Date: incident date 3/13/2000, death date 4/7/2000
Personnel: Jessie Lamar Y'Barbo
Agency/Organization: Texas Forest Service, Lufkin TX
Summary: Forestry Technician Y'Barbo was participating in the controlled (prescribed) burn of a 35-acre block of mature pine forest, with low understory vegetation. Forestry Technician Y'Barbo was operating a 1985 Honda 250 All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV), which had been procured by the Texas Forest Service as Federal government property. The ATV had a shop-made holder at the rear that accommodated a drip torch. Forestry Technician Y'Barbo was wearing brush gear. As Forestry Technician Y'Barbo ascended an incline while riding the ATV, the vehicle overturned backward. As Forestry Technician Y'Barbo struggled to free himself, he accidentally kicked off the cap on the ATV's fuel tank. Fuel splashed on Forestry Technician Y'Barbo and was quickly ignited by the drip torch. Other firefighters quickly came to Forestry Technician Y'Barbo's aid, and he was transported to a hospital to undergo burn treatment. Despite the efforts of his fellow firefighters and hospital personnel, Texas Forestry Technician Y'Barbo died on April 7, 2000. The cause of death was listed as complications of thermal injuries.
An Accident Review and Mitigation Report prepared by the Texas Forest Service recommended that all Texas Forest Service ATVs be equipped with threaded caps (the cap on Forestry Technician Y'Barbo's ATV was only equipped with a quarter-turn cap); fuel tank venting and overflow tubes; operator training, equipping supervisors with first aid kits that include fire blankets; the consideration of replacement of older, narrow track ATVs; and the installation of rollover protection on ATVs. Forestry Technician Y'Barbo was the past Fire Chief of the Kirbyville Fire Department.
Texas Forest Service, Lufkin TX
- USFA Memorial Database: Jessie Lamar Y'Barbo
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