SISTERS, Ore. -- One firefighter was killed and a second was injured by part of a falling tree while battling a wildfire near Sisters Thursday morning, according to officials with Deschutes National Forest.
The firefighters were among crews taking out trees at a fire line in the Mt. 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, WA. Names of the two victims have not yet been released.
The area has steep, rugged terrain and an AirLink medical helicopter helped in the rescue, as first reported by KTVZ-TV in Bend.
More than 4,000 people have been fighting fires in Oregon burning on about 40,000 acres. Lightning touched off the largest fires last weekend in southwestern Oregon forests. An early-morning barrage of lightning east of the Cascade Range on Thursday morning also touched off dozens of smaller wildfires.