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Incident Name:  Fire between Vader and Winlock, WA
Date: 8/26/35, 1200 hrs
Personnel: William C Maxwell of Chicago, IL
Age: 18
Agency/Organization:  Civilian Conservation Corps
Position: CCC Enrollee, firefighter

Summary:

“William C. Maxwell, 18, of Chicago, a CCC worker, was killed almost instantly when he was struck by a falling snag after fighting a forest fire between Vader and Winlock, the southern part of Lewis County,” The Centralia Daily Chronicle wrote. “The accident occurred as Maxwell started to leave the fire area with a crew that was going off shift. An ambulance was summoned from the CCC camp at the Lewis and Clark State Park, where the youth had been stationed since enlisting July 18, but he died before he could be taken to the hospital.

“All available men from the camp were rushed to the fire area yesterday and have been waging a desperate fight to halt the advance of the fire, which at noon today had swept to within a mile of Vader. A number of farm homes were threatened with destruction, but were saved after a hard fight.”

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between Vader and Winlock, WA

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Reports, Documentation, Lessons Learned

  • Washington Death Certificate: William Maxwell
  • Today in History: CCC Youth Dies Fighting Fire in 1935

    Aug 26, 2010 | Online Article by Edna Fund

    On Aug. 26, 1935, a young Civilian Conservation Corps worker lost his life.

    “William C. Maxwell, 18, of Chicago, a CCC worker, was almost instantly killed about noon today when he was struck by a falling snag after fighting a forest fire between Vader and Winlock, the southern part of Lewis County,” The Centralia Daily Chronicle wrote. “The accident occurred as Maxwell started to leave the fire area with a crew that was going off shift. An ambulance was summoned from the CCC camp at the Lewis and Clark state park, where the youth had been stationed since enlisting July 18, but he died before he could be taken to the hospital.

    “All available men from the camp were rushed to the fire area yesterday and have been waging a desperate fight to halt the advance of the fire, which at noon today had swept to within a mile of Vader. A number of farm homes were threatened with destruction, but were saved after a hard fight.”

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