Injured logger rescued from Gales Creek ravine

7-15-13-rescue helicopter cropped
A rescue helicopter at the scene of where a logger fell down a steep ravine in the Gales Creek area in rural Washington County on Monday, July 15, 2013. (Forest Grove Fire & Rescue)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – It took more than two-and-a-half hours to rescue a logger who fell down a steep 400-foot ravine in the Gales Creek area west of Forest Grove Monday morning after he was hit by a tree.

The victim was struck by a log at about 6 a.m. during a felling operation near Northwest Wilson River Highway (Highway 6) and Storey Burn Road, about 50 miles west of Portland on the border of Washington and Tillamook counties.

Capt. Chris Woodford, spokesperson for Forest Grove Fire & Rescue, said firefighters reached the victim and waited with him until just after 8 a.m. That’s when a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter arrived and lowered a rescue basket.

After being hoisted into the chopper, the logger was airlifted to Oregon Health & Science University by about 8:30 a.m. with what appeared to be two broken legs, Woodford said. At last report he was in stable condition.

A Coast Guard spokesperson reported the helicopter was called in because rough terrain prevented emergency vehicles from getting to the site.

The circumstances of the fall were not immediately known, Woodford said. Firefighters were unsure if he was hit by the tree he was felling, or if another log rolled down the hill and struck him.

Faris Tanyos

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