USA–– A US firefighter was killed in Idaho and another firefighter in Oregon suffered burns after she had to deploy her emergency fire shelter as bush fires continue to rage across the western United States.
Firefighter Anne Veseth, 20, was killed on Sunday after she was struck by a falling tree while working on a fire near Orofino in northern Idaho, the US Forest Service said.
‘The Forest Service is devastated by the loss of one of our own,’ Forest Supervisor Rick Brazell said.
The incident is under investigation. Veseth, of Moscow, Idaho, was in her second season working as a firefighter. There are 12 active blazes across the state.
In southeastern Oregon, a firefighter was forced to crawl into her emergency shelter in an area overrun by swirling winds filled with fire. She was treated at a Nevada hospital Sunday for minor burns to a leg and forearm and minor smoke inhalation. As a precaution, she was being sent to a burn center in Salt Lake City for evaluation, fire spokesman Chris Rose said.
The rest of her 20-person federal crew made it to a safety zone. They have been pulled off the fire as that incident is under investigation.
The Holloway Fire has so far burned 1,360sq km in remote and rugged terrain straddling the Oregon-Nevada border. On the Nevada side, five ranches were evacuated Sunday evening in the Kings River Valley.
In Utah, firefighters made gains throughout the weekend on several blazes burning across the state as more mild temperatures coupled with sporadic rain and humidity helped with containment.
The lightning-sparked Faust Fire that had threatened a herd of wild horses and shut down the historic Pony Express Road in Utah’s west desert was 85 per cent contained on Monday, with full containment expected by the end of the day, said state fire spokeswoman Cami Lee.
Meanwhile, crews in Northern California on Monday were making progress against an aggressive wildfire that has grown to more than 12sq km and forced the evacuation of nearly 500 homes since it began on Sunday. Fire officials said the Wye Fire in Lake County was 25 per cent contained.