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Contact: Barb Maynes, 360-565-3005
Olympic National Park staff is deeply saddened by the tragic death yesterday of 18-year old Andrew “Andy” Palmer of Port Townsend, Washington. Palmer was hired this June as a wildland firefighter at Olympic National Park and was assigned to an engine crew stationed in Port Angeles.
“We mourn Andy’s death and offer our support and deepest condolences to his family,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Karen Gustin.
Palmer’s four-person engine crew was dispatched last Tuesday, July 22 to the Eagle fire, part of the Iron Complex fire on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Friday was their first day on the fire line. Palmer was fatally injured when he was struck by a falling tree.
An accident investigation team is being assembled this afternoon and will be co-led by National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service personnel. More information will be released as it becomes available.
The rest of Palmer’s crew returned to Olympic National Park earlier today. A critical incident stress management team will arrive in the park tomorrow to provide support and assistance to the park’s fire crew and staff.
Andrew Palmer was a 2008 graduate of Port Townsend High School.
In honor and memory of Andy Palmer’s life, flags in all National Park Service areas throughout the six-state Pacific West Region will fly at half staff until further notice.