A memorial service was held Friday for US Forest Service firefighter, Charles Morgan, who died last week while fighting the El Dorado Fire.

Morgan’s family members walked down with fiancé, Monica Tapia, carrying Morgan’s urn into the Rock Church in San Bernardino.

Morgan was a 39-year-old crew boss for the elite firefighting team, Big Bear Hotshots, who tragically died last week while fighting the El Dorado Fire.

“Charlie was a real human being. He was upfront and he had a very big heart,” former Big Bear Hotshots superintendent, Jimmy Avila said.

Morgan had been a firefighter for 18 years. He spent most of his honorable career with the United States Forest Service.

“At the Forest Service we are dedicated to caring for the land and serving people and Charlie showed us what service truly means,” Chief Vicki Christiansen said.

During a heartfelt speech, Morgan’s fiance talked about the first time they communicated via cellphone after a mutual friend connected them.

“My phone goes off and it’s a number I don’t recognize. I open it up and it says, ‘Hello, I heard you were the woman of my dreams,’” Tapia said.

Tapia also talked about their everlasting love for each other and Morgan’s love for the men and women who risk their lives fighting on the fire lines.

“No mountain, no accident, no wildfire can take away the love that Charlie gave me,” she said. “I’m at peace because Charlie loved what he did. He loved his job. He loved being a Hotshot firefighter. He loved being out in the wilderness. He loved his mountain.”

“Big Bear one, Charlie San Bernardino. This is a last call for fallen firefighter Charles Edward Morton. Godspeed and farewell,” they announced in his honor. 

The coroner is still determining the cause of death. 

Investigators say the El Dorado fire was started by a pyrotechnic device that was used during a gender reveal party.


By Richard Moran

Richard Moran loves to write about sports with the Golden State Online. Before that, he worked as a senior writer at ESPN. Richard grew up in San Diego and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2004, after which he worked as an editor for five years.

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