SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA) — Charles Edward Morton, the USDA Forest Service firefighter killed while battling the El Dorado Fire in the San Bernardino Mountains, was remembered Friday as an honest man who always helped others.
“His big heart and his intelligence allowed him to connect with people,” his former supervisor, Jimmy Avila, said. “He led by example and he chose to do the difficult right over the difficult wrong.”
The memorial service for Morton was held at The Rock Church in San Bernardino. Attendance at the service was be limited to invited guests due to space and social distancing guidelines, according to Forest Service spokesman Zach Behrens.
Morton received several honors, including the Posting of Colors, the Hotshot Prayer, a Bell Ceremony, presentations to the family and Charlie’s “Last Call,” a tradition that honors a firefighter who has fallen in the line of duty with a final radio call, recognizing the end of his watch, Behrens said.
Morton died on Sept. 17 while fighting the El Dorado Fire. He started his career with the Forest Service in 2006 and was a Big Bear Interagency Hotshot Squad boss.
“He lived and worked on behalf of something greater than himself,” U.S. Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen said. “And that is so important for our nation, especially now.”
The public was invited to attend the service virtually. The service will be streamed live on CBSNLA, the website of The Rock Church, the church’s YouTube channel and on the Facebook page for the San Bernardino National Forest. Cards and condolences can be sent to the Morton family at P.O. Box 63564, Irvine, CA 92602. For FedEx and/or UPS, send to 1 League #63564, Irvine, CA 92602 in care of “Support for Charlie.”