South Dakota firefighter killed on wildfire

On Thursday, August 11, a firefighter employed by the state of South Dakota was killed in an entrapment on a wildfire. Here is an excerpt from theRapid City Journal:

A Hot Springs seasonal firefighter died and two others were injured after being caught in a burn-over while fighting the Coal Canyon Fire near Edgemont on Thursday afternoon.

Trampus Haskvitz, 23, died from injuries he suffered when winds from a storm system pushed the fire into the area he was working, trapping him and two others.

Haskvitz and the others were fighting a lightning-sparked fire about 9 miles north of Edgemont.

The injured are Austin Whitney and Kevin Fees, also of Hot Springs. The men were airlifted to Rapid City Regional Hospital.

Whitney is being transferred tonight to a burn center in Greeley, Colo.

Fees is in stable condition at Rapid City Regional Hospital.

“This is very sad news,” Gov. Dennis Daugaard said in a prepared statement. “Linda and I are praying for Trampus’ loved ones, and for the firefighters who were injured. Too many times in recent weeks, South Dakotans have been reminded just how much we owe to the firefighters, law enforcement and others who risk their lives to protect us all.”

The three firefighters were seasonal employees of the South Dakota Wildland Fire Suppression Division.

Our sincere condolences go out to the families and co-workers, and we hope for a quick recovery for the two injured firefighters.

South Dakota firefighters have been busy over the last month. The WhoopUp fire that burned from Wyoming into South Dakota blackened over 10,000 acres in mid-July and prompted a fire behavior advisory that warned of unusually high rates of spread on fires due to heavier than normal winter and spring rains that led to a thick growth of grass.


Thanks go out to Jerome and Robert

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

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