Wildland firefighter killed on Rum Creek Fire identified

·2 min read

State officials identified the wildland firefighter killed Thursday as 25-year-old Logan Taylor of Talent.

Taylor was critically injured after being struck by a tree on the Rum Creek Fire, located north of Galice and above the Rogue River in southwest Oregon.

Taylor is the second wildland firefighter killed this month and the fourth in Oregon since 2020.

Rescue teams deployed a helicopter and personnel to the fire and airlifted Taylor to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford, where Taylor succumbed to his injuries, according to a news release from the Oregon Department of Forestry.

“We are extremely saddened by the passing of Logan Taylor," Tyler McCarty, ODF southwest Oregon district forester, said. "This loss is deeply felt by our ODF family and throughout the wildland fire community as a whole. ODF and our partners are committed to learning from this accident and to doing everything we can to reduce the risk of similar incidents occurring in the future.”

Also on Thursday, on a separate fire in Jackson County, a firefighter was removed from the line after suffering a heat-related illness.

"They were treated by Applegate Valley Fire District personnel at the fire’s staging area," officials said.

The incidents took place as fire crews have been battling numerous lightning-ignited wildfires in remote areas following thunderstorms Wednesday evening. There have been 48 fires confirmed in southern Oregon, eight on the Westside Complex in Jackson County and 40 on the Lightning Gulch Complex in Josephine County, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry.

Read more: 1,000 lightning strikes ignite fires in southwest Oregon; smoke expected to lower air quality across state

Three of the firefighter deaths since 2020 have come from firefighters being struck by falling trees.

Collin Hagan, a hot shot firefighter from Colorado, died Aug. 10 after being struck by a tree on the Big Swamp Fire burning near Oakridge.

In August 2021, Frumencio Ruiz Carapia, 56, who was working on the eastern edge of the Gales Fire, also near Oakridge, died when he was hit by a tree.

In August 2020, Thomas Duffy, 40, a pilot who was dropping water on the White River Fire near Mount Hood, died when his helicopter crashed.

Zach Urness has been an outdoors reporter in Oregon for 15 years and is host of the Explore Oregon Podcast. To support his work, subscribe to the Statesman Journal. Urness can be reached at zurness@StatesmanJournal.com or (503) 399-6801. Find him on Twitter at @ZachsORoutdoors.

This article originally appeared on Salem Statesman Journal: Wildland firefighter killed identified as Logan Taylor of Talent