Thread: Oregon FF LODD

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Oregon FF LODD

    ONTARIO, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon firefighter killed while fighting
    the Missionary Ridge Fire near Durango, Colo., owned a cattle ranch
    near Ontario and was described by friends as a "true cowboy."
    Alan Wyatt, 51, died late Tuesday when an 80-foot alder tree
    fell on him as he cleared timber behind the fire. He died of severe
    blunt trauma to the head, said Dick Mullen, the coroner of La Plata
    County, Colo.
    Friends and family on Wednesday remembered Wyatt as religious
    man who had a John Wayne swagger and a quick smile.
    "He leaves behind a lot of people who love him," said his
    daughter, Leigh Ann Evans. "The world won't be the same without
    him."
    Wyatt and three others had hiked to a mesa covered in pine,
    conifer and alder that was blackened by the fire, kgw.com reported.
    Their job was to cut down the dangerous snags and charred trees
    left behind the fire inside the San Juan National Forest.
    Friends and family said Wyatt had 30 years of experience and was
    an expert sawyer. He had stopped to chainsaw a "hazard tree" when
    the nearby alder collapsed, crushing him "like a vice," Mullen
    said.
    The alder had at first appeared healthy and untouched by the
    fire, said Pam Gardner, a U.S. Forest Service information officer
    at the Missionary Ridge Fire.
    "The root system on trees can burn out," she said. "The tree
    appears to be sound, but is really unstable. We sometimes call
    these widow-makers."
    Wyatt's crew called for medical help around 5:45 p.m. and he was
    pronounced dead when rescue workers and a medical-evacuation
    helicopter arrived.
    The Forest Service was looking into whether Wyatt had been hired
    as a temporary fire worker. Early reports suggested he was working
    for a private contractor, but Gardner said the Forest Service may
    have hired him itself.
    Tuesday was Wyatt's first day on the Missionary Ridge Fire,
    which has burned more than 50 Colorado homes in 25 days and remains
    largely out of control.
    He checked in at about 4 p.m. and spent less than two hours on
    the lines before the tree killed him, said Bonnie Lippitt, an
    information officer with the Northwest Interagency Coordination
    Center.
    He had come from the Million Fire, just to the east.


    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press.
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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    Unhappy Local Hero will be remembered

    My sincere condolences go out to the Wyatt family in this time of loss! Allan was a good man and a hard worker, he will always be remembered by this community and his loved ones! May God Bless you all during this difficult time!

  3. #3
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    Post Article

    Family mourns loss of fallen logger, rancher

    By Tracy Widner

    Argus Observer

    ONTARIO -- Allan Wyatt did not know it when he first picked up a chainsaw and set to work falling trees, but he had found his calling.

    It was 1973, when jobs and money were lean in Central Oregon, Wyatt's daughter, Leigh Ann Evans, said. After working at various hardscrabble jobs to support his young family, Wyatt turned to logging.

    "It paid well because it was dangerous, but he loved it and he was very good at it," Evans said.

    Tuesday, Wyatt, 51 was killed while helping in fire suppression efforts on the Missionary Ridge Fire near Durango, Colo.

    Wyatt died when he was crushed by a falling tree.

    Evans said her father was part of a four-person team of fallers privately contracted out to the Forest Service.

    "His logging took him all over, even Alaska for a few years, but he always came back to Oregon. He loved cattle ranching," Evans said.

    Wyatt, she said, was an anomaly in the tree-falling business.

    "He did that job -- which is very dangerous -- for nearly 30 years without getting seriously hurt. A lot of his friends died doing it over the years. He lasted though," she said.

    Wyatt's friends and family gathered Tuesday at his ranch in the Moore's Hollow area, 14 miles northwest of Ontario. The ranch is remote -- no paved roads, no telephones, no electrical power. Power is generated through solar equipment and the family uses cellular telephones. The 2,500 acre spread, though, fit Wyatt and his wife, Vicki, a brand inspector for the state of Oregon, like a glove.

    "My parents moved here in 1992 so they could ranch. You could say my dad loved falling trees and falling trees gave him the money to ranch, which he also loved," Evans said. Preliminary reports from an investigation into the fatal incident indicate Wyatt's death was an accident.

    "We knew that from the beginning," Evans said. "He was the consummate professional. Always checked everything out. Always extremely safety conscious. He was watching the tree he cut in a stand of burned out quaking aspens fall like it should have when a green tree behind him fell on him unexpectedly."

    The area where Wyatt and his crew were working was extremely rugged, according to Pam Gardner, fire information officer for the National Interagency Fire Center, Missionary Ridge command, in Colorado. Gardner said the accident was reported at 5:45 p.m. and a medical crew was sent in by helicopter.

    Wyatt was pronounced dead at the scene. Local law enforcement officials she said, forced to drive to the site, took much longer. Evans said her father was no stranger to such conditions, which is one reason he was highly thought of in the falling and fire suppression business. In 2000, she said, he put aside his summer ranching duties to travel to northern Idaho. There Wyatt joined the vast crew fighting what was at that time the country's biggest fire -- the Salmon Fire.

    Wyatt instructed Marine Corps personnel brought into help in the art of tree falling.

    In 2001, she said, he was asked by the Army to train some of its men so they could help fight another series of large fires in northern Idaho.

    He received military commendations for his efforts.

    Wyatt had a bent for dangerous pursuits. At the age of 16 he started saddle bronc riding and fell in love with the sport of rodeo.

    "He kept right at it up through is mid-30s when he stopped because he was too busy hauling my brother and I to all the high school rodeos," Evans said. "Up until the end, though, he loved rodeo."

    Fire has been a reoccurring theme in the family's life in the past few years. In 2000, the Wyatt's nearly lost their ranch in the lightning-caused Jackson wildfire.

