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Forest Service Confirms Identities Of Firefighters Killed In Washington

U.S. Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service confirmed the names of three firefighters killed in a wildfire Wednesday night in Twisp, Washington.

Tom Zbyszewski, Andrew Zajac and Richard Wheeler were killed when the vehicle they were riding in crashed and was overtaken by flames from the surrounding wildfire.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee told reporters in Chelan that the deaths "burned a big hole" in the state's heart.

"The smoke is still there and it's thick but it is not going to obscure their incredible act of courage,” Inslee said. “These are three big heroes protecting small towns. And we are going to remember them and there are 7 million Washingtonians that today are embracing them and their families and praying for them and hoping for the speedy recovery of our injured."

The Forest Service says firefighter Daniel Lyon is in critical condition at Seattle's Harborview Medical Center. Harborview said in a statement Lyon has burns on about 60 percent of his body.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.