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Firefighter dies responding to fire en route to funeral of fellow firefighter

Larry Wyant died after a shift in winds pushed flames toward him, according to the Joes Fire Department.

JOES, Colo. — A firefighter with the Joes Fire Department (JFD) in Yuma County died Oct. 26, the same day that community members gathered to remember another firefighter who had died just days earlier.

According to JFD, Larry Wyant was driving to the funeral of Darcy Stallings, who was killed in a car crash, when a fire sparked by a combine started in a cornfield near Highway 36 and County Road T in southern Yuma County. After hearing the report, Wyant traded his personal car for a fire tender to respond to the fire, JFD's assistant fire chief told 9NEWS. 

She also said other fire crews attending Stallings' funeral quickly stopped what they were doing to attend to the fire.

"Every volunteer firefighter stopped what they were doing to come together and help and get containment of this fire," a JFD Facebook post said.

They were dealing with strong winds of about 30 mph with up to 60 mph gusts, according to the post. The wind direction also changed multiple times, which led to the death of Wyant, the post said.

He was caught by the running fire when the wind suddenly changed direction and the flames moved toward him, according to the post.

JFD told 9NEWS that other nearby firefighters yelled to Wyant to get into his vehicle, but he didn't get inside in time.

Credit: Joes Fire Dept.
Larry Wyant

Flags around the state were flying at half-staff that day in honor of Stallings, a Yuma volunteer firefighter. He was killed in a car crash while responding to a call in his personal vehicle on Oct. 21.

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Flags across Colorado will be lowered to half-staff again Friday in honor of Wyant. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. at Joes Fire Station.