Oregon firefighter dies in fall while on break
Firefighter Matthew David Goodnature, 21, of Phoenix, Ore., was dead when another firefighter found him Tuesday evening near Four Mile Lake in Fremont-Winema National Forest.
The Associated Press
GRANTS PASS, Ore. — An Oregon firefighter died in a fall while on a break from battling a wildfire in the southern Cascade Range, officials said.
Matthew David Goodnature, 21, of Phoenix, Ore., was dead when another firefighter found him Tuesday evening near Four Mile Lake in Fremont-Winema National Forest, Klamath County Sheriff Frank Skrah said.
Goodnature had walked away from fire camp while on the break and apparently lost his balance climbing over a rock before falling backward over a downed log and breaking his back, Skrah said.
The death was the first of a wildland firefighter in Oregon this season and the seventh nationwide, National Interagency Fire Center spokesman Mike Ferris said.
One of the others was killed in a plane crash, and five died in medical emergencies such as heart attacks.
The center website lists three firefighters who died in Oregon last year, one from a falling tree, another in a truck wreck and a third from a medical emergency.
Goodnature was working the Launch Fire burning in lodgepole pines on the edge of Sky Lakes Wilderness. The blaze has blackened about 100 acres and is considered human-caused, fire spokesman Kevin Abel said.
A total of 12 large fires were burning in Oregon across 755 square miles (483,200 acres) of timber and range mostly east of the Cascades.