BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A federal smokejumper deployed to Alabama to help battle wildfires has died a month after falling over a concrete railing while walking back to his hotel.
Jefferson County Chief Deputy Coroner Bill Yates says 52-year-old Ray Fernandez Rubio, of Oregon, died in a hospital Monday after suffering a head injury Nov. 22.
Al.com (http://bit.ly/2if4Vi7) reports that Rubio had completed his assignment and was going to return to Oregon when he fell over a railing into a Birmingham parking garage.
Rubio, a husband and father, was a longtime smokejumper with the Deschutes National Forest. He was trained to parachute into wildfires to battle them from within.
Yates says forestry officials had a team in Alabama to support Rubio's family during his hospital stay.