firefighters

U.S. Forest Service

A firefighter who helped put out a recent wildfire in north-central Washington has been diagnosed with COVID-19. It’s the third state Department of Natural Resources firefighter diagnosis this fire season. 

In response, land managers are asking people to avoid starting fires to help keep crews safe.

Tom Banse / NW News Network

Coronavirus risk and ongoing shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) are leading fire departments around the region to rediscover the enduring truth of the idiom, "Necessity is the mother of invention." Since the virus epidemic emerged in the Pacific Northwest, the fire service has changed tactics, improvised and resorted to creativity to keep first responders healthy and available to serve the public.

Capt. Brad Chaney / South King Fire and Rescue, 2019

More than 500 firefighters and EMTs in the Pacific Northwest have been temporarily quarantined after suspected exposure to the coronavirus over the past two months. The Washington State Council of Fire Fighters and the Oregon Fire Service Coronavirus Response Team have been monitoring the number of first responders taken out of service. Fortunately, only a small fraction have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Courtesy Amy Freel/GoFundMe

A Washington firefighter who was badly burned while fighting a fire over Labor Day weekend has died from his injuries. Christian Johnson, 55, had been flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after suffering burns over more than half of his body.

 

Dennis Lee / ODF

This summer's active wildfire season is stretching fire crews to the limit. This week, virtually every available wildland firefighter in the Northwest is on the scene of a blaze.

Ransdell family

Contract firefighters can often be found on the front lines. They’re usually indistinguishable from government firefighters. But a recent court ruling has re-emphasized that if they’re killed in the line of duty, there’s a big difference.