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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Okanogan County firefighter seriously injured, burned while battling wildfire on Sunday

A still of aerial footage above the Spring Coulee Fire is seen in this screen capture taken from Okangoan County Emergency Management’s Facebook page on Monday, Sept. 2, 2019. Christian Johnson, an assistant fire chief with Okanogan County Fire District No. 3, received extensive burns while battling the blaze, which was contained at 142 acres burned after just 90 minutes Sunday evening. (Okanogan County Emergency Management)

An Okanogan County firefighter was airlifted to Seattle for medical treatment on Sunday after suffering extensive burns while fighting a wildfire south of Okanogan.

Christian Johnson, assistant chief with Okanogan County Fire District No. 3, is in a medically induced coma at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to Okanogan County Emergency Management. Johnson was injured while fighting a fire that grew quickly to 142 acres on Sunday afternoon southwest of the town of Okanogan.

The fire, which began around 4 p.m., was contained within 90 minutes, according to Okanogan County Emergency Management. The Department of Natural Resources is investigating the cause of the fire, which is being referred to as the Spring Coulee Fire.

Resources from three fire districts, as well as aircraft and a ground crew from the Department of Natural Resources, fought the fire. Aerial footage shared by Okanogan County Emergency Management on its Facebook page showed scorched hills and a few threatened structures after the fire was contained Sunday.

Johnson suffered second- and third-degree burns over a majority of his body, according to Okanogan County Emergency Management. He will require skin grafts.

An account is being set up at a local bank to collect donations for Johnson’s family. The agency said Monday night it would release more details soon.