Big Windy Complex - Urgent Press Release
Tuesday, August 6, 2013 – 3:00 p.m.
It is with great sadness that we inform you of a firefighter fatality that occurred this morning at approximately 7:20 a.m. on the Big Windy Complex. The firefighter, 19 year old Jesse Trader, was returning from the evening shift when the water tender he was driving hit the embankment and rolled over on the Bear Camp Road near Soldier Camp. Firefighters in vehicles driving behind Jesse immediately stopped to assist. An advanced life support ambulance arrived on scene within minutes and life flight was quickly launched; however, all efforts to save Jesse were unsuccessful.
The loss of Jesse affects many people in so many ways. From the immediate suffering experienced by Jesse’s family and loved ones, to his close friends and the local communities who know and love him, to the firefighters who were the first responders, as well as the larger firefighting community; we are grieving for our fallen comrade. Please keep Jesse’s family in your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.
An accident investigation team from Josephine County and cooperating law enforcement agencies arrived on scene shortly after the accident. Josephine County Sheriff’s Office is the lead agency for public notifications. All agencies associated with the Big Windy Complex will be assisting and cooperating in all manners possible regarding this tragedy while continuing with the suppression work on the Big Windy Complex.
A press conference is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. today at the Grants Pass Interagency Office at 2164 NE Spalding Avenue in Grants Pass.
Incident: Big Windy Complex Wildfire
Big Windy Complex Urgent News Release (PDF 118 kb)
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
FIREFIGHTER DIES IN THE LINE OF DUTY-APPARATUS CRASH AT WILDLAND FIRE
We regret to advise you that around 0830 yesterday, 19-year-old Jesse Trader was killed Tuesday morning while working the Big Windy Complex Fire about 25 miles northwest of Grants Pass in Josephine County.
Initial reports are that he lost control of the water tender/tanker vehicle he was driving, down a hill, lost control and went over the edge of a cliff. Rescue medics arrived within minutes but he could not be saved.
Jessie was a contractor FF was operating in the area of the big windy complex fire (one of five major forest fires in the region) was killed in the Line of Duty in a truck crash
Sheriff Gil Gilbertson says Trader was driving a water truck around 7:20 a.m. along Bear Camp Road near Soldier Camp when he lost control and slammed into an embankment. Gibertson estimates he might have been going 30 to 40 mph at the time of the accident. Life Flight got to him right away but it was too late. Trader was coming off his overnight shift.
He was a 2012 graduate of West Albany High School.
The southwestern fires were ignited by lightning late last month. They are burning in some of the state's most difficult mountain terrain, fed by vegetation parched by a widespread drought.
Our condolences to all-RIP.