Firefighter Injured at Idaho Wildfire
BAKER CITY, Ore. (AP) — A U.S. Forest Service spokesman says an Oregon-based firefighter has been seriously injured while fighting a wildfire in Idaho. Spokesman Tom Montoya says 51-year-old Richard "Wally" Ochoa Jr. was hit by a wood snag Sunday evening while clearing fire line on the Freezeout Ridge Fire in the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.
He suffered a fractured skull, two broken arms and a broken jaw. The spokesman says other fire crew members began immediate first aid and cleared an area for a helicopter to land. Ochoa was flown to a Boise hospital, where he was reported in stable condition Monday in intensive care.
Ochoa is a member of the Winema Interagency Hotshot Crew. The Winema Hotshots are based at the Fremont-Winema National Forest in Oregon. The Freezeout Ridge fire started in early September. It has burned across nearly 5 ½ square miles, or 3,500 acres.