Red Lodge (MT) Fire Rescue has identified the firefighter injured Friday in the Harris Fire near Joliet as Dan Steffensen.
Steffensen has been with the department since 2015. In 2017, he was selected as volunteer Firefighter of the Year and works on the fuel mitigation/Initial Attack crew; in the summers he works to reduce hazardous fuels around homes and responds to emerging wildland fires.
“Steffensen is a nationally qualified wildland firefighter and has fought fires in Montana, Oregon, California, and other western states as an engine boss and tender operator,” Red Lodge Fire Rescue said on Facebook.
Scott Wilson was the other Red Lodge firefighter on the two-person crew but was not injured. Wilson joined the department this year after retiring to Red Lodge.
“At the time of the incident, Dan and Scott were fighting the Harris Fire when strong winds suddenly shifted toward them,” the department said on Facebook. “Dan attempted to reach safety but was overrun by the fast-moving fire. Scott acted quickly to inform the incident commander and get Dan to Emergency Medical care. Due to the severity of his burns, Dan has been admitted to the University of Utah Burn Center in Salt Lake City. He is in serious condition. His family and firefighting colleagues are travelling to be with him.”