Red Lodge Fire Rescue has released information about a firefighter who suffered serious burns while battling the Harris Fire near Joliet, Montana 25 miles northeast of Red Lodge, MT on July 16. Dan Steffensen was on a two-person engine crew when strong winds suddenly shifted in his direction. He attempted to reach safety, but was overrun by the fast moving fire and injured. Due to the severity of his burns, Mr. Steffensen was admitted to the University of Utah Burn Center in Salt Lake City in serious condition. His family and firefighting colleagues are traveling to be with him.
The other person on the engine was Scott Wilson, who was not injured. He acted quickly to make the notifications and assist in getting emergency medical care for his partner.
From Red Lodge Fire Rescue:
Dan has been a firefighter with Red Lodge Fire since 2015. In 2017 Dan was selected as volunteer “Firefighter of the Year” and works on the fuel mitigation/Initial Attack crew where in the summers he works to reduce hazardous fuels around homes and responds to emerging wildland fires. He is a nationally qualified wildland firefighter and has fought fires in Montana, Oregon, California and other western states as an engine boss and water tender operator.
Those wanting to help support Mr. Steffensen and his family can donate via the GoFundMe page which has been set up for his benefit.
If you’re thinking the town of Red Lodge, Montana sounds familiar, the Robertson Draw Fire just south of the community burned over 27,000 acres in June.
Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Tom.