Saudith Rendon Missing – Authorities are searching for a wildland firefighter from Oregon who went missing Thursday morning in Alaska’s Interior while working on a fire assignment in the Fairbanks area. Salem resident Saudith Rendon, 51, traveled north with the Oregon Wildland Fire Hand Crew to help fight the Lost Horse Creek Fire north of Fairbanks, the state Division of Forestry and Fire Protection said in a statement. He was reported missing Thursday morning after failing to meet up with the rest of his crew to drive to the fire from the Olnes Pond Campground along the Elliott Highway, the division said.
Alaska State Troopers issued a missing person alert about Rendon on Thursday afternoon. According to the forestry division, Rendon was last seen cooking breakfast around 6:30 a.m. Thursday at the campground, which is being used to stage fire personnel. Rendon’s personal belongings were found at the campsite but there was no sign of him being in the camp, officials said.
An Alaska Incident Management team is working to locate Rendon in coordination with troopers, state parks officials, and Alaska Wilderness Search and Rescue, the forestry division said. Anyone who had contact with Rendon or information about his whereabouts is asked to call the troopers in Fairbanks at 907-451-5100.
Rendon was last seen wearing a red jacket, a green sweatshirt and green pants, the forestry division said. He is about 5 feet, 7 inches inches tall and 185 pounds with curly hair.
The Lost Horse Creek Fire has been burning north of Fairbanks since July 28. As of Thursday, fire officials reported it was burning just over 9,500 acres and was 16% contained. Officials on Wednesday lowered the evacuation status in the area.