One private contractor was killed and a second was injured Thursday when a tree fell as they assisted firefighters battling a blaze in Oregon, authorities said.
Jim Hammick, 60, of Redmond, Ore., died at the scene in Deschutes National Forest and Norman Crawford, 45, of Sisters, Ore., was treated at a hospital, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service told NBC station KGW of Portland.
The men were "tree fallers" — specialists in clearing out trees to open a path for firefighters — employed by R&K Water Services of Bonney Lake, Wash.
They were clearing the way Thursday morning for crews fighting one of numerous small fires that were started by lightning Wednesday in the Mount Washington Wilderness Area, near the town of Sisters, NBC station KTVZ of Bend, Ore., reported.
The Oregonian newspaper of Portland, citing Forest Service officials, reported that Coleman was treated for a shoulder injury and released from St. Charles Medical Center in Bend.