Burned firefighter moved to Swedish Medical Center
June 15, 2017
A report released Thursday outlines more details about how a U.S. Forest Service firefighter based out of Steamboat was burned Saturday while fighting a fire in Moffat County.
The firefighter has asked to remain anonymous.
He has been moved from The Memorial Hospital at Craig to Swedish Medical Center in Denver.
According to the report, the firefighter was helping build fire line at the Temple Fire, which was burning in pinon and juniper about 23 miles west/southwest of Craig.
The firefighter was preparing to cut a burning juniper tree when his saw died.
He stepped about 10 feet away from the tree into an unburned area and checked the chainsaw's gas level, which was about half full.
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A co-worker saw that the firefighter replaced the gas cap before heading back toward the tree.
The firefighter noticed increased fire activity and looked down to find his chaps and fire-retardant pants engulfed in flames.
He tried to take off his protective chaps, dropped and rolled.
A co-worker grabbed a water bottle and extinguished the flames.
The firefighter suffered second-degree burns on his inner thighs, the back of his legs and the top of his calves.
Steamboat District Ranger Chad Stewart visited the firefighter Wednesday at Swedish Medical Center.
Stewart said the wounds were deeper than originally thought, and the hospital stay could be between seven and 21 days.
"He still should make a full recovery," Stewart said.
Members of the Storm Peak Wildland Fire Module plan to visit the firefighter Friday.