Twisp, WA…Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest (OWNF) and Washington Department of Natural Resources (WA DNR) officials are deeply saddened to confirm the fatalities of three U.S. Forest Service firefighters from the OWNF this afternoon. Next of kin notifications are being made.
“We are devastated by the tragic loss of three of our Forest Service firefighters,” said Mike Williams, Forest Supervisor on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. “We are working with County and State partners to notify the families of those lost. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and fellow crewmembers of these brave firefighters.”
According to Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers, the three Forest Service deaths occurred in a wildfire on DNR land near Twisp, Washington. The firefighters were engaged in initial attack operations and were involved in a vehicle accident when it is believed that the fire overtook the vehicle.
We can also confirm that four additional firefighters were injured: one USFS, two DNR, and one DNR contractor.
The incidents occurred near an area where Okanogan County Emergency Management issued evacuation orders this afternoon including the towns of Twisp and Winthrop, Washington.
A national incident management team has been ordered. Updates will be provided as more information becomes available.