Firefighter Injured Battling Pushmataha County Wildfire

An Oklahoma Forestry Services firefighter from the Southeast Area was involved in an entrapment and subsequent burnover while responding to the Jack Creek Fire in Pushmataha County on Thursday, September 12. An entrapment is a situation where personnel are unexpectedly caught in a fire behavior-related, life-threatening position where planned escape routes or safety zones are absent or compromised.

The firefighter was utilizing a UTV in the steep rugged terrain scouting locations to build fire lines when the vehicle became disabled. The firefighters escape route was compromised as the fire behavior increased. The disabled UTV was abandoned and the firefighter fled on foot, sustaining injuries from the advancing fire. He is receiving treatment for second and third degree burns at a trauma center.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with our firefighter and all of us in the OFS family are reminded of the inherent danger faced while working wildfires,” said State Forester Mark Goeller. “With the increasing dry and hot conditions, we must all be extra cautious with any activities which could start a blaze. This incident is evidence of the danger wildfire presents to not only firefighters, but to the public as well.”

An Incident Review Team has been assembled.