A P2V Neptune air tanker crashed in the Oquirrh mountains today in Utah, killing the three-person crew. The crash occurred between Tooele and Stockton (map).
Tthe three men who died in the crash have been identified as:
Tom Risk, 66, from Littleton, Colo., pilot
Mike Flynn, 59, from Alamogordo, N.M., crew member
Brian Buss, 32, from Alberton, Mont., crew member
The aircraft, Tanker 42, was owned by Neptune Aviation of Missoula, Montana and was enroute from Missoula to Alamorgordo, New Mexico.
The county sheriff began searching for a crash site after a nearby resident reported hearing a large aircraft overhead then what sounded like “two semis crashing head on” at about 10 a.m. At about 11:15 a.m., the sheriff’s office learned through sources in Idaho that an airplane was reported missing. Due to low clouds, searchers were initially unable to locate the crash site until 1 p.m. when the clouds lifted.
Deputies and search and rescue crews retrieved the victims from the crash site and were working late Saturday afternoon to bring the bodies down from the mountainside. That task was made difficult by low clouds, rain and steep terrain.
Our condolences go out to the families and co-workers of the crew.
The Kansas City Star is reporting that a firefighter from the Odessa, Missouri fire department collapsed and died from an apparent heart attack while fighting a vegetation fire, Saturday March 15. Lt. Roger Vorwark, 49, was a five-year veteran of the Odessa Fire and Rescue Protection Division. He was treated at the scene, then transported by helicopter to a hospital in Independence where he was pronounced dead.
When funeral arrangements are complete they will be announced HERE.
Our condolences to the family and fellow firefighters.
We just received this message from Nate, one of our readers:
Great site, its my source for breaking news every morning.
I wanted to report to you that Roger Hershner, a long-time fire helicopter pilot was killed in Kansas yesterday, March 8. He was ferrying a helicopter from Hillcrest Aircraft Co. in Lewiston, ID to Virginia to start a USFS contract in Virginia. Not much info as to cause is available yet. He refueled in Ogalala, Nebraska and was enroute to Topeka, Kansas when he crashed.
Roger most recently has flown the joint Santa Fe/Musselshell Exclusive use contract in R3/R1. He also flew the Grangeville Exclusive use contract, and several other contracts in the southern region. He was employed by Hillcrest for about 5 years. He has been flying contract helicopters for the USFS for about 30 years, maybe more.
John Adams, a firefighter with the Silver City Volunteer Fire Department in Oklahoma collapsed and stopped breathing around 10:00 or 10:30 p.m. Friday while working on a vegetation fire near Mannford. Mr. Adams, who had been with the Silver City FD for five years, had been fighting the fire for several hours.
He leaves behind a wife and three children.
The 1,000 acre fire is believed to have been started by an arsonist. Three fires were set within a mile of each other, minutes apart.
Our condolences go out to the family and the Silver City Volunteer Fire Department.
Prepare, Stay and Defend OR Go Early–Nevada and California
In light of the 200+ deaths in the recent “Black Saturday” fires in Australia, some of the “Prepare, Stay and Defend OR Go Early” programs being implemented or considered in the United States are being looked at closely. The International Association of Fire Chiefs is for the concept, while the International Association of Fire Fighters is against it. (Note: the IAFC removed their document from their web site.)
In Nevada, Kurt Ladipow, Washoe County fire services coordinator, said of the plan they have been working on:
“Are we having second thoughts? In my opinion, we are not.”
In Ventura County, California, Bob Roper, a fire chief who also chairs the IAFC’s Wildland Fire Policy Committee said:
“Right now, there’s not enough information as to exactly what happened, why it happened or what caused the deaths. A light bulb has come on that says we really need to look at what happened over there.”
Esperanza fire trial
On Wednesday jurors were shown about an hour of a video of Raymond Lee Oyler being interviewed at the Cabazon sheriff’s station on October 27, 2006 the day after the fire started. Investigators were led to Oyler after seeing his car going to and from the origin of a fire on October 22, 2006 in video shot by a hidden camera.
Oyler is on trial for setting the Esperanza and 22 other fires in 2006. Five U.S. Forest Service firefighters died in the Esperanza fire.
A Pocahontas County man was killed while burning brush. The state fire marshal’s office confirms one man was killed in a brush fire in Marlinton. Officials say the fire was less than 10-acres.
The man’s name has not been released but investigators say it appears he was burning brush around his house when the fire got out of control.
The Division of Forestry responded. It took about 3 hours to get control of the fire.
Investigators say it’s been several years since West Virginia has seen a death as a result of a brush fire.
Del Walters named new director of CalFire
Del Walters, 54, of Redding, California, has been appointed director of CalFire, replacing the retiring Ruben Grijalva. Mr. Walters has worked for CalFire for 30 years and has been their Executive Officer since 2008. Before taking that position, he was the Staff Chief of the Northern Region.
ORCHARD, Colo. — A farmer trying to control a fire on his property died Wednesday afternoon when the tractor he was driving flipped into an irrigation ditch.
Morgan County Sheriff Jim Crone said the man was driving his tractor on top of a ditch to get ahead of the fire when the ground shifted or partially collapsed, causing the tractor to flip and roll on top of the farmer. The farmer was killed instantly.
The man, who has not been identified, called for the fire department before his tractor flipped at 2:30 p.m. Deputies believe he was burning brush near the irrigation ditch and it got out of control.
About 100 acres were burned by the brush fire, located northwest of the town of Orchard, Colo.