Oregon wildfire fighter airlifted after breaking leg

Michael Lee Burri, 31, broke his leg while working with 21 other firefighters to battle a Linn County blaze

A US Coast Guard helicopter. (KOIN)
A US Coast Guard helicopter. (KOIN)

LINN COUNTY, Ore. (KOIN) — A wild land firefighter had to be rescued after injuring himself while fighting a small fire near road 11 off Quartzville Road on Monday night.

Michael Lee Burri, 31, broke his leg while working with 21 other firefighters to battle the blaze. They were members of the Mount Hood Initial Attack Fire Team.

Medics from Linn County Sheriff’s Office responded to rescue Burri and had to hike 3 miles to reach him. They ultimately decided that he would need to be airlifted.

A United States Coast Guard helicopter came to rescue him but ended up spreading the fire with its blades. It could not land and had to turn away. It was not until Tuesday morning that another helicopter, this time a National Parks Service MD 900, was able to reach Burri.

The helicopter however could not land and had to use a rope and harness to rescue Burri. The helicopter was able to land at a secondary landing area and Burri was loaded inside.

A total number of 18 search and rescue crew from Linn County Sheriff’s Office were involved in the operation, along with two members from the Sweet Home Fire Department.

Other agencies involved were the U.S. Forest Service, United States Coast Guard, and the National Parks Service.

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