Oregon smokejumper used Alabama dies after fall

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A federal smokejumper deployed to Alabama to help battle forest fires died, a month after falling over a concrete railing while walking back to his hotel.

Jefferson County Chief Deputy Coroner Bill Yates says the 52-year-old Ray Fernandez Rubio, Oregon, died in a hospital Monday after suffering a head injury Nov. 22. ( reports that Rubio had his command and was planning to return to Oregon when he fell over the railing in Birmingham a car park.

Rubio, a husband and father, was an old smokejumper with the Deschutes National Forest. He was trained to parachute into forest fires to fight this battle from within.

Yates says forestry officials had a team in Alabama in support of Rubio’s family during his stay in the hospital.

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