Wildland firefighter based out of Craig dies while fighting blaze in Oregon
A 27-year-old firefighter with the Craig Interagency Hotshot Crew died Wednesday, Aug. 10, after being struck by a tree while assigned to the Big Swamp Fire in Oregon.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon, U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management expressed their grief in a statement announcing the death of Collin Hagan, of Toivola, Michigan, on Thursday.
According to the agencies, shortly after 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, emergency dispatchers received information about a wildland firefighter who was critically injured after being struck by a tree.
The agencies said that Umpqua Valley Ambulance and REACH Air Medical Services were dispatched to the scene. Paramedics assigned to the fire also tried to save Hagan’s life, but he succumbed to his injuries.
Hagan’s body was flown from the Toketee Airstrip in Douglas County, Oregon, to the Roseburg Regional Airport by the medical helicopter.
At the airport, firefighters from the BLM, Forest Service, Roseburg Fire Department and Douglas County Fire District stood together to honor Hagan as his body arrived and was transferred to the care of a funeral service provider.
The firefighters then provided an honor escort to the funeral home.
“It is a sad day in public safety,” Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said. “On behalf of the men and women of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, I extend my heartfelt sympathies to Firefighter Hagan’s family, friends, co-workers and all who knew this brave young man.”
Hagan was born in Hancock, Michigan and grew up in Twin Lakes, Michigan.
He graduated high school in 2013 and attended Gogebic Community College in Ironwood, Michigan, before completing his bachelor’s degree in forestry at Michigan Technological University.
Hagan followed his passion for wildland firefighting and landed with the Bureau of Land Management on the Craig Interagency Hotshot Crew based in Craig.
Created in 2001, the Hotshot Crew is based out of the BLM’s Little Snake Field Office and part of the the Northwest Colorado Fire and Aviation Management Unit.
Early on, the Hotshot Crew spent most of its time working fires in Colorado. Then in the mid-2000s, the crew contributed a lot of its expertise and time surpassing fires across the West, as well as traveling assist in efforts such as Hurricane Katrina relief.
In addition to national assignments, the crew often spends several weeks each season assisting the local district.
Hagan is survived by his father, Shawn Hagan, and mother, Jeanmarie Militello Hagan, as well as his sister, Emily Johnson, and his grandmother, Mary Catherine Hagan.
Collin Hagan’s arrangements are being handled by Memorial Chapel Funeral and Cremation Service in South Range, Michigan.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 19, at the Holy Family Catholic Church of South Range with Father John Martignon officiating. Burial will follow in the Woodland Cemetery of Winona, Michigan.
Members of the Hotshots Crew are flying out to Michigan to attend and assist with Hagan’s services, which will include an honor guard, before returning to Colorado on Saturday.
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