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Thomas “Tommy” Hayes- Moose Fire Crash

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In early June I was sent an aerial photo from John Day, Oregon from Tom Hayes. He had just signed on full time with Rotak Helicopters flying their newly acquired Chinook. He was excited to start a new chapter by flying to Twin Falls to get this helicopter carded to fight fires.

Tom spend 20 years in the Army, first as a crew chief on Blackhawks and then as a Chinook pilot. He flew for 15 years with deployments to South West Asia. He loved the helicopter.

Tom retired in 2018 and started a career flying Chinooks fighting forest fires in the US and in South America. It’s what he wanted to do as soon as he retired.

On July 19th Tom sent a message showing he was headed to the Moose Fire. On the afternoon of the 21st of July an announcement shook the aviation community that a helicopter crashed fighting the fire. Soon after it was announced that both Tom and Jared Bird perished in the accident.

As many know this has destroyed a few communities, including Tom’s, in North Idaho. Most of all his passing has devastated Tom’s father.

I create this fundraiser to help Tom’s dad with funeral expenses and to donate to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation in Boise. The money will be sent to his father to help cover the cost of funerals and such. What is left will be donated to the foundation.

The foundation operates on donation to give financial aid to the families of fallen fire fighters financial help, help injured fire fighters and to work with agencies to minimize injuries and fatalities.

Lets help the people that protect us. The following is the link to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.


Darrell Dodge
Meridian, ID

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