A volunteer firefighter suffering from heat related medical issues had to be rescued by helicopter from the fire in the Snake River Canyon. The spokesman for the Snake River Fire says the volunteer firefighter was rescued by a medevac chopper out of the canyon on Saturday. The victim was flown to Saint Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston for treatment. Three other volunteer firefighters were driven to the hospital in Pomeroy by state mobilized fire crews for similar heat related problems.
The fire in Garfield County has now consumed over 3,000 acres. It was started early Saturday morning by lightning and is primarily burning the canyon across from Nisqually John Landing in Whitman County. Winds on Sunday caused flare ups along the rim which were quickly extinguished. A fireline has been constructed around most of the blaze except for a quarter mile North flank in the canyon. That flank is a rock outcrop which will require special line work with air support to contain. Once that line is dug the fire will be completely enclosed by fireline.
The blaze is 20% contained. Another 100 firefighters from around the State of Washington are arriving on scene today. The fire attack includes helicopters and airplanes. The Garfield County Volunteer Fire District 1 initially responded to the blaze Saturday morning before the fire was state mobilized. Officials are asking boaters near Nisqually John to keep a safe distance from the choppers and planes that are dipping water out of the river to battle the flames. Commanders expect to have the fire contained on Wednesday.