Inland Empire firefighter who died battling Montana blaze honored in SoCal

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) -- The remains of a San Bernardino firefighter who was killed battling a wildfire in Montana were flown back to Southern California on Monday and he was honored with a ceremonial procession as he was brought to his final resting place.

Brent Witham died on Aug. 2 battling the Lolo Peak Fire in Montana.

Witham, 29, began his career as a firefighter in 2011 and most recently had been a member of the San Bernardino Vista Grande Hotshots since 2015. He was following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who were also firefighters.

"Our hearts go out to Brent's family, friends, fellow Vista Grande Hotshots, the Forest Service, and the entire wildland fire community," said Jody Noiron, supervisor of the San Bernardino National Forest. "Brent was a hardworking professional, who was eager to learn and be the best that he could be-he will be missed by all he touched."

Witham was flown back to the San Bernardino air tanker base Monday afternoon. He was met by an escort of law enforcement and firefighters, and brought to the Montecito Memorial Park & Mortuary in Colton for interment.

A public memorial service is planned to honor Witham on Thursday at the National Orange Show Events Center (Orange Pavilion, Arrowhead entrance) in San Bernardino. Doors open at 9 a.m. and the service begins at 10.

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