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Incident Name:  Oxbow Ridge fire
Date:  8/25/66
Personnel:  James V. Christney of Springfield, OR
Age: 47
Agency/Organization:  Tosboro Lumber Co., Springfield; unknown whether under contract with USFS, BLM or ODF
Position: firefighter

Summary: On August 25, 1966, the crew buggy that forest firefighter James Christney and his crew were riding in was hit by a falling snag and knocked into the Smith River. Christney died en route to a hospital. Four others were hospitalized, two in good condition, the other two in fair and poor condition.

 

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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • Snag hits bus, man dies

    Spokane Daily Chronicle, Aug 26, 1966, p.20

    Scottsburg Ore. (AP) - A snag rolled down a hill and knocked a bus load of firefighters into the Smith River last night, killing one and injuring four.

    The men, who were from the Tosboro Lumber Co., Springfield, were reporting for night duty on the 45,000-acre Oxbow Ridge forest fire.

    James B. Christney of Springfield was killed in the accident. He died in route to a hospital. It was the first death reported in connection with firefighting of Oregon's worst fire since 1945.

    Injured and in fair condition were Dave Dick, Eugene Pierson, Glen Coltrain and Virgil White, all of the Rosboro Lumber Co. and from the Springfield area.

  • Oregon Death Index: James V Christney Location: Douglas County
  • Social Security Death Index: James Christney

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Photos, Videos, & Tributes

  • Funeral Services held in Springfield at 10 AM at Buell Chapel. Private internment at Springfield Memorial Cemetary. (Eugene Register Guard, Aug 27, 1966)

 

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