Firefighter killed, one injured in South Australia

They were working on the Coles Fire northwest of Coonawarra

Map Coles Fire
Map showing the location of heat detected on the Coles Fire at 1605 UTC Jan. 20, 2022 in South Australia.

One firefighter working on the Coles Fire in South Australia has been killed and another hospitalized, the state’s Country Fire Service announced on Friday. The agency said “they were involved in a falling tree incident.”

In a news release the Country Fire Services said, “Family and other personnel have been informed and are being offered support at this time. The seriously injured CFS member has been taken to hospital for further treatment. The safety and wellbeing of our people is our highest priority and our thoughts are with our CFS family at this time.”

From The Guardian:

One firefighter has died and another has been seriously injured after a tree collapsed on a fire truck battling an out-of-control bushfire in South Australia’s south-east.

The incident occurred at the firefront at Coles, near Lucindale, where the blaze was running uncontrolled through bluegum plantations, scrub and grassland, a spokeswoman for the state’s Country Fire Service said.

The Coles Fire, first reported January 19, has burned 3,835 ha (9,476 a) about 28 km (17 miles) west-northwest of Coonawarra in southeast South Australia.

Data from the U.S. National Interagency Fire Center in 2016 showed that in the United States hazardous trees was the fifth leading cause of wildland firefighter fatalities, behind medical, aircraft accidents, vehicle accidents, and entrapments.

Our sincere condolences go out to the family, friends, and co-workers of the two firefighters.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Tom.

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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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