Posts tagged: Anne Veseth
Officials from an Idaho firefighting organization have reached an agreement with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration over citations and fines levied after a 20-year-old firefighter was struck and killed by a falling tree while working on a wildfire last summer, according to the AP and the Lewiston Tribune. The Orofino-based Clearwater Potlatch Timber Protective Association has agreed to a $10,500 fine, down from the $14,000 fine that OSHA proposed in February for the death of U.S. Forest Service firefighter Anne Veseth of Moscow; the state Land Board authorized the agreement this week. Click below for the full report.
A fire management organization has been cited by OSHA and fined $14,000 for serious safety violations that inspectors say led to the death of U.S. Forest Service firefighter Anne Veseth last summer, the AP reports. Click below for the full report; the citation, dated Feb. 7, said the initial attack team of the Clearwater-Potlatch Timber Protective Association on the Steep Corner Fire near Orofino last August violated eight of 10 standing firefighting orders on the fire.
A grim Idaho state Land Board heard a report this morning from the state Department of Lands on the ongoing destructive wildfires in the state. Attorney General Lawrence Wasden noted that he saw the headlines in the newspaper this morning about concerns about hazards on the Steep Corner fire, in which 20-year-old Moscow firefighter Anne Veseth was killed, including questions about communications and coordination by the state Department of Lands on the fire. “I'm concerned for our own crews, making sure they have the communication, organization,” Wasden said. He asked state forester and fire official David Groeschl, “Do you feel satisfied with the communication, coordination, and organization that we have, that it would protect our firefighters?”
Groeschl responded, “We are very diligent.” He said crews receive extensive training and protective gear. “I am very proud and very confident in our folks and what they do out there,” Groeschl said. “The last thing we want to do is put them in harm's way, undue risk.” He noted that firefighting is risky. “We will continue to, as much as we can, ensure the safety of our firefighters.”
Groeschl offered condolences on Veseth's death, and noted that the state Lands Department is conducting one of four investigations into it. The others are led by OSHA, the Forest Service law enforcement branch, and a “serious accident investigation team,” he said.
Groeschl said the state has spent $7.6 million on wildland firefighting so far this season, and expects to recover about $3.1 million from other agencies, for a net cost of $4.5 million. National Guard resources have been mobilized to assist. “Resources now are being stretched thin nationally,” he said. “The next couple of weeks will continue to be challenging. We do not see any season-ending events as far as rainfall for the next couple of weeks.”
The Lands Department's firefighting goal is initial attack, he said, with the goal of containing 95 percent of new fire starts within 10 acres.
The Lewiston Tribune is reporting that a day before 20-year-old U.S. Forest Service firefighter Anne Veseth was killed on the Steep Corner Fire, a specialized Forest Service fire crew refused to work on the fire due to hazards including multiple cedar snags burning from halfway up down to the base. Veseth, of Moscow, was killed the next day when a tree fell and crashed into another, which fell on her. You can read the Trib's report here. Click below for more on this from the Associated Press; you can read the full SAFENET report here on the hazard concerns; hat tip to Idaho Statesman reporter Rocky Barker for the link to the report.
Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) ― Idaho plans to fly flags at state government buildings at half-staff through Sunday, to honor a firefighter and a soldier who were recently killed in the line of duty. Anne Veseth, a 20-year-old Moscow woman, died when a tree fell and struck her last Sunday while she was working to contain a wildfire near Orofino. And 22-year-old Spc. Ethan J. Martin of Bonners Ferry and Lewiston died on Aug. 7 in Afghanistan after being wounded by small-arms fire when his unit was attacked. Veseth and Martin are being interred by their families on Saturday. Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter's spokesman Mark Warbis said on Wednesday that the lowered flags beginning on Thursday would pay tribute to Veseth and Martin and their sacrifices.
The death of 20-year-old U.S. Forest Service firefighter Anne Veseth of Moscow while fighting the Steep Corner fire near Orofino is highlighting the dangerous job crews face as at least a dozen blazes continue to burn across the state, the Associated Press reports. Veseth died Sunday when a tree fell and crashed into another tree, causing it to topple on her. “The Forest Service is devastated by the loss of one of our own,” said Forest Supervisor Rick Brazell, adding that his agency is investigating the fatal incident. “We ask the public to join us in keeping the family in their thoughts and prayers.”
Veseth, pictured here, was a student at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, where she was studying auto mechanics; her older brother also is a wildland firefighter in Idaho. You can read more here.