De Soto Firefighters Memorial Page


Information About the Firefighters on the De Soto National Forest

On Monday, March 30, at 3 p.m. a helicopter crashed during a prescribed burn on the De Soto National Forest. Two confirmed fatalities are Steve Cobb, 55, of Wiggins, Miss., and Brandon Ricks, 40, of Blanchard, Okla. A third firefighter, Brendan Mullen, 42, of Helena, Mont., received extensive injuries.  Below is information for each firefighter.


Steve Cobb

  • Steve Cobb worked on the De Soto National Forest as an engineering technician.
  • He is survived by his wife Cynthia Cobb, daughter Jenna Parsons, son Adam Cobb, and three grandchildren.
  • Visitation is scheduled for Friday, April 3, 2015 4-8 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 219 Second St N, Wiggins, Miss.
  • Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, April 4, 2015 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church.
  • U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell plans to attend the funeral and visitation services.
  • Forest Services employees with a field uniform are requested to wear them. In lieu of a uniform, dress business attire may be worn.
  • An obituary for Steve Cobb is available online.
  • Donations for the Cobb family should go to:
          Baptist Children's Village
          c/o First Baptist Church
          219 Second Street
          Wiggins, MS 39577


Brandon Ricks

  • Brandon Ricks was a pilot from T & M Aviation Inc. of Abbeville, Louisiana.
  • He is survived by his wife, Coleen, daughter Kaitlyn, and son Hunter.
  • Visitation for Brandon Ricks will be Friday at Eisenhour Funeral Home in Blanchard, Okla.
  • Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, April 4 at 2 p.m., Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, 3308 E Veterans Memorial Hwy, Blanchard, Okla.
  • Obituary for Brandon Ricks is available at:
  • In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to establish The Ricks Fellowship Camp:

                The Brandon Ricks Memorial Fund
                c/o Pleasant Hill Baptist Church
                P.O. Box 238
                Blanchard, OK 73010


Update on Brendan Mullen (updated on Friday, 2pm EST)

  • Brendan Mullen’s condition continues to improve. He has been moved from the trauma ICU to the burn unit. His skin graft surgery originally scheduled for today has been postponed to Tuesday.
  • He was temporarily assigned to the De Soto National Forest at the time of the incident.
  • He is from Helena, Mont., where he works on the Helena National Forest as a Forestry Technician.
  • Words of encouragement may be shared at:
  • Brendan would like all donations to go to the children of the deceased. 
  • Cards for Brendan may be mailed to:

                Helena National Forest
                ATTN: Kathy Bushnell, Helena Aviation Center
                2880 Skyway Drive
                Helena, MT 59602