Oregon firefighters battle one of six small fires reported along Interstate 5 on Sunday. One wildfire on Thursday killed a firefighter when a tree fell on him. Photo courtesy of Oregon Department of Forestry Twitter
Aug. 20 (UPI) — A tree fell a killed an Oregon firefighter while he was battling a wildfire in Jackson County, one of more than 40 blazes burning in the state.
Logan Taylor, 25, was helping fight the Rum Creek Fire north of Galice, Ore., in mountainous terrain when the accident happened Thursday. Taylor was taken via helicopter to the Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford where he later died from in injuries.
“We are extremely saddened by the passing of Logan Taylor,” Tyler McCarty, of the Oregon Department of Forestry, said in a statement. “This loss is deeply felt by our ODF family and throughout the wildland fire community as a whole.
“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.”
Elizabeth Burghard, the Medford district manager of the Bureau of Land Management, said the loss impacted the “whole firefighting community.” The incident was under investigation.
“Safety is the number one priority for the BLM and our wildland firefighting partners,” Burghard said in a statement. “We want every firefighter to come home safely each day.”
Taylor was the second Oregon firefighter to die while battling a wildfire this month. Collin Hagan, 27, died from a fallen tree while working the Big Swamp Fire in southwest Oregon last week.
Oregon emergency crews are battling 41 active fires that have burned more than 7,600 acres in the state.