New Mexico firefighter dies after suffering burn injuries

A volunteer firefighter from the eastern New Mexico town of Nara Vista died Thursday after suffering severe burns on a large wildfire in Quay County (map). A second firefighter was injured but has been released from the hospital.

Below is an excerpt from an article at the Eastern New Mexico News:

John Cammack, 74, of Nara Visa, was severely burned after falling from a fire engine during a “burn over” Wednesday night, said Nara Visa Fire Chief Gary Girard.

Girard said a second firefighter, Kyle Perez, was also injured during the incident.

He said the firefighters were attempting to refill a fire engine with a water tanker when the winds shifted abruptly.

“We were no longer fighting the fire, we were running from the fire,” Girard said.

Girard said the flames were as high as the fire engine as they fled the area. He said Cammack was transported to Lubbock for treatment and Perez was admitted to a hospital in Amarillo.

Perez’ condition was not released, but a family member posted on social media that he’d been released from the hospital.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Willard.
Typos or errors, report them HERE.

Wildfires continue to cause evacuations in Portugal

Above: screen grab from Wall Street Journal video.

(Published at 11:50 a.m. MDT June 19, 2017)

The wildfires in Portugal are continuing to spread, forcing residents to leave their homes. Approximately 1,000 firefighters are battling the fires that have killed at least 62 people, including a firefighter who died in a hospital.

weather forecast for Coimbra, Portugal
The weather forecast for Coimbra, Portugal. Weatherunderground.

Below is an excerpt from a BBC article:

Twelve people survived one of Portugal’s deadliest fires by seeking refuge in a water tank after access to their village was cut off by the blaze.

The residents, including a disabled 95-year-old woman, spent more than six hours in the tank as the fire prevented them from being rescued.

[In the village of Mó Grande] 30 bodies were found inside cars, with another 17 next to the vehicles, on the N-236 road, which leads on to the IC8 motorway. The N-236 was being described as the “road of death” in Portuguese media.

A few kilometres north of Nodeirinho, 11 people died in the village of Pobrais. Local reports said a third of the population had lost their lives, many as they tried to escape the fire. A survivor spoke of the roads being blocked and of no-one coming to their aid.

And from the Business Insider:

Despite government assurances that the first response by the emergency services was swift and adequate, many media and residents questioned the efficiency of the operation and the strategic planning in a country which is used to wooded areas burning every year.

“So what failed this Saturday? Everything, as it has failed for decades,” read a headline in the daily Publico, which blamed a lack of coordination between services in charge of fire prevention and firefighting and poor forestry reserve planning.

map fires wildfires Portugal
The red dots represent wildfire heat detected by a satellite over Portugal June 19, 2017.

Seven people killed in South Africa wildfires

Above: A post-fire scene from Knysna, South Africa. Screen grab from the Times video below.

Wildfires in South Africa have killed five residents, at least one firefighter, and have forced thousands to evacuate.

One of the fires in the Van Stadens Gorge area in the Eastern Cape has reportedly reached some of the buildings at Woodridge College outside of Port Elizabeth, the school said in a Facebook post.

California inmate firefighter killed by falling tree

Matthew Beck firefighter
Matthew Beck. Photo credit: CDCR.

(Revised at 1:13 p.m. MDT May 27, 2017)

The California inmate firefighter in Humboldt County was killed May 24 while working on a county roads project in the northwestern part of the state in Del Norte County.

According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Matthew Beck, 26, was working with a crew in the Hoopa area. He suffered major head, neck and back injuries when a 120-foot tall tree uprooted and fell on him. He died before life-flight crews were able to reach him.

“We are saddened by the death of Matthew Beck, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends,” said CDCR Secretary Scott Kernan. “The inmates who year after year help protect our communities from the devastation of fires perform a valuable public service, and it is a tragic event when we lose one of them.”

Mr. Beck, who was assigned to the Alder Conservation Camp in Del Norte County, was serving a six-year sentence for burglary and was due to be parolled in October. He is the fourth inmate firefighter to die on a fire since the conservation program was created in the 1940s.

In February of 2016 another California inmate firefighter, Shawna Lynn Jones, 22, died after being struck by a boulder that rolled down a hill on the Mulholland Fire near Malibu.

Our sincere condolences go out to the friends, family, and coworkers of both firefighters.

This article has been edited to rectify incorrect information initially provided by the CDRC. The firefighter was not working on a fire at the time of the accident.

Four firefighters killed in China

Four firefighters that were working on a wildfire in the Shanxi Province of northern China were found dead Monday April 3. According to local authorities they became entrapped while fighting the fire near Wenjiazhuang Village of Taigu County.

The initial report is that the fire was caused by a villager who was burning paper money while visiting the tombs of relatives before Tomb Sweeping Day, which was on April 4 this year. The custom in China is for people to pay respect to their deceased family members at that time of the year by burning incense and paper money.

Chief Jim Strain discusses coping with a line of duty death

Trampus Haskvitz was entrapped and killed while fighting the Coal Canyon Fire in 2011.

Trampus Haskvitz

In this video Jim Strain, the Assistant Chief of Operations for the South Dakota Division of Wildland Fire Suppression, talks about how he and his department coped with the line of duty death of firefighter Trampus Haskvitz.

Mr. Haskvitz was killed while making an initial attack with an engine on a lightning caused fire approximately 9 miles north of Edgemont, South Dakota on August 11, 2011. One firefighter entrapped in the engine with Mr. Haskvitz survived but with serious burns and was admitted to a burn center in Greeley, Colorado. Another was injured while escaping from the engine and was admitted to a hospital in Rapid City, SD. Two others injured in a rescue attempt were treated at local hospitals and released.

The report on the fatality can be found here. All of our articles about the LODD are tagged Coal Canyon Fire.