OAKRIDGE, Ore. — A 27-year-old wildland firefighter died while battling a small fire near Oakridge in the Willamette National Forest on Wednesday.
Around 12:30 p.m., emergency dispatchers received information that a wildland firefighter, identified as Collin Hagan, was hit by a falling tree and critically injured. Umpqua Valley Ambulance and REACH Air Medical Services responded to the scene, but Hagan died from his injuries.
Hagan was working on the Big Swamp Fire, which has burned 117 acres about 44 miles southeast of Eugene. The 27-year-old from Michigan was assigned to the Craig Interagency Hotshot Crew based out of Colorado.
"We are devastated by the tragic loss of a cherished firefighter working on our forest to save our communities and beloved recreational areas," said Duane Bishop, the acting forest supervisor on the Willamette National Forest. "Their family has been notified and we are working with our partners to ensure the crew is well taken care of. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and fellow crew members of this brave firefighter."
Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin shared his condolences in a statement posted on Facebook.
"It is a sad day in public safety," said Hanlin. "On behalf of the men and women of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, I extend my heartfelt sympathies to firefighter Hagan’s family, friends, co-workers and all who knew this brave young man."
The Big Swamp Fire and several others in the area were started by lightning strikes about 10 days ago. A Serious Accident Investigation Team will be assembled to investigate the incident.
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