US Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell reports a firefighter dies while fighting the Lolo Peak Fire in Montana.
29 year old Brent Witham, of the Vista Grande Interagency Hotshot Crew, on the San Bernardino National Forest, California, died on the fire line after being struck by a tree.
More Wildfires Expected As Summer Heat Intensifies
Tidwell says the death comes at a time when the Forest Service experiences a significant outbreak of wildfires in the West, as a result of high temperatures and lightning. He says the agency expects these outbreaks to continue over the coming weeks. Many other crews and supporting personnel will be deployed to respond. Tidwell stresses safety must remain paramount as we confront this severe wildfire season.
The Lolo Peak Fire is located about 10 miles South of Lolo, Montana. Its burning in mostly high-elevation timber. Its burned about 7 thousand acres but no structures have been lost.