Montana firefighter overtaken by wildfire flown to U of U Burn Center

Montana Firefighter Injured
A Montana wildland firefighter has been flown to the University of Utah Burn Center after he and a crewmate, along with their fire engine, were overrun by flames. Photo by Red Lodge Fire Rescue

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, July 18, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A Montana firefighter has been flown to the University of Utah Hospital after being severely burned during firefighting operations near the small town of Joliet in south central Montana.

According to a post on the Red Lodge Fire Rescue Facebook page, Dan Steffensen was part of a 2-person engine crew fighting a wildfire Friday when a strong wind suddenly shifted sending the flames straight at them.

The fire department says both firefighters were running to safety when the flames overtook Steffensen and the engine.  The other firefighter was unharmed and acted quickly to get medical attention for his crewmate.

The post says Steffensen’s fellow firefighters and family traveled with him to the hospital in Salt Lake City.

Wildland Firefighter Dan Steffensen (Left) recovering at U of U Burn Center after being severely injured in Montana Wildfire.
Photo: Red Lodge Fire Rescue

Red Lodge Fire Chief Tom Kuntz said, “We’d like to thank the wildland firefighting community for reaching out to us with offers of help and words of support. Please keep Dan and his family in your thoughts and prayers during these difficult times.

“This event is a reminder that firefighting is dangerous and we are truly grateful to those who answer the call to help others in time of need,” Kuntz said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help support Steffensen and family.

Gephardt Daily will update the story as more information becomes available.

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