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Wyoming Smokejumper Dies Of Injuries Suffered In New Mexico

Custer Gallatin National Forest
A photo of late smokejumper Tim Hart posted in a Tweet made by Gallatin National forest

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — A Wyoming smokejumper has died of injuries suffered last month while fighting a wildfire in southwestern New Mexico.

The U.S. Forest Service says Tim Hart of Cody suffered a hard fall on May 24 while responding to a fire in Hidalgo County. Hart was flown via air ambulance to a hospital in El Paso, Texas where he died Wednesday evening.

Custer Gallatin National Forest spokesperson Marna Daley says Hart was injured in a hard landing after parachuting into rocky terrain on private land in the Animas Mountains.

Montana elected officials are mourning the loss of Hart.

In a Tweet made by Gov. Greg Gianforte Thursday, he expressed his condolences, saying, “Our hearts are heavier today with the passing of Tim Hart, a dedicated West Yellowstone smokejumper. Please join me in keeping Tim’s family, friends and colleagues in our thoughts and prayers.”

Hart was working for the West Yellowstone Smokejumpers in Montana at the time of his death. He had been a wildland firefighter since 2006, also working in North Carolina, Arizona, Oregon, Wyoming, Nevada and Idaho. The cause of his injuries is still under investigation.