Kayaker from Eastern Ore. dies in Colombia flood

BAKER CITY, Ore. — Family members say a former Baker City man who worked as a smokejumper in Central Oregon during the fire season and spent the rest of the year kayaking the rivers of South America has died after a flash flood swept him from a campsite in Colombia.

The father of 37-year-old old Mark Hentze told the Baker City Herald that his son’s body was found Thursday.

The father, Dick Hentze, said his son and a friend had camped on rocks near a river on Tuesday. He says the friend survived and hiked out.

Mark Hentze was a graduate of Eastern Oregon University in La Grande. His father said he was single and a writer and photographer whose 2009 book “Colombia Whitewater” documents more than 30 rivers in Colombia.

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