A firefighter who suffered a broken leg while working on a wildfire east of Corvallis, Oregon was extracted from a very remote area by short haul with a National Park Service helicopter.
Below is a press release from the Linn County Sheriff’s Office:
“Linn County Undersheriff Jim Yon reports on Monday July 20, at 10:10pm, the Sheriff’s Office received a call from the U.S. Forest Service requesting assistance from Linn County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue for an injured wildland fire fighter. Michael Lee Burri, 31 years old from Estacada, sustained a broken leg while working with a 21 person Mount Hood Initial Attack Fire Team that had been fighting a small fire near road 11 off Quartzville road.
Sweet Home Fire Department paramedics initially were dispatched to the scene. Two medics hiked in approximately 3 miles to Burri. Once on scene, they recognized an air rescue would be the safest way to remove Burri.
Linn County SAR worked in coordination with Oregon Air National Guard to get a United States Coast Guard helicopter to the area to attempt a rescue. The Coast Guard helicopter arrived in the area at 03:00am. As the Coast Guard helicopter attempted to land, air from the blades caused the fire to quickly stir up. The fire, along with the rough terrain, made the rescue not possible. The Coast Guard helicopter did not attempt another rescue.
Linn County SAR had been on standby up until this point and now responded to the trailhead. They cleared a secondary landing zone for a helicopter. At day light, a National Park Service MD 900 helicopter, out of Redmond, was successfully able to air lift Burri out. They had to use a rope and harness because the helicopter was not able to land. Burri was taken to the secondary landing area, loaded into the helicopter, and then transported to the Albany Municipal Airport. Burri was transferred to an Albany Fire Department ambulance and taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis.
Linn County Sheriff’s Office had a total of 18 members from SAR involved with the operation, along with 2 members from the Sweet Home Fire Department. Other agencies involved were the U.S. Forest Service, United States Coast Guard, and the National Parks Service.”
(UPDATE July 27, 2015)
On July 24 we asked Tina Boehle, a spokesperson for the National Park Service, about this incident. She told us today, July 27, “According to Shad Sitz, our Regional Aviation Manager for Pacific West Region, it was the Grand Canyon National Park helicopter and crew that conducted the short-haul operation you note.”
Later in the day a “72 hour” report was issued for the incident.
Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Dave.