Moscow H.S. grad killed fighting North Idaho wildfire

Published On: Aug 13 2012 11:47:17 AM PDT   Updated On: Aug 13 2012 05:59:38 PM PDT
Anne Veseth
LEWISTON, Wash. -

A seasonal firefighter from Moscow has been killed fighting a fire near the Aquarius campground in Clearwater County.

Anne Veseth, 20, died when she was hit by a falling tree while fighting the Steep Corner fire, which burned 50 acres.

Veseth, a Moscow High School graduate, was attending Lewis and Clark State College where she was studying auto mechanics. She had been a seasonal firefighter with the US Forest Service for the last two years, following in the footsteps of her older brother when she signed on as a firefighter with the forest service.

In Moscow she's remembered as a hard worker both in the classroom and on the playing field. She was involved in sports while maintaining a 3.93 grade point average.

"Anne was a very hard worker as a student and she was very active in her studies," Moscow Senior High principal Bob Celebreeze said, adding that she "was loved by all of her teachers and everyone in the school. She was a kind caring loving person."

Veseth was also a Bear Buddy, a group that works with at risk youth, and was always there to help other students. When she left Moscow and enrolled at LCSC she joined the US Forest Service as a seasonal firefighter.

While her major was auto mechanics, Nez Perce / Clearwater forest supervisor Rick Brazell said that she was planning to change her major at college to firefighting and fire science and pursue a career in firefighting.

Last Saturday her engine team was assisting with a 50-acre fire near Orofino when a burnt tree toppled over.

"It was a snag that had fallen and hit anther snag from a long distance away and that large tree came down and hit Anne that was on the fire line," Brazell said.

"She was doing great," Brazell added. "Just stayed in shape, one of those bubbly, energetic folks and it was such a sad thing to have her fall."

A Forest Service team and OSHA will be investigating Veseth's death.