One NSW firefighter killed and two suffer burns in truck rollover

It is believed that the truck rolled when hit by extreme winds associated with the fire

Map Green Valley Fire
Map showing the Green Valley Fire, produced at 4 a.m. local time December 31, 2019. The fire is 43 miles east of Albury, NSW. Map by Victoria Emergency.

UPDATE: The New South Wales Rural Fire Service has identified the firefighter killed at the Green Valley Fire as Samuel McPaul from the Morven Brigade of the Southern Border Team. Today Service flags will be flown at half-mast as a mark of respect.

Samuel McPaul
Samuel McPaul. Photo supplied by NSW RFS.

The New South Wales Rural Fire Service confirmed December 30 that a RFS volunteer firefighter died Monday evening near Jingellic. Two other firefighters on the same truck suffered burns and were transported to a hospital.

The firefighters were working on the Green Valley, Talmalmo Fire, approximately 70km (43 miles) east of Albury NSW when it is believed that “the truck rolled when hit by extreme winds associated with the fire” according to information released by the RFS. The incident occurred in NSW near the Victoria/NSW border 150km (93 miles) southwest of Canberra.

A second vehicle working in the same area was also blown over and the firefighter on board is being treated in a hospital.

Our sincere condolences go out to the family, friends, and coworkers of the firefighters.

New  South Wales has been experiencing numerous large bushfires for the last month and in recent days Victoria has as well.

On the day two firefighters were killed on the Carr Fire near Redding, California July 26, 2018 winds associated with the fire were estimated at 136-165 mph (EF-3 tornado strength), as indicated by wind damage to large oak trees, scouring of the ground surface, damage to roofs of houses, and lofting of large steel power line support towers, vehicles, and a steel marine shipping container. Multiple fire vehicles were damaged by flying debris and had their windows blown out.

Map Green Valley Fire
Map showing the Green Valley Fire

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

Two firefighters in Australia killed when their truck hits tree and rolls

Two New South Wales Rural Fire Service volunteers have died and three other firefighters were injured

NSW RFS engine truck rollover lodd
It is believed the NSW RFS truck (not pictured) hit a tree before rolling off the road. NSW RFS photo.

Authorities said the truck was traveling as part of a convoy when it is believed to have hit a tree on Wilson Drive in Buxton, before rolling off the road about 11:30pm. (map)

The driver and front passenger both died at the scene. Three other passengers were injured and treated at the scene by paramedics.

It happened December 19 near the Green Wattle Creek Fire near Buxton in southwestern Sydney, one of two bushfires still burning at emergency level through Thursday night.

A crime scene has been established, and an investigation has been launched into the circumstances surrounding the crash.

(From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Our sincere condolences go out to the firefighters’ friends, family, and coworkers.

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

Alabama firefighter killed while responding to brush fire

Michale Johnston was a member of the Equality Volunteer Fire Department

Michael Johnston Equality Volunteer Fire Department killed
Michael Johnston of the Equality Volunteer Fire Department was killed in a water tender rollover October 18 in Alabama.

Michale Johnston of the Equality Volunteer Fire Department was killed October 18 in a single vehicle rollover while responding to a brush fire. The Coosa County Sheriff’s Office said EMS and Deputies arrived at the scene within minutes and later reported that Mr. Johnson died after the accident.

Mr. Johnston, 45, was driving the 2004 GMC water tender when it overturned at 3:25 p.m. while en route to a fire in the Speed Community south of Rockford, Alabama. He was ejected from the truck in the single-vehicle crash on Coosa County Road 14.

Our sincere condolences go out to Mr. Johnston’s family, friends, and colleagues.

CAL FIRE engine rolls over, four firefighters injured

CAL FIRE engine rollover Porterville
A CAL FIRE engine rolled over injuring three firefighters September 4, 2019 near Porterville, CA. Photo by @GilbertABC30

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection announced that at 8:43 a.m. September 4 one of their engines was involved in a single vehicle rollover. Four firefighters were on board. Three were treated and released, while one was scheduled to remain overnight.

The San Diego County based engine was covering a CAL FIRE station during the Creek Fire.

ABC30 reported that it happened on a rural road in the Porterville area near Avenue 56 and Road 240.

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

Report released for rescue and extraction of water tender rollover victim

It happened on the Cougar Creek fire in Washington

water tender fire rollover wildfire
A total of 30 people—using a combination of standard carry and caterpillar carry, depending on the incline—transported Robert from the accident site down to the road via the pathway that the Type 2 Hand Crew constructed, where an ambulance was waiting. From the report.

A report has been released for what turned out to be a difficult and complex rescue after a water tender rolled 150-feet down a slope. It occurred August 18, 2018 on the Cougar Creek Fire outside of Leavenworth, Washington. The steepness and heavy vegetation slowed efforts to extract and transport the 300-pound truck driver but in spite of the challenges the person identified as “Robert” in the report arrived at a Life Flight helicopter about 2 hours and 20 minutes after the first 911 call.

water tender fire rollover wildfire
The pink flagging marks where Robert’s Water Tender slid off the road and rolled down the hill. From the report.

A system of ropes was necessary in order for personnel to access the victim from the top side, but the report heaps a great deal of praise on a Type 2 hand crew that from a lower road…

“…cut a highway through the forest in a matter of minutes.” In fact, the [Division Supervisor] later recalled that the crew was so fast and so efficient that they cleared the path in front of the Medics who were arriving from the bottom. These Medics coming up from the bottom were able to maintain a “comfortable walking pace” behind the crew as they worked.

The timber canopy virtually eliminated the possibility of extraction by a helicopter with hoist or short haul capabilities. Plus, there was a three-hour ETA for the helicopter.

The 30 people on scene carried the victim in a Stokes basket down the steep slope to a waiting ambulance below, using a standard carry and caterpillar (or conveyor belt) system depending on the incline.

water tender fire rollover wildfire

A section in the report section titled “Drills Work!” included this:

Last year, a Montana Incident Management Team put the Type 2 Crew (who cut the access line up to the accident site on this incident) through a drill that taught them how to use the caterpillar system and polished their cutting skills. This crew’s members said specifically that the reason they were so successful on this incident was because of this earlier drill that they had experienced in Montana.

NIFC produced a video about the management of a serious injury complicated by a helicopter incident that occurred on the Deer Park Fire on the Sawtooth National Forest in central Idaho in 2013. In the video, which can be seen in the Wildfire Today article about the incident, you can see a description of the conveyor belt technique for moving a stokes basket in rocky or steep terrain. It begins at 5:25 in the video.

The entire 11-page report about the August 18, 2018 accident on the Cougar Creek Fire can be downloaded HERE (1.4 MB).

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”.