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Firefighter killed on Big Swamp Fire

Firefighters stand in honor of their fallen comrade Collin Hagan as his body arrives at the Roseburg Regional Airport. [Photo courtesy of Douglas County Sheriff’s Office]
Collin Hagan was part of Hotshot crew fighting the blaze north of Crater Lake

A 27-year-old firefighter from Michigan was killed Wednesday while fighting a fire north of Crater Lake, officials announced Thursday.

“With heavy hearts we share that wildland firefighter Collin Hagan of the Craig Interagency Hotshots was killed yesterday after sustaining critical injuries from being struck by a tree while engaged in firefighting efforts on the Big Swamp Fire near Oakridge, on the Willamette National Forest,” officials said in a press release.

The Hotshot crew is based in Craig, Colorado.

On Wednesday afternoon, 911 dispatchers received information that a wildland firefighter was critically injured after being struck by a tree. Umpqua Valley Ambulance and REACH Air Medical Services were dispatched to the scene. Despite lifesaving efforts by EMS personnel assigned to the fire, Hagan succumbed to his injuries, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office reported Thursday.

Once the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and Douglas County Medical Examiner’s Office were notified, Hagan’s body was flown from the Toketee Airstrip to the Roseburg Regional Airport by REACH Air Medical Services helicopter. Firefighters from the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Roseburg Fire Department and Douglas County Fire District 2 stood together to honor Hagan as his body arrived and was transferred to the care of a funeral service provider. The firefighters then provided an honor escort to the funeral home, the sheriff’s office said.

“It is a sad day in public safety,” Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said in a statement. “On behalf of the men and women of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, I extend my heartfelt sympathies to Firefighter Hagan’s family, friends, co-workers and all who knew this brave young man.”

A Serious Accident Investigation Team is being assembled, officials said.

“We are devastated by the tragic loss of a cherished firefighter working on our forest to save our communities and beloved recreational areas,” said Duane Bishop, Willamette National Forest acting forest supervisor. “Their family has been notified, and we are working with our partners to ensure the crew is well taken care of. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and fellow crew members of this brave firefighter.”

The 117-acre Big Swamp Fire is part of a group of fires burning north of Crater Lake National Park. The fire was sparked by lightning Aug. 1. More than 150 people were assigned to the fire as of Thursday, according to the national Incident Information System that tracks fires.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.