WRAY, Colo. — One of the firefighters killed in a plane crash in Australia on Thursday was from Colorado, his family confirmed.
Ian McBeth, 44, is one of three American firefighters who died when a C-130 Hercules aerial water tanker crashed in the Snowy Monaro area of New South Wales.
McBeth graduated from Wray High School in 1994. He still has family there.
He moved to Wyoming and then Montana. He most recently lived in Great Falls, Montana.
McBeth served in the Wyoming and Montana National Guards. He served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
McBeth leaves behind a wife and three children.
He was one of many Americans helping fight the devastating wildfires in Australia.
According to the Associated Press, the plane crash brings the death toll from the blazes to at least 31 since September. The fires have also destroyed more than 2,600 homes and razed more than 25.7 million acres, an area bigger than the U.S. state of Indiana.
The C-130 was based in California. The AP reports the four-propeller plane can drop more than 4,000 gallons of fire retardant during a single pass.
Gov. Jared Polis expressed his sympathies Thursday night:
My deepest sympathies go out to the family of firefighter Ian McBeth who lost his life volunteering in Australia to fight the wildfires when an aerial water tanker plane crashed in New South Wales Thursday. Ian was a graduate of Wray High School in 1994.
Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/59rDiAEg0u
— Jared Polis (@GovofCO) January 24, 2020