Blue Canyon, Calif. September 11, 2018 – This morning, September 11, 2018, at approximately 5:45 a.m., Antonio (Tony) Flores, 37, an employee with Kent Siller Trucking, was involved in a fatal vehicle accident on west bound I-80 just east of Blue Canyon. Mr. Flores was working for the company and assigned to the North Fire as a private contractor operating a bulldozer. He was driving to the Incident Command Post located at the Blue Canyon Airport.
The North Fire has been burning for a week southeast of Blue Canyon on the Tahoe National Forest. The Fire is being managed by the Northern California Interagency Incident Team 1. Incident Commander Curtis Coots said that all firefighters working on the North Fire are deeply saddened by the death of a fellow firefighter. “This has been an extremely tough fire season for our firefighters both physically and emotionally”, Coots said.
Tahoe National Forest Supervisor, Eli Ilano, conveyed “The U.S. Forest Service and the employees of the Tahoe National Forest send our thoughts and condolences to the Flores family. We honor the service Tony Flores provided to the national forests.”
Mr. Flores is survived by his wife of 18 years and four children, ranging in age from 9–16 years old. Mr. Flores is a lifelong resident of the Yuba City area.
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He has worked for Kent Siller Trucking for more than 20 years as a master mechanic and heavy equipment operator. According to Neil Siller, spokesperson for the company, Mr. Flores was like a brother and son of the Siller family. “He had an outstanding work ethic” Siller said, ‘he was our ‘go to’ guy on all types of projects”. He has been working as a bulldozer operator for three years and has worked on fires both large and small for the U.S. Forest Service and CAL FIRE during that time.
The cause of the accident is under investigation by the California Highway Patrol and the Placer County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office.