FirefigherCloseCalls.com is reporting a line of duty death on a wildland fire:
We regret to advise you that the Cactus (Texas) Firefighter who suffered 3rd degree burns a week ago last Saturday at a huge grassfire has died in the Line of Duty. FF Elias Jaquez suffered burns to 60% of his body in that fire. FF Jaquez, 49, a husband and father of four daughters, has been a Volunteer Firefighter at the fire for slightly less than two years.
As you will recall, FF Jaquez, and 3 other Firefighters were injured after a Dumas and Cactus fire apparatus became stuck in the rough terrain. The Cactus crew was going on to de-flank the fire, the Dumas truck got stuck in the sand and the Cactus fire crew came up beside them grab the other FF’s, and then they got stuck. The heroic attempts took FF Jaquez’s life. As always, our most sincere condolences to all those affected, especially the family of FF Elias Jaquez.
Our thoughts are with Mr. Jaquez’s family and co-workers.
UPDATE at 12:25 a.m. MT, April 20, 2011:
The International Association of Wildland Fire distributed the following information today via FireNet:
Firefighter Jaquez and three other firefighters were injured eleven days ago when a fire truck from the Dumas (Texas) Fire Department (mostly volunteer) became stuck in sandy rough terrain while suppressing wildland fire in grassland. The Cactus fire crew came up beside the Dumas fire truck to extricate the Dumas crew when the Cactus Volunteer Fire Department truck also became stuck in the sand. The crews were entrapped in the fire and Firefighter Jaquez suffered 3rd degree burns over 60% of his body and was taken to the University Medical Center, Lubbock Burn Center for treatment where he remained until succumbing to his injuries.
Unofficial news reports indicate that Firefighter Jaquez may have tripped over a down electrical line before being entrapped, and that he had on fire protective pants but not a protective shirt during the incident.