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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ten Wildland firefighters hurt in Central Oregon crash

 10 Lava River Forestry firefighters heading to a small blaze in Central Oregon were injured Tuesday when the driver of their van fell asleep and their vehicle crashed into an oncoming semi-truck.
The wildland firefighters all work for Lava River Forestry, out of Salem, according to The Oregon Department of Forestry. They were on their way to the Briley Mountain Fire near Monument in Grant County.
Why: Investigators said the crash happened on a curve west of Prineville about 2:15 a.m.
Police cited the van diver, 35-year-old Jeremy Miesner, on a count of failure to drive within a lane. Investigators think he fell asleep at the wheel.
 Forestry firefighters Crew Buggy after collision
Who: 9 injured firefighters were treated at area hospitals and released. They were identified as Christopher Reed, 29, of Sheridan; Rogelia Saimc, 22, of Salem; Jesus Medera, 38, of Independence; Pedro Ramos, 37, of Salem; Manuel Abriz, 40, of Salem; Jovita Romero, 36, of Woodburn; Jose Salas, 20, of Salem, and Jerson Mendoza, 33, of Salem. One of the firefighters, Marcelino Romero, 39, was in critical condition after getting airlifted to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend. The truck driver, Scott Ramage, 48, of Washington and his one passenger were not injured.

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****REMINDER**** Every fire has the ability to be catastrophic. The wildland fire management environment has profoundly changed. Growing numbers of communities, across the nation, are experiencing longer fire seasons; more frequent, bigger, and more severe, fires are a real threat. Be careful with all campfires and equipment.
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