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Firefighter who died while working Oregon fire identified

UPDATED: Tue., Aug. 24, 2021

Associated Press

Associated Press

OAKRIDGE, Ore. – A firefighter who died Monday while battling a wildfire southeast of Eugene, Oregon has been identified as Frumencio Ruiz Carapia of Medford.

Ruiz Carapia, 56, was working along the eastern edge of the Gales fire when he was struck by a falling tree, according to a news release Tuesday from Lane County Sheriff’s Sgt. Tom Speldrich.

Despite immediate efforts by those around him, Ruiz Carapia died at the scene, the news release said. No other injuries were reported.

An investigation showed the accident wasn’t the result of any tree cutting but that the tree unexpectedly snapped and fell to the ground, according to the sheriff’s office.

Nearly 600 personnel are working on the Gales Fire, which is within the Middle Fork Complex of fires that started in the Willamette National Forest the week of July 26.

The fires are about 9 miles north of Oakridge, have burned about 25 square miles and have prompted evacuations.

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