Looking at a recently burned area in Oregon through Google Glass

Video journalist Andrew Satter visited a recently burned area in southwest Oregon with Brian Ballou, a Fire Prevention Specialist with the Oregon Department of Forestry. Mr. Ballou explained how heat and drought are leading to larger and more expensive wildfires. The video was shot with Google Glass, the eyeglasses-like wearable computer. Some of the audio is not great, but it is a novel way to capture video.

Firefighter in Oregon collapses, dies

Oscar Montano-Garcia, 50, a firefighter working on a contract Type 2 hand crew collapsed and died while working on the Nabob Fire on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in Oregon on Sunday, August 25.

The crew was rehabilitating a fireline by pulling brush back over the line that connected with the Pacific Crest Trail. They had just taken a lunch break when Mr. Montano-Garcia collapsed. EMT’s on scene and multiple other EMS personnel attempted to revive the firefighter but were unsuccessful.

Our sincere condolences go out to Mr. Montano-Garcia’s family and co-workers.

Contractor dies while working on wildfire in Oregon

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The Associated Press reported that a truck driver working for a contractor on the Grassy Mountain Fire in eastern Oregon died Saturday. Carolyn Chad, a BLM spokesperson, said said Kevin Hall, from Ontario, Oregon, apparently suffered a medical issue while he was working for a bulldozer contractor. Mr. Hall was the driver of the low boy truck that transported the equipment to the fire. The dozer was assisting in the rehab of fire lines.

After he was found unresponsive in his vehicle, BLM employees and another fire contractor administered CPR until an air ambulance arrived, the BLM said. Hall was pronounced dead the scene.

The Grassy Mountain Fire started from lightning on Wednesday and was contained Friday after burning about 17,000 acres of grass and brush.

We send our sincere condolences to the family and co-workers of Mr. Hall.

Water truck crashes, driver killed on Big Windy Complex in Oregon

(Originally published at 3:58 p.m. MDT, August 6, 2013; updated at 4:50 p.m. MDT, August 6, 2013; Jesse Trader’s name corrected February 22, 2023.)

The driver of a water truck, also known as a water tender, was killed Tuesday morning, August 6, when his truck crashed while working on the Big Windy Complex of fires in southern Oregon. Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson said 19-year old Jesse Trader was returning Tuesday morning at 7:20 a.m. after working the night shift. The truck hit an embankment and rolled over on the Bear Camp Road near Soldier Camp. Firefighters in vehicles driving behind Mr. Trader immediately stopped to assist. An advanced life support ambulance arrived on scene within minutes and life flight was quickly launched; however, all efforts to save him were unsuccessful.

The water tender, owned by Ace Earthmoving, was being used by County Fire, a private fire suppression company contracted to assist with the Big Windy Fire.

Our sincere condolences go out to the driver’s family and co-workers.

The Big Windy Complex is a group of three lightning-caused fires in southwest Oregon northwest of Grants Pass that have burned 10,832 acres of Bureau of Land Management lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry. Since July 29 the Complex has been managed by Chris Schulte’s Type 1 Pacific Northwest #2 Incident Management Team. InciWeb has more details about the fires.

Below are some photos from the fire. The first one was taken on Bear Camp Road.

Gila Regulars clear fuel on Bear Camp Road, on the Big Windy Complex of fires. Photo by Dave Bauman, Information Officer.
Gila Regulars clear vegetation on Bear Camp Road on the Big Windy Complex of fires. Photo by Dave Bauman, Information Officer.
Jenny Fire
The Jenny Fire, part of the Big Windy Complex, burns near the Rogue River. Photo by PNW #2 IMTeam.
Morning briefing at Big Windy Complex, August 3, 2013
Morning briefing at the Big Windy Complex, August 3, 2013. Photo by Dave Bauman, Information Officer.

Red Flag Warnings and smoke map, August 5, 2013

Wildfire smoke map, 9:36 a.m. MDT, August 5, 2013

Central Oregon is experiencing “moderately dense” smoke today from the fires in southwest Oregon and northwest California, according to this analysis from NOAA. If you want a ton of more information about the smoke, they have a very detailed description.

Red Flag Warnings, August 5, 2013

Red Flag Warnings and Fire Weather Watches for enhanced wildfire danger have been issued by the National Weather Service for areas in Idaho.


The Red Flag Warning map above was current as of 10:03 a.m. MDT on Monday. Red Flag Warnings can change throughout the day as the National Weather Service offices around the country update and revise their forecasts. For the most current data, visit this NWS site.

One firefighter killed, another injured in Oregon

One firefighter has died and another was injured by a falling snag in the Deschutes National Forest near Sisters, Oregon on Thursday, August 1. The incident occurred on a new lightning-caused fire, named 398, north of Highway 242 near Dugout Lake. The two firefighters were contract personnel working as a tree falling team employed by R&K Water Services out of Bonney Lake, Washington. The names have not been released. The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Department is in charge of the accident..

The incident was reported at 9:13 a.m. Thursday, according to Jean Nelson-Dean, a spokesperson for the Deschutes National Forest.

A rappel crew responded in a helicopter to the accident and called for an ambulance. One of the firefighters died at the scene. The other was taken to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend. A water-dropping helicopter wet down the area to make it safer for other firefighters to assist with the incident.

An early morning lightning storm started dozens of wildfires in the Cascade Range of Oregon on Thursday.

Our sincere condolences go out to the families and coworkers of these firefighters.