A 25-year-old wildland firefighter was killed after being struck by a tree while battling the Rum Creek Fire in Oregon, officials said Friday, marking the second fire personnel death in the state this month.
Logan Taylor of Talent, Oregon, was critically injured Thursday, according to a joint statement from the Oregon Department of Forestry and the Bureau of Land Management.
After learning of Taylor’s injuries, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue airlifted Taylor out of the mountainous terrain to the Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford for treatment, according to the joint statement. Taylor succumbed to his injuries, despite lifesaving efforts from firefighters and EMS personnel assigned to the fire and medical staff, it said.
Taylor was the operator of Sasquatch Reforestation, an forestry department-contracted firefighting company.
“We are extremely saddened by the passing of Logan Taylor. This loss is deeply felt by our ODF family and throughout the wildland fire community as a whole,” said Tyler McCarty, ODF Southwest Oregon District Forester. “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.”
“A loss of a firefighter’s life impacts the whole firefighting community, and we send our condolences to the family friends and coworkers,” said Elizabeth Burghard, BLM Medford District Manager said. “Safety is the number one priority for the BLM and our wildland firefighting partners. We want every firefighter to come home safely each day.”
The Rum Creek fire, one of dozens of wildfires burning in Oregon, is about 30 acres in size, according to Jackson County Emergency Management. The blaze is located north of Galice, about 150 miles south of Eugene, in southern Oregon.
Last week, a 27-year-old firefighter, Collin Hagan, died when he was struck by a tree while battling the Big Swamp fire in southwestern Oregon.