Burn Over Fatalities
On July 26, 2018, a private dozer operator (Dozer 1) and Marin County Engine Company (ENG1) were assigned to the Carr Fire in Shasta County, California. At approximately 5:30 p.m., the fire transitioned from a fuel dominated fire to a wind-driven fire, resulting in a combination of increased fire behavior and extraordinary fire weather conditions.
During the progression of the fire’s rapid spread through Old Shasta, Keswick, and into the City of Redding, firefighters were engaged in rescues, evacuations, structure defense, and suppression operations. As the wildland fire advanced into the City of Redding, Redding Fire Department personnel and apparatus responded, including a Fire Prevention Inspector (FPI1).
Within a timeframe of approximately 1 hour and 50 minutes, covering a 3-mile expanse, the following events transpired: Dozer 1 was burned over while improving dozerline; ENG1 firefighters suffered minor burn injuries while engaged in structure defense; and FPI1 was caught in a fire tornado while engaged in community protection. Dozer 1 and FPI1 suffered fatal injuries.