John Hammack of the U.S. Forest Service – Deschutes National Forest, died in the Line of Duty on August 1, 2013. Hammack was killed while operating at a wildfire in the Mt. Washington Wilderness Area of Oregon.
Firefighter Hammack was killed by the top portion of a snag that fell and struck him and another firefighter who was injured in the incident. The firefighters were clearing away hazardous trees on a wildfire, Incident #398, in the Mt. Washington Wilderness Area of Oregon. Hammack was taken to the Redmond Memorial Chapel the following afternoon after a recovery effort by the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office who is also conducting an investigation into the death.
John Hammack’s family said there was never a dull moment when he was around. The man who grew up in a logging family and loved to compete at the rodeo was killed on Thursday while helping to clear trees ahead of a lightning-sparked wildfire in Central Oregon.
“He’s the toughest man I’ve ever met in my life,” said Taylie Waite, Hammack’s granddaughter. “He would give you the shirt off his back, to anybody, to a stranger. He wasn’t shy about anything. He would do anything for anybody.”
A firefighter killed while battling a central Oregon wildfire has been identified as John Hammack of Madras, Oregon, officials said on Friday, as crews aided briefly by cooler, wetter weather grappled with blazes that have blackened more than 200 square miles (520 square km) of the Pacific Northwest.
Hammack died and another firefighter was injured when the top of a tree they were removing from the fire area outside the town of Sisters on Thursday broke off and crashed down on Hammack, who was 58, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.