The dangers of firefighting aren’t solely on the fire lines, a reminder seen Friday in a pair of injury rollover crashes involving vehicles en route to two of the wildfires burning in Central Oregon. One went to a Portland hospital with what Warm Springs officials revealed Tuesday were "serious but none-life-threatening injuries."
A fire engine with two people crashed around 2 p.m. Friday while on initial attack response to the 73 Fire, Warm Springs Agency officials said Saturday.
One female occupant of the Type 4, Model 52 tribal wildland fire engine was taken by ambulance, then flown to Portland by Life Flight helicopter with injuries, officials said Tuesday, describing her condition then as "serious but non-life-threatening."
The other occupant, also female was taken to the Warm Springs Clinic for evaluation and released, officials said.
"With every passing day, the ladies continue to recover and their spirits remain high," Tuesday's statement said.
The families also issued a statement "to thank everyone for their prayers and the firefighters who came to visit their fellow firefighters."
"It's going to be a while until they are 100 percent recovered, but the recovery process is progressing," the families added.
Also, on Friday morning, a water tender rolled onto its side en route to the east side of the Bailey Butte Fire, one of four burning near Mitchell as part of the Waterman Complex, officials said.
“The driver was assessed on scene by medical personnel and transported to a local hospital for further evaluation,” officials said late Friday. No more details were released.
Last August, firefighter Jesse Trader, 19, of Albany, was killed in a crash while driving a water tender back from a night shift fighting wildfires in a hard-to-reach area near Grants Pass.
Around 7:20 a.m. that morning, the truck hit an embankment and overturned. He was working for a family member's private firefighting company helping fight the Big Windy Complex of fires.
Trader was the second Oregon firefighter to die in the line of duty that week. Tree faller John Hammack of Sisters was killed and Norman Crawford of the Redmond area was injured when they were struck by a falling dead tree, known as a snag, clearing an area near Dugout Lake in the Deschutes National Forest.