Tree falls on emergency firefighting vehicle on Little Yamsay Fire

CHILOQUIN, Ore. – An emergency firefighting vehicle sustained significant damage after being struck by a tree on the Little Yamsay Fire Saturday morning.

According to officials with the Fremont-Winema National Forest, the top 18 feet, of the 113 foot Ponderosa Pine, snapped and hit the vehicle while it was traveling from the briefing area near Klamath Marsh to the fireline.

The forest service says the tree, which had a rotten core, fell as a result of high winds near the intersection of Forest Road 7645 and Silver Lake Road.

According to Cory Thompson, Safety Officer for the South Central Oregon Fire Management Partnership Type 3 Incident Management Team, “we had a tree strike that could have been a lot worse. The employees are good, just a little shaken up.” Thompson also added, “it was a green tree and it was rotten in the middle. If you looked at [it], you probably could not identify it as a hazard tree.”

Luckily none of the four occupant inside, who were members of the La Grande Hotshots, sustained any injuries.

The Little Yamsay Fire is now over 2,000 acres.

According to the Monday morning fire update, while the cool wet weather over the weekend helped to secure the fire’s edge, it is delaying firefighters from utilizing firing operations until the fuels dry out.

Hotshot crews will be working to remove standing dead trees in the area.

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