Authorities have released the names of the two off-duty Medford firefighters who died in an all-terrain vehicle crash.

Gale Gurr, 37, and John Wells, 51, were riding together in a new Polaris RZR, a side-by-side off-road vehicle. They were climbing a steep slope in the Forest Creek drainage when the vehicle tumbled end-over-end and struck a tree.

Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters said the crash appeared to have happened Thursday. The wreckage and bodies were discovered in an aerial search Friday morning.

Friends said the two enjoyed the outdoors and always had motorcycles and ATVs.

Gurr had worked at the Medford Fire Department for nine years and previously was with the Phoenix Fire Department. He is survived by his wife and two young daughters.

Wells spent 15 years at Medford and previously worked at Klamath County Fire District No. 1. He is survived by a wife and a daughter, who is in college.

- Anita Burke