The rain started falling in Sisters just as the body of John Hammack made its way into the city during a procession honoring his sacrifice on Friday.
Rescue workers recovered Hammack’s body this afternoon, a day after a treetop landed on him while fighting a fire Thursday morning. The area was too hot to recover the body sooner, according to U.S. Forest Service officials.
The procession of approximately 30 emergency vehicles with their sirens flashing started around 3 p.m., led by the van carrying Hammack’s body. Vehicles belonged to emergency services ranging from Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office to the Oregon Department of Forestry, nearly all with a line of tape crossing their vehicle logos to signify a fallen firefighter.
Some emergency personnel stood at attention along the highway to pay respects.
The procession drove through downtown Sisters when the leading van and family motor vehicles branched off to Redmond to a funeral home.
Hammack was a well known bareback rodeo rider, said Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Lisa Clark. A tribute will be held for him at the Deschutes County Fairground at 7:30 p.m. The horses will line up in missing man formation, where one horse will be ahead of the group and out of the formation. The front horse will not have a rider or saddle.