Heavy Equipment Operator Found Dead at Oregon’s Archie Creek Fire

Elsbury Jr. had been running a skidder to help protect structures


Archie Creek Fire (InciWeb photo)


Wildland Firefighter

GLIDE, Oregon – KPIC reports that a heavy equipment operator helping fight the Archie Creek Fire was found dead Friday morning in his vehicle, according to fire managers.

Walter “Wally” Samuel Elsbury Jr. had been running a combination logging skidder and fire engine known as a “skidgine” to help protect structures along the Little River Road south of Glide on the west flank of the wildfire.

InciWeb: Archie Creek Fire Updates

“Fire personnel found Mr. Elsbury unresponsive in his vehicle at a fire staging area Friday morning, September 18, 2020, before he began his shift as a heavy equipment operator,” officials said in a statement. “The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office responded and notified Mr. Elsbury’s family. No foul play is suspected.”

Elsbury had been working at the wildfire for approximately a week running heavy equipment for Elsbury Logging Company in Burns/Hines, Oregon.


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