Boise (ID) Smokejumper Involved in Fatal Accident

A Boise BLM smokejumper died on Friday, in a parachuting accident near the town of Prairie, reports KTVB.com.

The National Interagency Fire Center said it was related to some sort of failure with his parachute system, but they don’t yet know exactly what the problem was.

40-year-old Mark Urban of Boise worked at the Great Basin Smokejumper Base in Boise. The accident was reported near Prairie, about 45 miles east of Boise.

Don Smurthwaite, a National Interagency Fire Center spokesperson, said the accident happened when Urban was doing a proficiency jump.

If wildland firefighters are not out parachuting on fires, smokejumpers have to complete proficiency jumps every couple of weeks.

NIFC officials said Urban was a senior member of the crew, and folks at the Boise BLM base are heavyhearted over the loss.

“It’s just devastating,” said Smurthwaite. “They’re all friends. Mr. Urban had jumped here for ten years so he was one of the leaders of the crew in terms of training people and just being somebody who could be counted on. So this is tragic and devastating.”

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