Firefighter burned while fighting Holloway Fire

Holloway fire,

Holloway fire, photo by Dave Toney

A firefighter was entrapped and burned Sunday afternoon while working on the Holloway fire, which is burning in both Oregon and Nevada. The female firefighter, whose name was not released, was separated from her crew, the Zuni Interagency Hotshots from New Mexico, and took refuge in a fire shelter which reflects most of the radiant heat from a vegetation fire.

The rest of the 20-person crew made it to a safety zone. The injured woman was transported by helicopter to a hospital in Winnemuca, Nevada, and later was taken to a burn center in Salt Lake City for treatment of burns on one leg and a forearm.

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UPDATE at 7 p.m. MT, August 15, 2012:

Below is an excerpt from the text of the narrative of the 24-hour report:

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“On August 12, 2012 at approximately 1830 hours, a member of the Zuni Interagency Hotshot Crew received minor burns to her arm and leg and suffered minor smoke inhalation after deploying her emergency fire shelter on the Holloway Fire in Oregon. The injury occurred on the northeast flank near Oregon Canyon Creek, 20 miles northwest of McDermitt, Nevada. The fire crew encountered extreme fire behavior including fire whirls, and were forced to retreat to a safety zone. During the retreat, one firefighter was separated from the rest of the Hotshot Crew and forced to deploy their shelter. The injured firefighter, who is a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) employee, was evacuated by helicopter to the incident command post in Denio, NV and examined by paramedics assigned to the Holloway fire before being flown to the Humboldt General Hospital in Winnemucca, Nevada, where she was treated and released.

On August, 13, 2012, the firefighter was transported to the regional burn center in Salt Lake City, UT. This transport is precautionary and was based on the recommendation of the Winnemucca District Manager/Agency Administrator and the agency of the firefighter.

The remainder of the Hotshot Crew has been released from the Holloway Fire.”

(end of excerpt from 24-hour report)

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UPDATE at 3:53 p.m. MT, August 16, 2012:

The 72-hour report has been released, but contains little additional information.

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Firefighters: don’t screw around with burns. Here are the guidelines for burn injuries that should be referred to a burn unit (from Ameriburn.org)

Guidelines for referral to burn unit

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Holloway fire at sunset

Holloway fire at sunset, Photo by Dave Toney

The Holloway fire, ignited by lightning on August 5, has burned 432,378 acres and is 68 percent contained. The growth potential is described on InciWeb as “extreme”. The fire is still very active on the northeast side in Oregon.

Map of Holloway fire, August 14,

Map of Holloway fire, August 14, 715 a.m.. The east-west line is the border between Oregon and Nevada, Map by ESRI

Holloway fire, August 10

Holloway fire, August 10, InciWeb photo

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About Bill Gabbert

Wildland fire has been a major part of Bill Gabbert’s life for several decades. After growing up in the south, he migrated to southern California where he lived for 20 years, working as a wildland firefighter. Later he took his affinity for firefighting to Indiana and eventually the Black Hills of South Dakota where he was the Fire Management Officer for a group of seven national parks. Today he is the creator and owner of WildfireToday.com and Sagacity Wildfire Services and serves as an expert witness in wildland fire. If you are interested in wildland fire, welcome… grab a cup of coffee and put your feet up. Google+

5 thoughts on “Firefighter burned while fighting Holloway Fire

  1. The federal interagency standards for the treatment of burns are pretty clear. If there are any indications of airway involvement (ie – “smoke inhalation”), after the firefighter is stabilized at the most appropriate medical facility, they will be referred to a Regional Burn Center for followup by medical professionals specially trained in burn care management evaluation and treatment.

    • Apparently they are not clear, Ken. Look at the highlights of this article…. Good on the “Winnemucca District Manager/Agency Administrator and the agency of the firefighter.” instead of the IC (who needs to save money) or a clinic in Winnemucca, whose made this mistake at least once…. And then let’s ask how they got to the burn center…. Let’s ask that.

  2. Bill, Note the operator of the ATV in the photo of the engine with a considerable amount of fire nearby. The operator is not wearing a helmet in direct violation of every agency’s policy. Personally I continue to frequently see this violation and the operator’s always have an excuse for only wearing a hardhat and many want to argue against this policy. This is a non-negotiable policy and should be strictly enforced. We also had a roll over of an UTV on this incident and, guess what, he was not wearing a helmet. Fortunately he was not seriously injured. Apparently home units are not enforcing this policy and allowing their employees to risk their lives. This has got to stop or we’ll continue to hurt, or worse, our firefighters.

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