Firefighter killed by falling tree in Josephine County

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore.– Tragic news from the Rogue Valley’s fire lines.

A local firefighter died Thursday while fighting a wildfire in Josephine County.

Logan Taylor, a 25 year-old wildland firefighter from Talent, died while fighting the Rum Creek Fire, just north of Galice.

Taylor’s death is one of a few other recent firefighter deaths.

Some as recent as just last week.

O.D.F. said Taylor, a contracted firefighter, was critically injured by a falling tree Thursday.

Similar incidents happened to two other firefighters in Southern Oregon within the last year.

“Unfortunately, that’s the reality of being a firefighter,” National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s Executive Director Ron Siarnicki said.

The loss of Logan Taylor, another sad reminder of how dangerous wildland firefighting can be.

The 25-year old from Talent died Thursday fighting the Rum Creek Fire north of Galice, according to O.D.F.

It said a tree fell on him, as firefighters battle dozens of wildfires in Jackson and Josephine Counties.

O.D.F.’s Natalie Weber said, “we’re working with them on moving forward and how we can best help them through this process.”

In the last year, three firefighters died in Southern Oregon from falling trees.

On August 23rd of last year, Frumencio Ruiz Carapia died fighting a fire in Lane County.

Carapia was originally from Medford, and was honored with a memorial at the Jackson County Expo, bringing together firefighters from around the region to pay their respects.

Jorge Amaya from the U.S. Forest Service said, “I didn’t get to meet him and it hurts just as bad as anybody else here. So I know any of these guys out here would do the exact same thing for me, no questions asked.”

Just last week, Colorado B.L.M. Firefighter Collin Hagan died while fighting the Big Swamp Fire near Oak Ridge.

Hagan was also hit by a falling tree.

He was honored with a memorial on Thursday.

Siarnicki said, even with lots of preparation, wildfires are still unpredictable.

“The wildland community is given a great deal of training and situational awareness, but sometimes there’s just the unexpected incident that occurs, and we see that from time to time,” he said.

O.D.F. said Taylor’s death is still under investigation.

According to his social media profile, Taylor owned and operated Sasquatch Restoration here locally.

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Former NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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