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Disasters & Accidents

Firefighter Dies Working On Middle Fork Complex

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A firefighter was killed Monday while working on the Gales Fire within the Middle Fork Complex north of Oakridge.

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office said the man was killed in an accident. Bryan Cutchen, Oakridge City Administrator and acting Fire Chief, told the Register-Guard the man died after being struck by a falling tree. Cutchen described the victim as a young man. Deputy Incident Commander Liaison for Pacific Northwest Team 13, Larry Nickey, said the man died while working on the eastern edge of the Gales Fire.

More than 500 firefighting personnel are working on the Middle Fork Complex of fires on the Willamette National Forest, which includes the Gales, Ninemile, and Kwis fires. The lightning-caused fires started the week of July 26. The fires have burned more than 15,000 acres.

Lane County Sheriff’s deputies along with partners from numerous other agencies are conducting an investigation.

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