‘It happens so fast’: Yuma County mourns 2nd firefighter killed in a week

Local News

JOES, Colo. (KDVR) — Yuma County lost two firefighters less than a week apart. Both men died while responding to calls.

Larry Wyant, 68, with Joes Fire Department died Tuesday while working a brush fire.

Michelle Smith, the assistant chief, told FOX31 the crew was supposed to be attending the funeral of Darcy Stallings, the firefighter from Yuma who died on Thursday. The team was diverted for a call along the way.

Wyant was unable to escape a wall of flames that spread almost 100 feet in his direction when winds suddenly picked up to almost 60 miles per hour in a matter of seconds.

“It happens so fast in a blink of an eye, those seconds, you cannot process in seconds,” Smith said.

Wyant died just feet away from the water tanker he was working on.

The back-to-back losses for Yuma County fire department have the entire community in a state of shock.

“I’ve seen a lot in 15 years, but nothing quite like that and that quick. Not something that was going to hit so close to home,” Smith said. “I was always told moving back to the country that calls were going to be harder because we knew everybody, and they were right.”

Wyant was an eight-year veteran of the department. His memorial service is still being planned.

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