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Hotshot dies of injuries he suffered while battling Oregon’s Big Swamp Fire

by Zach Urness, Salem (Ore.) Statesman-Journal |

A hotshot firefighter was killed Wednesday after sustaining critical injuries from being struck by a tree while engaged on Oregon's Big Swamp Fire near Oakridge.

Collin Hagan, of the Craig Interagency Hotshots assigned from Colorado, died in the accident, according to a news release from the Bureau of Land Management.

“We are devastated by the tragic loss of a cherished firefighter working on our forest to save our communities and beloved recreational areas,” Duane Bishop, acting forest supervisor of the Willamette National Forest, said in a statement. “Their family has been notified and we are working with our partners to ensure the crew is well taken care of.”

The Big Swamp Fire is a roughly 117-acre blaze located slightly more than 6 miles north of Lemolo Lake in Willamette National Forest. It ignited along with a cluster of others in the area, including the Windigo and Potter fires, last month during a spate of lightning strikes.

Hotshot firefighters have helped suppress hundreds of small wildfires that have ignited after lightning strikes this summer.