Zachary Vandergriend loved life and was passionate about his family and his faith. He found his professional passion as a pilot, combining it with his love of service by becoming an aerial firefighter. When asked if he could stay on the ground where it was safe, he replied, “these people are losing everything, I have to go.” Responding to a call for help by the United States Forest Service, Zachary died in an air tanker crash September 1, 2008 on dispatch to the Smitty Fire.
Zachary Jake Vandergriend
- September 1, 2008
On the Memorial
Located in Sacramento, the California Firefighters Memorial immortalizes the names of those lost in the line of duty. Learn more »