Details emerge in search for missing Granite Pass Complex firefighter

Missing Firefighter Found Map
Posted at 1:36 PM, Jul 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-26 23:32:07-04

MISSOULA — We are learning more about a firefighter who was found Sunday evening after being reported missing in the Lolo Pass area.

The firefighter assigned to the Granite Pass Complex was scouting an area and missed their scheduled check-in.

Missoula County dispatchers were notified of the missing person at approximately 7:30 p.m. and California Interagency Incident Management Team 15 began multiple attempts to contact the man.

Missoula County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Jeannette Smith says the team then began to search for the missing firefighter both on the ground and from the air.

Sheriff’s Office deputies and Missoula County Search and Rescue were dispatched to the area at 8:20 p.m.

The firefighter’s vehicle was found in the vicinity of the White Mountain Lookout (Trail #318) and Pilot Knob (Trail #316), southwest of Missoula at approximately 9:40 p.m.

Smith says Two Bear was called in and began assisting Missoula County Search and Rescue in the search.

"The individual realized they were not in [their] intended location and radio and phone communication was not available,” Smith said. “To minimize impacts to himself and local search and rescue resources he found an area suitable to stay the night.

The male was located by Missoula County Search and Rescue just after midnight He was tired and thirsty but uninjured and able to make his way out unassisted by Missoula County Search and Rescue volunteers.

“Thank you to all those who coordinated and assisted in this search effort. In particular, Two Bear Air who was instrumental in locating the individual. We are very thankful for the positive outcome,” Smith stated in a news release.