Falling tree causes serious injury to firefighter

On August 6, 2019 a 72-hour report provided information about a serious injury that occurred August 3 on the East Evans Creek Fire about 18 air miles north of Medford, Oregon:

“On August 3, 2019, at approximately 0230 (PST), a snag fell and hit a member of a 20 person hand crew that was building direct handline on the East Evans Creek Fire during initial attack. The firefighter struck by the snag sustained serious injuries to the head and facial regions.

“The hand crew, along with adjacent fireline resources, initiated an emergency extraction of the injured firefigther via SKED stretcher from the tree strike site on the fireline to a pickup truck, and then to a staged ambulance that was already enroute. From there, the injured firefighter was transferred to a Lifeflight helicopter and airlifted to a regional medical center for treatment.

“The injured firefighter remains in the hospital in critical condition, and a hospital liaison has been assigned to assist the family during this time.

“A Lessons Learned Review Team has been assigned, and is working with the Butte Falls Field Office and Oregon Department of Forestry in Medford to provide a review and detailed report of the incident. The intent of the review is to learn from the events surrounding this incident and prevent future occurrences.”

The August 9, 2019 National Situation Report had the East Evans Creek Fire listed as a suppression fire at 156 acres with 10 hand crews, 16 fire engines, and 5 helicopters for a total of 287 personnel.

CHP report: Redding Hotshots’ truck was hit head-on

A Lexus drifted over the yellow line into oncoming traffic

The California Highway Patrol reports that the Redding Hotshots’ crew carrier (or “buggy”) was hit head-on in the accident that sent all 10 occupants of the truck to hospitals on April 30.

The accident was reported by the crew via radio. Members of the 20-person crew trained in first aid began treatment of their injured colleagues immediately.

The other vehicle, a 1996 Lexus, was driven by Linda L. Corr, 66. The report indicates that the Lexus drifted across the yellow line into oncoming traffic and collided with the crew carrier. Ms. Coor was transported by helicopter complaining of pain in her chest.

One of the firefighters was transported by CHP helicopter to Shasta Regional Medial Center. Another was taken by ground ambulance and the other eight were transported by U.S. Forest Service vehicles to local hospitals.

As of May 1 two firefighters were still in the hospital.

Redding Hotshots' Crew Carrier
The Redding Hotshots’ Crew Carrier. Screengrab from @KRCR Photog video.

The crew had been engaged in chain saw training and were returning to their Redding, California base when the accident occurred on SR-299 west of Burney at 5:10 p.m. As is typical of a Type 1 crew, they were traveling in three vehicles — two crew carriers and a superintendent’s truck.

The Forest Service has released very little information about the incident.

Redding Hotshots involved in vehicle crash with multiple injuries

The crew is based in Redding, California

(UPDATED at 11:02 a.m. PDT May 1, 2019)

Stanton Florea, a spokesperson for the U.S.  Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region, confirmed that a total of 10 crewmembers on the Redding Interagency Hotshots were injured in the crash of their crew carrier yesterday, April 30.  At least one was transported from the scene by helicopter. Two crewmembers are still in the hospital.

The crew was engaged in chain saw training away from their base in Redding, and was en route back when the accident occurred.

(UPDATED at 7:27 a.m. PDT May 1, 2019)

Redding Hotshots' Crew Carrier
The Redding Hotshots’ Crew Carrier. Screengrab from @KRCR Photog.

We will update this article as more of the details become available.

Redding Hotshots

The Redding Hotshots differ from the typical Hotshot Crew in that firefighters are detailed to the crew from other units. It is a Regional resource rather than being tied to a specific National Forest or Park like other Type 1 crews. In addition they receive a concentrated fire management training opportunity through supervising a squad of 3-7 crewmembers during fire suppression, prescribed fire and other emergency incidents.

(Originally published at 8:05 p.m. PDT April 30, 2019)

The Shasta County News Source is reporting that a vehicle carrying members of the U.S. Forest Service Redding Hotshots was involved in a two-vehicle accident in Burney, California, which is about 56 miles northeast of the crew’s base in Redding.

The report has numerous details which may have been gathered from monitored radio conversations.

The Incident Commander reported the crew carrier was off the road and on its side, and immediately declared it to be a Mass Casualty incident.

Two or possibly three of the injured were flown to hospitals, and approximately eight or nine others with minor injuries were transported in ground vehicles. It is believed that a person in the other vehicle, a Lexus, is included in the numbers.

The accident was reported at about 5:12 p.m. Tuesday April 30.

The details may change as the story evolves. We will update this article as more details emerge.

(Click here for an update on the accident.)

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

Five firefighters injured in California rollover crash

Five firefighters were injured when their vehicle crashed on Interstate 5 near Tehama, California Wednesday September 26. Four of them with minor injuries were taken to a hospital in Red Bluff and a fifth with major injuries was transported to St. Elizabeth hospital in Paradise.

firestormThe firefighters were members of a crew operated by Firestorm Wildland Fire Suppression Inc.

According to media reports the northbound truck went off the edge of the highway to the right. As the driver tried to steer it back onto the road, he lost control, went across both northbound lanes, entered the center divider and overturned.

A year ago a truck operated by the same company was involved in another single vehicle rollover accident on Highway 299 near Cedarville, California. In that case the driver tried to avoid hitting a vehicle that had stopped due to a deer being in the road.

This is the 60th article we have posted on Wildfire Today tagged “rollover”.

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.