Badly burned firefighter in coma at Seattle’s Harborview

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badly burned firefighter

A firefighter who was badly burned while battling a wildfire in Okanogan County Sunday remains in serious condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Okanogan County Emergency Management reports Assistant Chief Christian Johnson with Okanogan County Fire District #3 was injured while engaged on the Spring Coulee Fire south of Okanogan. As of Monday evening he was reported to be in a medically-induced coma. He has 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 50-60% of his body and his airway has been scored at 2 out of 4 for damage (4 being the worst). They are attempting to stabilize him so they can perform surgery for skin grafts.

The Spring Coulee Fire started around 4:00 pm just off B & O Road North between Fletcher Loop Road and Spring Coulee Road. The fire quickly spread to the north.

It was all hands on deck with Fire District #3 Omak, Okanogan and Malott, along with Fire District #7 Riverside, and Fire District #9 Conconully Rural responding with help from DNR ground and air resources.

The fire was contained in about an hour and a half after blackening nearly 142 acres. The fire’s cause was under investigation.

An account is being set up at a local Okanogan County bank to assist the injured firefighter’s family with whatever may be needed during their crisis.

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Steve Hair
Steve Hair is a 40-year veteran broadcast journalist who comes to NCW LIFE TV after a long career in radio. Steve and his wife Lynette and their three sons moved to the Wenatchee Valley from Central California in 1992. Steve served as News Director for KPQ News where he covered a multitude of stories of importance to North Central Washington, including two of Washington State’s largest wildfires. During his radio career Steve has received many awards from organizations such as the Associated Press, (Sacramento and Seattle Bureaus) The Washington State Farm Bureau, and the California Medical Association. Steve is a sports addict. Time off usually finds him sprawled out on the couch watching the Seahawks, Mariners or anything that prevents him from doing house chores.