SISTERS, Ore. -- One firefighter was killed and a second was injured by part of a falling tree Thursday while battling a wildfire near Sisters, according to officials with Deschutes National Forest.
Jim Hammick, 60, of Madras, Ore., died and Norman Crawford, 45, of Sisters, Ore., was injured while taking out trees at a fire line in the Mount Washington Wilderness near Dugout Lake in the Sisters Ranger District.
The injuries occurred as the tree fallers worked to suppress a fire caused by a lightning storm, which began early yesterday [Wednesday] afternoon and continued through the evening, said Jean Nelson-Dean, a spokesperson for the Deschutes National Forest.
The fallers worked for R&K Water Services out of Bonney Lake, Wash.
The area has steep, rugged terrain and an AirLink medical helicopter helped in the rescue, according to KTVZ-TV in Bend.
More than 4,000 people have been fighting fires burning on about 40,000 acres in Oregon. Lightning touched off the largest fires last weekend in southwestern Oregon forests. An early-morning series of lightning strikes east of the Cascade Range Thursday touched off dozens of smaller wildfires.