Wildfire briefing, May 7, 2014

Cause determined for southern California wildfire

Investigators found that the cause of the Etiwanda Fire that burned over 2,000 acres east of Los Angeles last week was an illegal campfire. The Colby Fire that burned almost 2,000 acres in January east of Los Angeles near Glendora was also blamed on an illegal campfire.

Report released for fatality on Grassy Mountain Fire

The Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center has posted the factual report for the fatality of a dozer transport operator on the Grassy Mountain Fire August 10, 2013 southeast of Rome, Oregon.

Report: firefighter kills intruder

The Christian Science Monitor (CSM) is reporting that a firefighter shot and killed an intruder in the firefighter’s garage. The victim was Diren Dede, a 17-year old German exchange student, which has stirred up interest in the case overseas.

Prosecutors have charged 29-year old Markus Kaarma with homicide.

The CSM referred to Mr. Kaarma as a U.S. Forest Service firefighter. The Missoulian in two different articles referred to him also as a U.S. Forest Service firefighter, and then later as a “former firefighter”.

An excerpt from the CSM:

Kaarma’s live-in girlfriend told neighbors that someone had stolen marijuana from the firefighter’s garage stash on several occasions. Investigators say they removed a glass jar full of pot during the course of their investigation.

An open question is whether a jury will believe police allegations that Kaarma set a trap for Diren by opening the garage door and linking up a baby monitor feed before shooting blindly into the darkened garage after spotting movement.

Brush fire related deaths in Iowa hospitals

Officials in Iowa are concerned about the number of brush fire related deaths in Iowa hospitals recently. Between February and April this year, the University of Iowa Burn Treatment Center reports three people have died and three others have been injured as a result of brush fires.  During that same time period last year, 2013, the Burn Treatment Center reported one death and one injury from burns sustained in brush fires.  All four deaths were of people ages 75 years and older. Not all of the victims were Iowans; some were flown in from surrounding states.

Woman found dead in Omaha brush fire

Firefighters suppressing a brush fire in Omaha, Nebraska late Tuesday night found a deceased woman in the fire area near 14th and Mason. She has been identified as  30-year old Amanda Brown, who had been in and out of a homeless shelter in recent years.
Thanks and a hat tip go out to Ken.

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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.