A firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service in New Mexico collapsed and died May 5 while performing project work with his engine crew. The following message was distributed Monday, May 6, by Jeanne Higgins, Deputy Regional Forester for the USFS’ Southwestern Region.
It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we share the tragic news of the death of Fallen Wildland Firefighter, Daniel Davidson. Davidson, age 26, was working on project work near Mayhill, NM, on Sunday afternoon with two other engine crew members, when he collapsed. CPR was administered immediately, however when emergency personnel responded with the Life Flight helicopter, Davidson was pronounced deceased at the scene.The cause of Daniel Davidson’s death is under investigation.
Davidson, a U.S. Army veteran had served two tours in Afghanistan with the 10th Mountain Infantry Division. Following his tour in the Army, Davidson became a crew member of Engine 621 on the Sacramento Ranger District of the Lincoln National Forest.
Our sincerest condolences and heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family of Daniel. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.
FEMA’s report can be found here.
Our sincere condolences go out to Mr. Davidson’s family and co-workers.
Thanks go out to Jeff
White Draw Fire June 29, 2012. Photo by Bill Gabbert.
Plans are underway to construct a memorial to honor the aerial firefighters killed in South Dakota July 1, 2012 when a military Modular Airborne FireFighting System (MAFFS) C-130 aircraft crashed while dropping retardant on the White Draw Fire. Four members of the six-person air crew died when strong winds out of a thunderstorm caused the air tanker to impact the ground on a ridgetop northeast of Edgemont, South Dakota.
The aircraft that crashed was MAFFS #7 from the North Carolina Air National Guard’s 145th Airlift Wing based at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. Killed were Lt. Col. Paul Mikeal, 42, of Mooresville; Maj. Joseph McCormick, 36, of Belmont; Maj. Ryan David, 35, of Boone; and Senior Master Sgt. Robert Cannon, 50, of Charlotte. Two survived but were seriously injured — Chief Master Sgt. Andy Huneycutt and Sgt. Josh Marlowe of Boiling Springs.
MAFFS 7. Department of Defense photo.
The memorial will be approximately 6.5 miles northeast of Edgemont on Highway 18 near the point of origin of the fire (map), where the motor home that started the blaze caught fire while pulling the grade between Edgemont and Hot Springs. During May and June workers will construct a parking area and make room for interpretive signs that will tell the story of the fire and the fatal accident. Visitors at the memorial may be able to see the ridge which was the site of the crash. The construction is being coordinated by the South Dakota National Guard, according to Scott Jacobson, Public Information Officer for the Black Hills National Forest.
The dedication of the memorial is scheduled for July 1, 2013, exactly a year after the accident. There are reports that some family members of the victims from North Carolina will attend.
More information about the cause of the crash.
Photos of the White Draw and other fires in the Black Hills in 2012.
A firefighter with the State of New Jersey Forest Fire Service died while working on a prescribed fire Thursday, March 28. Jeffrey Scheuerer, 35, of Raritan Township, died from injuries after being struck by a vehicle near Round Valley Reservoir, according to Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony Kearns.
“Mr. Scheuerer and other members were conducting a controlled burn along Route 629 near Round Valley Reservoir,” Mr. Kearns said. “According to our preliminary investigation, it appears that a heavy smoke condition associated with the controlled burn was present at the time of the crash and may have caused reduced visibility when a shift in the wind occurred. Mr. Scheuerer was struck by a vehicle and did not survive his injuries.”
On his days off Mr. Scheuerer served as a member of the Readington Volunteer Fire Company.
Our sincere condolences go out to his family and coworkers.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has agreed to reduce the fine and modify the citation they issued to the organization responsible for fire suppression on the Steep Corner Fire near Orofino, Idaho. Anne Veseth, a 20-year-old U.S. Forest Service firefighter from Moscow, Idaho was killed by a falling tree August 12, 2012 while working on the fire. OSHA issued a citation to the Clearwater-Potlatch Timber Protective Association (CPTPA) along with a “Notification of Penalty”, for fines totaling $14,000. OSHA also issued a Notice of Unsafe or Unhealthful Working Conditions to the U.S. Forest Service, but without a monetary penalty.
On Thursday CPTPA Chief Fire Warden Howard Weeks signed an agreement with OSHA that reduced the fine to $10,500 and revised the citation. Originally OSHA accused CPTPA of not furnishing a place of employment that was free of “recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees”. OSHA said eight of the 10 Standard Firefighting Orders and 11 of the 18 Watch Out Situations were present and not mitigated in the citation issued to the CPTPA and the Notice issued to the USFS.
Below is an excerpt from an article at Firehouse.com that originally appeared in the Lewiston Tribune:
Idaho Department of Lands spokeswoman Emily Callihan said the original citation would have made it impossible for firefighters to do their jobs.
Callihan said the 10 and 18 are guidelines and not regulations, and the hazards they cover are present on nearly every fire. But, she said, the OSHA citation, as originally written, would have required firefighters to leave any fire where any of the 10 orders could not be followed or any of the 18 situations were present.
“What OSHA eventually recognized, is by removing firefighters from fires where any of those situations are present would result in not being able to respond with initial attack and keep fires small,” she said. “So it would have resulted in having fires get big and present more of a danger to firefighters and the public in the long run.”
The day before Ms. Veseth was killed, the Flathead Hotshots arrived at the fire. After scouting it and assessing the situation, they concluded it was not safe to work under the conditions that were present. Then they left the fire after talking with the incident commander. Three days later they filed a SAFENET report documenting the unsafe conditions at the fire.
More information at Wildfire Today about the Steep Corner fire and the death of Anne Veseth.
The Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest is planning to construct a memorial for Anne Veseth, a firefighter who was killed by a falling tree last year on the Steep Corner Fire northeast of Orofino, Idaho. If the environment assessment and other hurdles are overcome, a two-mile trail will be constructed leading to a vantage point overlooking the area where the fatality occurred. U.S. Forest Service officials are working closely with Ms. Veseth’s family in the design of the memorial.
She was in her second season working as a firefighter for the USFS when she was struck by a falling 150-foot tall fire-weakened green cedar tree. The tree fell on its own and was 13 inches in diameter where it struck her.
The USFS report on the accident did not find anyone at fault. It said the situation ”required the presence of firefighters in an area where fire‐weakened trees could fall on their own with little or no warning.”
Thanks go out to Chris
A volunteer firefighter with the Dorchester Rural Fire Department was killed Sunday afternoon. Michael Louis Broz, 58, of Ridgeville South Carolina was responding in his own 1977 Ford truck to a fire in Francis Beidler Forest, an Audubon wildlife sanctuary, when the truck left the road and struck a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Mr. Broz was the only occupant and was wearing a seat belt, according to the Highway Patrol.
Our sincere condolences go out to his family and other members of the fire department.