according to a news release. "On June 26, 2009, the firefighting community lost one of our own (while) felling hazard trees in Northwestern Colorado," the release stated. Brett Stearns, an engine captain, died during a hazard tree abatement project at Freeman Reservoir, 15 miles northeast of Craig. He was struck by a falling tree. Stearns was 29.

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