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Northern Arizona Hot Shot Remembered As Fun-Loving and Generous

Eric Reed

The body of a former U.S. Forest Service firefighter from Flagstaff was recovered from Lake Powell Wednesday. Dustin Olague apparently drowned in a portion of the lake in southern Utah’s Kane County. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

According to the Coconino National Forest, Olague was an employee for eight seasons and spent six of them as a Mormon Lake Hot Shot. He battled several local wildfires including last summer’s Museum Fire along with the Tinder and Slide fires.

Olague was reported missing Saturday in the Warm Creek area of Lake Powell. Witnesses say he jumped from a boat into the water without a lifejacket. Conditions were semi-windy and he disappeared underwater.

National Park Service rangers conducted a search and found his body days later using sonar equipment and a submerged remote dive boat.

Friends and colleagues describe Olague as fun loving, generous and a friend to everyone. He was 30 years old.

Ryan Heinsius was named interim news director and managing editor in January 2024. He joined KNAU's newsroom as an executive producer in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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