A memorial honoring a firefighter who died battling the El Dorado Fire is being held in San Bernardino Friday morning.

Charles Morton, 39, died Sept. 17 while fighting the blaze as a squad boss for the Big Bear Hotshot Crew, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The blaze, which sparked by a smoke-generating pyrotechnic device used at a gender-reveal party in the Yucaipa area of the San Bernardino National Forest, is now 81% contained at 22,604 acres.

The service is being held at The Rock Church, 2345 S. Waterman Ave.

The San Diego native started his career in 2002 and joined the San Bernardino National Forest in 2007. He worked for Mill Creek Interagency Hotshots and Big Bear Interagency Hotshots.

Morton left behind a wife, daughter, his parents, two brothers, cousins and friends.

Fellow firefighters and other officials honored Morton during a procession from San Bernardino to Orange Tuesday.

Friday’s service will include an honor cordon outside the church, the Posting of Colors, a hotshot prayer, a bell ceremony, presentations to the family and Charlie’s “Last Call,” a tradition honoring firefighters who who have died in the line of duty with a final radio call, recognizing the end of his watch.

Attendance to the service will be limited to invited guests to adhere to social distancing guidelines, officials said.

Cards and condolences can be sent to the Morton family at P.O. Box 63564, Irvine, CA 92602. For FedEx and/or UPS: 1 League # 63564, Irvine, CA 92602 in care of “Support for Charlie.”

A GoFundMe page has also been set up.


By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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