Firefighter killed by falling tree in Oregon

On the Rum Creek Fire north of Galice, OR

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5:17 p.m. PDT August 19, 2022

Map fires near Galice, Oregon, August 19, 2022
The red and yellow dots represent heat on wildfires detected by satellites as late as 2:06 p.m. PDT August 19, 2022 near Galice, Oregon.

(From the Oregon Department of Forestry)

The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials are saddened to announce the death of 25-year-old wildland firefighter Logan Taylor of Talent, Oregon.

On Thursday, August 18, 2022, shortly after 4:00 p.m., dispatchers received information regarding a wildland firefighter that was critically injured after being struck by a tree on the Rum Creek Fire north of Galice. Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (SAR) immediately deployed a helicopter and personnel to the fire and airlifted Mr. Taylor out of the mountainous terrain to a waiting Mercy Flights helicopter, which transported him to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford.

Despite lifesaving efforts by firefighters and EMS personnel assigned to the fire and responding medical staff, Mr. Taylor succumbed to his injuries. He was the operator of Sasquatch Reforestation, an ODF-contracted firefighting company.

“We are extremely saddened by the passing of Logan Taylor. This loss is deeply felt by our ODF family and throughout the wildland fire community as a whole,” said Tyler McCarty, ODF Southwest Oregon District Forester. “Safety remains our top priority. ODF and our partners are committed to learning from this accident and to doing everything we can to reduce the risk of similar incidents occurring in the future.”

“A loss of a firefighter’s life impacts the whole firefighting community, and we send our condolences to the family friends and coworkers,” said Elizabeth Burghard, BLM Medford District Manager. “Safety is the number one priority for the BLM and our wildland firefighting partners. We want every firefighter to come home safely each day.”

The incident is under investigation and more details will be released as they are confirmed.

(end of message from the ODF)


Galice, Oregon is 17 air miles northwest of Grants Pass, Oregon. Tuesday morning Oregon had 23 new fires for a total of 68 acres (many of them started by lightning), plus four large fires that have burned more than 6,500 acres.

We send out our sincere condolences to the family, friends, and co-workers of Mr. Taylor. He was a member of the Craig Interagency Hotshots.

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.

12 thoughts on “Firefighter killed by falling tree in Oregon”

  1. Curious Non-Producer, hazard tree safety and mitigations has been a staple of Six Minutes for Safety for quite a few years now, to the point of redundance. While of course there are always more needing to be informed, if you want to point out a fixable problem, it would perhaps be more around our broader risk management and cultural acceptance of risk. Then again, you can’t mitigate risk to zero in a wildland fire environment. Trees are always going to be a significant present hazard in places like the Cascades. Thanks for caring and wanting to teach. You missed the mark a bit bashing on “NIFC.”

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    1. Hoby one kenobi- Guess you know more than me–
      I disagree, NIFC could develop safer strategies to mitigate snags.
      The point of my chat was to maybe point out to the younger generation that SNAGS kill more firefighters than anything else other than driving. The six minutes for safety is a preset calendar for the sit report, instead of using the same pre-set data maybe we should use more science, and some different techniques such as scouting the line, like I have for 27 years and I have been able to stay away from Death from Trees. Thank you for pointing out that I missed the mark, next time I will put more thought into the bashing part.
      cheers and stay safe Hoby Miller, maybe you can help me come up with some solutions. Any thoughts?

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      1. It takes a smarter and bigger man to accept what others say , i commend you. Now back to the death of yet another brother. I was a hot shot for 12 years out of az ( Pleasant Valley and Mormon Lake) , and have felt the pain and agony of losing a fellow hotshot ( july 17 , 1976 , battlement creek fire) , up close as 4 members , including foreman were killed so i feel your pain more then you know. Although 1986 was my last year i still keep up with fire seasons every year. RIP Logan Taylor , may fire camp be ready for before your there.

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    2. Hoby One Kenobi
      You are a Union Rep? Can we get some REAL on the line Fireline experience on here please.
      Thanks for the shout out from your cubicle.

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      1. Six minutes is for a quick primer before shift. Felling haz trees takes years to understand and see the complexities that only felling trees teaches. If you can tell me in your first 5 years of felling haz trees you never had a close call that could’ve hurt you in even a minor way then you are full of sh#$. You are completely disconnected if you think the fact that six minutes for safety is the reason for those fatalities. It’s extremely disrespectful to the men who died to even suggest that. They were professional firefighters and Sawyer’s that were doing what their experience and training told them. Sometimes things don’t go the way we want them to. These guys you are a shit talking are barely in the ground. Time for a new hobby bro or broette…

        Here is your logic:
        NIFC didn’t have enough six minutes about driving. Their fault for any accidents.
        NIFC didn’t have enough six minutes about eating mres, their at fault for your hemorrhoids.
        NIFC didn’t do enough six minutes about how to tie your shoes, they are now responsible for all trip accidents.
        Somehow I think you might be full of it with your experience bud. I know for a fact you wouldn’t say any of this shit outside of your circle of turds in your porcelain house of echoing opinions.

