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)