Lolo Peak Fire Fatality Report

Type 2 Faller fatally struck by a falling snag


Photo of the stump showing the placement of the cuts. (USDA photo)


The Lolo Peak Fire was detected on July 15, 2017, at approximately 1430 (2:30 p.m.) in a unique section of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. The Bitterroot National Forest (Bitterroot NF) administers this section of the Wilderness for all resources except Fire Management, which is the responsibility of the Lolo National Forest (Lolo NF). Between July 15 and August 2, the Lolo Peak Fire grew to about 6,300 acres.

On August 2, the Vista Grande Interagency Hotshot Crew (Vista Grande IHC) was assigned to cut snags along the north side of the road in the Carlton Ridge Research Natural Area (RNA). To complete its assignment, Vista Grande IHC broke into four groups, each of which was assigned a two-person saw team. Brent Witham, Type 2 Faller and fourth year crewmember and Sawyer, was assigned to one of those groups.

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