Update: Officials ID Alpine man killed by falling mulch released by helicopter over Brian Head fire site

This file photo after a Colorado blaze shows a mulch drop on charred area. Photo: inciweb.nwcg.gov

BRIAN HEAD, Utah, Oct. 8, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — An Alpine man who died Saturday afternoon after being struck by falling straw mulch during an airdrop at the site of the Brian Head fire been identified.

The deceased is Bryan Burr, 58, according to a news release from Iron County Sheriff’s Office. Burr was the brother of Sharon Lee, Sen. Mike Lee’s wife.

The incident occurred at about 1 p.m. in a remote location just above the Scout Camp off State Route 143, the news release said.

Crews were conducting aerial drops of straw mulch from a helicopter over the burn scar left by July’s Brian Head fire, when Burr, a ground crew member responsible for calling in the location of the drops was hit on the head by falling debris.

The helicopter pilot noticed the man had been injured and alerted another ground crew, who then called 911.

Brian Head Fire Marshal Jeff Morgan was airlifted to the site, and Burr was pronounced dead just before 2 p.m.

“It was determined he likely died as a result of blunt force trauma from falling debris during the airdrop,” the news release said.

The investigation has been turned over to the National Transportation Safety Board officials, because an aircraft was involved.

Straw mulch is dropped at a burn site to provide ground cover, which is intended to reduce surface erosion, reduce downstream peak flows by absorbing rainfall, and secure seeds stored in the soil or applied as emergency treatment. Mulch also provides favorable moisture and temperature regimes for seed germination.

The Brian Head Fire site. Photo Courtesy: Utah Fire Info


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