Firefighter on Terwilliger Fire critically injured in hit-and-run incident

The fire is burning between Eugene and Bend in Oregon. 

Above: A K-MAX helicopter drops water on the Terwilliger Fire in Oregon, September 1, 2018. InciWeb photo.

A firefighter sustained critical injuries Monday September 3 in a hit-and-run accident while assigned to the Terwilliger Fire in Oregon. The incident occurred on Highway 126 near the Tokatee Golf Course.

Below is an excerpt from an article at KEZI:

…Police said John S. Houdeshell, 71, of Yreka, Calif., was crossing the highway when he was struck by a silver or metallic gray Chevy Astro Van or similar looking vehicle traveling westbound.

Officers say Houdeshell sustained critical injuries and was transported by air ambulance to Sacred Heart Medical Center at River Bend in Springfield.

Fire officials said he was a water tender driver who was off duty at the time…

The Terwilliger Fire has burned about 9,500 acres between Eugene and Bend in Oregon.

Below is an updated on September 5, 2018 from the Incident Management Team.

Yesterday’s [September 4] weather conditions optimized firing operations and crews were able to strengthen containment lines on the northwest and southwest flanks. To the northwest, crews completed containment line from Forest Service Road (FS) 1986 down to FS19, while helicopters provided bucket support to wet the exterior of the fire perimeter reducing spotting potential.

On the northeast side, the fire advanced toward the FS1993 as crews removed flammable materials and set up hose line. To the south, some group tree torching occurred and crews worked to close firelines from FS140 to FS100. A structure assessment plan has been completed for the Highway 126 corridor and Kings Road.

landslide Terwilliger Fire Oregon
Landslide on USFS Road 19 at the Terwilliger Fire in Oregon. Undated InciWeb Photo.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Kelly.
Typos or errors, report them HERE.

Three firefighters suffer burns on Arizona fire

All three are expected to make full recoveries

Three firefighters are recovering from burn injuries they sustained while working on a wildfire in Southwest Arizona over the weekend.

On Friday, March 16 two State Forestry firefighters were burned after falling into an ash pit on the Laguna Fire, 14 miles northeast of Yuma.

One firefighter suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns and was flown to the Arizona Burn Center in Phoenix where he remains in the hospital. The other was treated at a Yuma-area hospital and released.

On Saturday, a third firefighter was injured on the same fire. He suffered minor burns and was also treated at the hospital and released.

Two of the firefighters are part of State Forestry’s Phoenix Crew. The third firefighter is a member of State Department of Corrections’ Yuma Crew.

“Firefighter safety is our number one priority at all times. The accidents are currently under review and being investigated by the department. We ask that you please keep all of our firefighters in your thoughts,” said State Forester Jeff Whitney.

All three are expected to make full recoveries.

The 15-acre Laguna Fire started Thursday, March 15th and the cause is under investigation.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Jason and Tom.
Typos or errors, report them HERE.

Eight firefighters injured in northern California vehicle accident

A crew truck from Firestorm Wildland Fire Suppression was involved in the one-vehicle accident.

firestormAt approximately 7:45 a.m. PDT, August 11, 2017, a Firestorm Wildland Fire Suppression Inc. contracted fire crew transport truck assigned to the Parker 2 Fire was involved in a single vehicle accident on Highway 299 near Cedarville, California. Eight firefighters were injured. Five were transported to local medical facilities by ambulance; three were transported by air ambulance. Seven of the firefighters have been treated and released, and one firefighter is still undergoing medical evaluation.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

The Parker 2 Fire has burned almost 8,000 acres on the Modoc National Forest east of Alturas, California.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Rick.
Typos or errors, report them HERE.

Smokejumper dies one month after off duty injury in Alabama

A smokejumper based in Oregon passed away December 19 after being injured in an accident in Birmingham, Alabama on November 22. Ray Fernandez Rubio, 52, was staying overnight in Birmingham before returning home when, according to AL.com and Jefferson County Chief Deputy Coroner Bill Yates, he was injured in a fall while walking from a restaurant back to his hotel.

