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Report: Hot Shot crew refused to work forest fire day before firefighter was killed

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Posted: Monday, August 20, 2012 8:50 am | Updated: 9:29 am, Mon Aug 20, 2012.

GRANGEVILLE — A U.S. Forest Service specialized fire crew refused to work on the Steep Corner Fire managed by the Clearwater-Potlatch Timber Protective Association the day before a 20-year-old firefighter was killed, according to a report posted online.

In a SAFENET Wildland Fire Safety and Health Reporting Network document, a superintendent of a Hot Shot crew of firefighters indicated there were a number of safety hazards on the Steep Corner fire on which Anne Veseth was killed Aug. 12.

The report says the superintendent of the Forest Service crew "said to send no one down the burned line through the middle of the fire the (incident commander) has directed to go down, due to snags and previously cut log decks. Line was still hot. As supt was hiking, he observed multiple cedar snags burning from half way up down to the base."

The report went on to indicate the Forest Service crew refused to work on the fire because of the way it was being managed by the CPTPA and the danger of snags and other issues.

The next day Veseth was killed when one tree fell and crashed into another tree, causing it to fall in a domino effect.

Visit lmtribune.com or see Tuesday's Lewiston Tribune for more information. Text LMT to 87940 to receive breaking news text messages.

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