USA–– A female firefighter died Sunday afternoon during initial attack on the Steep Corner fire near Orofino, Idaho, the U.S. Forest Service reported.
In a written release late Sunday night, the agency said the victim was a Forest Service firefighter responding to a wildfire near Aquarius campground on the North Fork Ranger District of the Nez Perce-Clearwater national forests.
The woman was an employee of the Nez Perce-Clearwater forest, said Elizabeth Slown, an information officer for the agency in Missoula. She was not burned, although Slown did not have other details about the fire or the accident.
“The Forest Service is devastated by the loss of one of our own,” Nez Perce-Clearwater forest supervisor Rick Brazell said in a written statement. “We ask the public to join us in keeping the family in their thoughts and prayers.”
The firefighter’s name was not released, pending notification of family. Slown said additional details on the firefighter and the accident likely would be available on Monday.
Brazell said the Clearwater Potlatch Timber Protective Association (CPTPA) stationed out of Orofino, Idaho, was managing the fire at the time of the accident. CPTPA is a local cooperative initial attack association responsible for fire suppression in the Orofino area.
The Forest Service was helping with suppression of the fire.
The firefighter’s body was transferred to Pine Hills Mortuary in Orofino, accompanied by Jill Forth, patrol captain, Nez Perce-Clearwater national forests.