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      2. Curious non producer I think your title is quite accurate. Might think of changing it to “I enjoy disrespecting fallen firefighters for fun”. Six minutes is for a quick primer before shift. Felling haz trees takes years to understand and see the complexities that only felling trees teaches. If you can tell me in your first 5 years of felling haz trees you never had a close call that could’ve hurt you in even a minor way then you are full of sh#$. You are completely disconnected if you think the fact that six minutes for safety is the reason for those fatalities. It’s extremely disrespectful to the men who died to even suggest that. They were professional firefighters and Sawyer’s that were doing what their experience and training told them. Sometimes things don’t go the way we want them to. These guys you are a shit talking are barely in the ground. Time for a new hobby bro or broette…

        Here is your logic:
        NIFC didn’t have enough six minutes about driving. Their fault for any accidents.
        NIFC didn’t have enough six minutes about eating mres, their at fault for your hemorrhoids.
        NIFC didn’t do enough six minutes about how to tie your shoes, they are now responsible for all trip accidents.
        Somehow I think you might be full of it with your experience bud. I know for a fact you wouldn’t say any of this shit outside of your circle of turds in your porcelain house of echoing opinions. These are men with loved ones and family that most likely looked at them as larger than life heros. You shit on their legacy. Think of that the next time you decide to run your mouth right after a fatality. There’s a good chance their families read wildfire today to see something about the person they just lost. A bit of comfort or pride, something to have that connection that they know is going to slowly fade away.
        Anyways I’m sure you have all the answers.

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  2. Oregon’s taking it in the teeth. I wonder if Sacramento could dispatch a CCC strike/support team.

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  3. Rest in Peace fallen Brother.

    My condolences to the friends and family of Logan Taylor. Reading this breaks my heart, I live and work in Oregon.
    Two losses in a couple weeks is two too much. This area has more large decadent dead (snags) trees than any other place in the US.
    Looking at the 6 min for safety on NIFC sit report, it seems more emphasis should be on Tree hazards and how to mitigate them. Please help your crews/engines and NEW FIREFIGHTERS, and division supervisors should be checking the areas to steer clear of killer trees. Walk thru the area before working and do a SNAG check. If you cannot work safely in the area then avoid it. If NIFC isn’t going to mention it I will.

    Hazard Tree – Risk Management

    Category: 6 min for safety
    Felling Safety
    Printer Friendly Version
    Page Last Modified / Reviewed:
    Mar 2022

    Consider the severity, probability, and exposure of hazard tree problems continually as you perform duties in forested communities. Remember to look for hazard tree risks at staging areas, parking areas, and camping areas.

    Environmental Element: LOOK AT THE BASE AND TOPS OF TREES FROM A SAFE DISTANCE>THIS MUST BE DONE BY A SEASONED FIREFIGHTER/FALLING TEAM THAT KNOWS WHAT TO LOOK FOR. DO THIS BEFORE WORKING IN THE AREA PERIOD….
    Existing winds and forecast.
    Night operations or low visibility situations limiting your view of surroundings.
    Steep slopes.
    Diseased or bug-kill areas with high densities of dead or dying trees.
    Number, density, and height of hazard trees.
    Amount of time the area has been burning – burn down time. IS THE TREE CATFACED? BURNING?
    Potential for domino effect to surrounding trees.
    Hazard Tree Indicators:
    Trees burning for any period of time.
    High-risk tree species (rot and shallow roots). DOUGLAS FIR LIKES TO ROT
    Numerous downed trees in the area.
    Dead, broken, or burning tops and limbs overhead. LOOK UP, DOWN, AROUND
    Accumulation of downed limbs.
    Fungus or growth of decay species on the tree.
    Cavities or evidence of woodpecker damage.
    Forked tops, multiple tops, and/or uneven branch distribution.
    Absence of needles, bark, or limbs.
    Leaning or hung-up.
    Hazard Control:
    Eliminate the hazards with qualified sawyers, blasters/explosives, or heavy equipment.
    Avoid hazards by designating “No Work Zones” (NWZ) – (flag, sign, and map).
    Modify suppression tactics or fireline location to avoid extreme/high risk rated area.
    Post lookouts to help maintain a secure area.
    Fireproof potential hazard trees to prevent ignition.
    Initiate road/traffic control and area closure.
    Keep clear of bucket drops near trees/snags.
    Establish trigger points for reposition to secure areas in response to high winds.
    Minimize exposure time in hazard tree areas using efficient felling techniques and limiting numbers of personnel in hazardous areas.

    Young firefighters need more guidance and mentoring in this situation. Consider ordering or hiring Professional Falling crews local to the area. I have also lost professional Fallers on fires (Green ridge fire 2013, Sisters Oregon) it needs to be mitigated. Bless you all.

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    1. Curious non producer ,Im not sure what crew your on but as a veteran hotshot 12 yrs.,and sawyer i or we never had time to stop , walk around, inspect trees , etc before we started the process of leading a crew buy fallen trees that are in the path of our fireline. Thats how people get killed or injured. The same reason the media is forbidden from going on the fireline. Hotshots were back in my day and still are today , Americas unsung heros. RIP Lito C

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