Donald Lee West was only 27 years old and a 10-year veteran of the US Forest Service when he was killed on the job while patrolling for lightning fires in the San Bernardino Mountains. Don and firefighter Dennis W. Brayton climbed to a vantage point to observe for smoke. They noticed a storm developing behind them and started to leave the area for their safety. As they were retreating from the vantage point, both were struck by lightning. Don was killed by the strike and was unable to resuscitate.
Donald Lee West
- August 14, 1958
On the Memorial
Located in Sacramento, the California Firefighters Memorial immortalizes the names of those lost in the line of duty. Learn more »