    "The fire burned all but 140 acres of the ranch," Evans said. "Fortunately fire crews were able to dig fire lines around the house, feedlots and horse sheds, or they would have gone too."

    Evans said she will remember her father as someone who was loved by many, as a man who loved family, God and ranching. Malheur County Judge Russ Hursh agreed.

    "I knew Vicki and Allan Wyatt. They were a beautiful couple, just beautiful and this is a real tragedy," Hursh said.

    Evans said no funeral plans have been made yet, as it is unclear when Wyatt's body will be returned to Oregon.

    Wyatt also leaves behind a son, Wells, 28, a partner in the family ranch and a rodeoer like his father.
    ~Stephanie~
    Ontario, Oregon
    Holy Rosary Medical Center
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    These opinions are mine and mine alone!

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    DURKEE, Ore. (AP) - Hundreds of friends and family members
    gathered Sunday to remember Alan Wyatt, the 51-year-old firefighter
    who died fighting a 73,000-acre fire in Colorado.
    The private service, which followed a public memorial in
    Colorado on Saturday, drew 400 people who spoke of Wyatt's gift for
    following his dreams.
    "I am in mourning, I am in grief," the Rev. Cliff Billings of
    Baker City said. "He was a great man when he lived, and he died in
    greatness."
    Wyatt died Tuesday when an aspen tree, damaged by the blaze,
    fell and struck him on the back of the head. He was cutting down
    fire-damaged trees on the steep eastern fringe of the wildfire
    burning near Durango, Colo.
    Wyatt was the ninth wildland firefighter to die across the
    nation this season and the sixth Oregon-based firefighter to die in
    Colorado.
    The 6-foot, 190-pound Wyatt operated a cattle ranch near the
    Eastern Oregon village of Durkee, between Baker City and Ontario.
    He also worked as an independent timber faller, firefighter,
    saddlemaker and cattle hauler.
    He taught U.S. Forest Service and military personnel how to fell
    trees with a chain saw. In his younger years, he was a professional
    rodeo cowboy and rode bulls, saddle broncos and bareback broncos.
    "Alan had the courage to live the life he loved," Wyatt's
    brother, Gerald, said at the outdoor service. "He didn't spend his
    life dreaming about the life he loved, he went out and lived it. He
    died fulfilled in life - his life was complete."
    In a sometimes emotional service, friends and family recalled
    Wyatt as a man who always was first to shake somebody else's hand,
    donate money or offer assistance when help was needed.
    He also was a gifted storyteller who loved to spin colorful
    yarns about cowboys, loggers and firefighters, said longtime friend
    Mike Fortin, 46, who was fighting the Missionary Ridge fire with
    Wyatt.
    "He must have had more friends than anybody in the world,
    because he could tell stories about them for hours," Fortin said.
    "He stirred up a lot of dust wherever he went."
    About 500 firefighters turned out for a memorial service for
    Wyatt in Bayfield, Colo., on Saturday.
    Wyatt is survived by his wife, Victoria; son, Wells, a
    professional rodeo cowboy; and daughter, Leigh Ann Evans of
    Lakeview.
    Five other Oregon firefighters died in western Colorado on June
    21 after a van carrying them to another wildfire overturned and
    rolled.
    Three crew members of a C-130A air tanker were killed June 17
    when it crashed while dropping a load of retardant on a wildfire
    near Walker, Calif.

    (Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  5. #5
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    Unhappy Local Obit

    Here is the obituary out of my newspaper...actually my local newspaper online..same thing, lol!


    Alan W. Wyatt, 51, Durkee, died Tuesday, July 2, 2002, while falling timber on the Durango, Colo., fire. A celebration of his life will be at 2 p.m. today, July 7, 2002, at the Durkee School, Durkee. The celebration will include a dessert potluck.

    Alan was born Aug. 28, 1950, in Sacramento, Calif., to Albert and Merrilee Boncher Wyatt. He spent his entire young life in Orangevale, Calif., fostering his lifelong love of the sport of rodeo and cattle ranching.

    April 25, 1970, he married Victoria Lennberg in Citrus Heights, Calif. They began their life together ranching in Elk Grove, Calif., and moved to southeastern Oregon in 1972. Alan began working as a timber faller in 1973, working in seven Western states and Alaska over the past 29 years. In 2000 and 2001, he entered into a contractual agreement with the U.S. Army and Marine Corps to teach troops timber falling safety methods.

    He received military commendation for his efforts. He worked in fire suppression as a timber faller as needed for the past 10 years.

    In 1989, Alan and his family moved to Durkee to increase their cow herd size. In 1992, they purchased a ranch at Morres Hollow, 14 miles west of Ontario, where he was partners with his wife and son in Wyatt Livestock, a commercial cattle operation. They also owned a registered Black Angus cattle herd.

    In his younger years, Alan was a rodeo cowboy. His true passion was for saddle bronc riding. He gave many young men their start, lending equipment and advice to anyone who needed it.

    He continued actively with the sport in recent years as a rodeo judge and as the biggest fan of his son, Wyatt, a professional bronc rider. In addition to his other interests, Alan enjoyed playing his guitar, ministering the gospel and working in his saddle shop.

    Survivors include his wife of 32 years, Vikki; daughter and son-in-law, Leigh Ann and James Evans, Lakeview; son, Wells, Durkee; his parents, Albert and Merrilee Wyatt, Cave Junction; his in-laws, Roy and Mabel Lennberg, Baker City; a brother, Gerald, Templeton, Calif.; and two granddaughters, Cheyenne and Dally Evans.

    In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund in memory of Alan Wyatt, 101 ProRodeo Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80919.
    ~Stephanie~
    Ontario, Oregon
    Holy Rosary Medical Center
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    These opinions are mine and mine alone!

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