VA Forestry Firefighter Collapses at Wildfire, Dies

April 1, 2024
Virginia Department of Forestry Firefighter James C. Ward was part of a hand crew when he suffered a medical emergency.

A Virginia Department of Forestry firefighter collapsed March 30 while fighting a three-acre wildfire in Scott County.

James C. Ward was working with a hand crew when he was stricken. He was transported to Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, TN where he could not be revived, agency officials announced in a statement Sunday afternoon.

Ward was an experienced part-time firefighter who had worked for the department since 1998. He is survived by his wife and a son.

“It is with a heavy heart that we share such sad news on this Easter afternoon,” said State Forester Rob Farrell. “Please keep James’ loved ones and his firefighter family in your thoughts and prayers. And remember, everything you do to prevent wildfires helps protect our brave first responders.”

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