News | Oregon

Central Oregon Man Killed Fighting Wildfire Near Sisters

OPB | Aug. 1, 2013 6:12 p.m. | Updated: July 20, 2014 10:09 a.m. | Bend, Oregon

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Authorities are identifying the wildland firefighter who was killed Thursday as John Hammack of Central Oregon.

Another firefighter was injured in the accident and was taken to a local hospital.

On Wednesday night, the skies over Central Oregon were lit up by more than 700 lightning strikes. 

Hammack was a part of a tree falling team helping put out new fire starts.  He was working with Norman Crawford of Sisters when a tree they were cutting fell on them.

Fire information officer Lisa Clark says the men were contractors with R&K Water Services out of Bonney Lake, Washington.

She says the work they were doing is dangerous, but it’s also important.

“In many cases we can’t even get to the fire until they’re made safe, because you just don’t know at what point one of those leaning trees, burning trees or dead snags can fall on you,” Clark says.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, 28 wildland firefighters nationwide have died in the line of duty so far this year.

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