Below is an excerpt from their article:

It was just before midnight when Rubio was walking alone in the 2100 block of 11thAvenue South. Friends have said he had completed his most recent smokejumping assignment and was about to return to Oregon.

Authorities said he fell over a concrete railing into a parking garage that was one story below ground level. Yates said Rubio fell 12 to 15 feet, suffering a head injury and a broken knee. It wasn’t immediately clear how he was found, but he was taken to Grandview Medical Center because UAB Hospital was on trauma diversion.

Rubio, a husband and father, remained in the Intensive Care Unit until he died at 5:45 p.m. Monday. Yates said forestry officials have had a support team in Alabama to help Rubio’s family during his hospital stay.

On December 2 Adam C. Rondeau, a Public Affairs Specialist with the U.S. Forest Service’s Southern Region, said that at the time of the injury, “[Mr. Rubio] was in travel status and staying overnight in Birmingham, Alabama, before returning home to Oregon.”

A GoFundMe account was set up for him that has raised over $33,000.

Our sincere condolences go out to Mr. Rubio’s family and his coworkers at the Redmond, Oregon smokejumper base.

Smokejumper seriously injured in Alabama

Ray Rubio
Ray Rubio. Photo from GoFundMe page.

A firefighter was seriously injured while on a fire assignment in Alabama.

Just before Thanksgiving Ray Rubio, a Redmond, Oregon smokejumper, was staying overnight in Birmingham before returning home when an accident occurred.

A GoFundMe page set up to help pay for his medical expenses posted the following on November 29:

There have been many rumors regarding the number and type of injuries sustained in the accident. Ray has very serious head injuries and a broken kneecap. Ray remains in intensive care and remains on life support. Every morning Ray gets a CT scan. The CT scan today shows that Ray’s head injuries are no longer swelling and have stabilized (the same as yesterday). Right now, Ray’s family and many friends are here for him. He is loved and cared for. I realize that Ray’s situation is vague and it is hard not knowing. Please be patient with the limited information.

The amount of help pouring in has been amazing! As we look into the future and the long road ahead for Ray and Julie and Family; we will strive to reach the highest funding goal possible. Keep spreading the word and raising awareness.

The incident occurred November 22.

After serving in the U.S. Army in the 82nd Airborne, Mr. Rubio has worked for the federal government for 25 years and began jumping at Redmond in 1995.

According to Adam C. Rondeau, a Public Affairs Specialist with the U.S. Forest Service’s Southern Region, at the time of the injury, “[Mr. Rubio] was in travel status and staying overnight in Birmingham, Alabama, before returning home to Oregon.”

Mr. Rondeau went on to say, “The exact cause of his injuries is still under investigation”.

An article at KTVZ, a central Oregon TV station, said he “suffered a serious head injury and a broken kneecap in a fall”.

We hope Mr. Rubio has a speedy, complete recovery.

19 firefighters injured while performing in a Tijuana parade

You can’t make this stuff up.

While performing a stunt on top of a ladder truck during a parade in Tijuana, Mexico, 19 firefighters fell and were injured November 20.

The truck was moving very slowly while firefighters were doing handstands on top of other firefighters. When the truck suddenly stopped, they all fell, with most of them going all the way to the ground. There is one report that first, a firefighter lost his balance at the front of the truck, and the driver hit the brakes so as not to run him over. But very rough Google automatic translations leave some of the details in question.

Below is an excerpt from LaJornada, translated by Google:

Tijuana, 20 November.- The Sunday morning accident was recorded during the parade on November 20 in Tijuana, in which 19 members of the Fire Department were injured.

Firefighters were performing stunts aboard one of its units-above boulevard Paseo de los Heroes, at the height of the Glorieta Independence- when the truck stopped making them off balance.
According to the office manager of the Ministry of Public Security official Jose Luis Lopez, the injured are being treated, none seriously injured, however, two of them have possible fractures collarbone and leg, while others already they were discharged.

When I worked for the U.S. Forest Service, forms that had to be completed after every accident had one section that asked: “How could this accident have been prevented?” Well, I have some ideas about this one.