On Thursday, Northwest Fire District held a dedication to the late Chief Jeff Piechura. He was a well-respected fire chief in the Tucson area who died in a plane crash while battling the Cedar Basin fire.

“He always flew air attack, was known in the air attack community as as one of the best air attack commanders around,” Northwest Fire Chief Brad Bradley said. “And unfortunately, he lost his life doing that. But it was the thing that he loved the most, other than his family. He loved flying air attack.”

“You’ll also see representation of finding your true north,” Donna Piechura said. “That’s one of the things Jeff would try to find in people. Jeff…saw potential in people.”

The dedication, held in the Northwest Fire courtyard, showcased Piechura’s community and his time serving in wildland fire.

“In the wildland community, they have towers where you spot smoke flames coming up, and they use that to point the direction to where the smokes are to locate the fires and send the crews out that way,” Donna said. “So we had to represent Jeff in the wildland piece.”

Now serving as a place for the Piechura family and the community to reflect and find their north.

“You know, Chief Pie gives me the strength to do what I do to continue forward,” Donna said. “I lost him two and a half years ago, but he’s with me and he gives me the strength to move forward.”