'Devastated': Firefighter killed by falling tree while battling wildfire in western Oregon

·2 min read

A firefighter died after being hit by a falling tree while battling a wildfire in western Oregon, authorities said Thursday.

Collin Hagan, 27, of Toivola, Michigan died as he helped fight the Big Swamp fire near Oakridge, Oregon in the Willamette National Forest, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office announced in a Facebook statement.

Hagan was a wildland firefighter assigned to a hotshot crew based out of Craig, Colorado, according to the office.

Police received a report shortly after 12:30 p.m. Wednesday that a firefighter had been critically injured after being struck by a tree, the sheriff's office said.

An ambulance and air medical services were sent out to help but Hagan died of his injuries.

WILDFIRE IN WASHINGTON STATE: Wildfire destroys 10 homes, forces evacuation of entire town of Lind

Hagan's body was flown by helicopter to Oregon's Roseburg Regional Airport, where firefighters from multiple agencies stood together to honor him, according to the sheriff's office. Firefighters escorted his body to a funeral home.

"It is a sad day in public safety." Sheriff John Hanlin said in a statement. "On behalf of the men and women of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, I extend my heartfelt sympathies to firefighter Hagan’s family, friends, co-workers and all who knew this brave young man."

A team is being assembled to investigate the incident, Willamette National Forest officials said.

HOW BIG IS OAK FIRE?: Oak Fire near Yosemite is California's largest wildfire this year

"We are devastated by the tragic loss of a cherished firefighter working on our forest to save our communities and beloved recreational areas," said Duane Bishop, acting forest supervisor at the national forest. "Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and fellow crew members of this brave firefighter.'

Hagan died while battling the Big Swamp fire, which was still 0% contained Friday after burning through about 119 acres, according to the state's wildfire tracking website. The fire, which is among more than 50 active blazes in the state, started Aug. 1 after a lightning strike, according to a national wildfire tracking website.

OREGON FIRE: Oregon residents detain man accused of igniting wildfires by tying him to a tree

Contact News Now Reporter Christine Fernando at cfernando@usatoday.com or follow her on Twitter at @christinetfern.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Oregon wildfire: Firefighter killed by falling tree in Big Swamp fire