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Morning Report Excerpts
August 1 - 15, 2000

00-440 - Zion NP (UT) - Multiple Injury EMS Response

On the afternoon of July 31st, over 40 members of an American Trails 
West tour group were picnicking on the grassy area in front of Zion 
Lodge when a strong down canyon wind snapped the trunk of a 30-inch 
diameter cottonwood tree, which then fell over onto several members of 
the group. Four teenagers were transported to Dixie Regional Medical 
Center for treatment of suspected C-spine and other injuries. No 
serious injuries were found, however, and the four were treated and 
released. Nineteen people, three ambulances and sundry emergency 
response vehicles from the park and two neighboring agencies 
responded. Kevin Killian was IC. [Chuck Passak, Chief of Operations, 
ZION, 7/31]

00-441 - Whiskeytown NRA (CA) - PWC Accident with Injury

The third reported personal watercraft accident on Whiskeytown Lake 
this year occurred on the evening of July 30th. Preliminary 
investigation indicates that two PWC's were on a parallel course when 
the lead vessel abruptly turned into the path of the second PWC. 
Witnesses report that the operator of the second PWC was looking 
backward at the time. Gabriel Brown, 22, was flown by helicopter to 
Redding Medical Center with abdominal injuries. He was treated there 
and subsequently released. His mother Cristina Brown, 42, who was 
operating the second PWC, was not injured, but her PWC suffered major 
damage and was in danger of sinking when recovered from the lake. 
[Alan Foster, CR, WHIS, 7/31]

00-442 - Gateway NRA (NJ/NY) - Copyright Infringement Arrest

On July 30th, USPP officers discovered an illegal vendor selling 
compact discs at Riis Park. Further investigation led to the discovery 
that the CD's were bootlegged copies. The vendor was arrested and 
charged with vending and copyright infringement violations. Over 1,100 
CD's with a street value of $5,700 were seized. [Lt. John Mariglianao, 
GATE, 7/31]

00-445 - Yellowstone NP (WY) - Lightning Strike with Multiple Injuries

Park dispatch received a 911 call at 10:45 p.m. on August 1st 
reporting that lightning had hit a large lodgepole pine between two 
campsites at Bridge Bay and that 13 campers had been injured. A ranger 
in the area was on scene within minutes. Three of eight people in 
tents at the campsite located closest to the lightning strike were 
transported to Lake Hospital and treated for minor injuries; two of 
five campers who had been sitting by their campfire at a second site 
were treated at the scene and refused additional medical attention. 
One said that he was knocked off his feet by the strike. All 13 
reported that they felt electricity from the lightning run through 
their bodies. The entire rear and side windows of a vehicle parked 
near one of the campsites were blown out, and a 40-foot section of the 
tree landed inches away from a tent occupied by three visitors. 
Additional debris from the strike was scattered in a 50-foot radius 
around the point where the lightning hit. [Public Affairs, YELL, 8/2]

00-448 - Glen Canyon NRA (UT/AZ) - Double Drowning

Park dispatch received a cell phone call at 9:30 p.m. on August 2nd 
reporting the possible drowning of two brothers in the San Juan Arm of 
Lake Powell. The boys, Dillon and Logan Dixey, ages seven and ten, 
were swimming at the rear of a houseboat, underneath the rear 
platform, when they disappeared. The boat's generator was running at 
the time and carbon monoxide poisoning may have been a factor in their 
deaths. Due to inclement weather, no helicopter service was available, 
so a three-hour boat ride in stormy weather was required to get 
rangers, park divers and a county deputy to the scene. [Cindy 
Ott-Jones, CR, GLCA, 8/3]

00-449 - Timpanogos Cave NM (UT) - Park Closure

The park was closed on the afternoon of July 30th due to the proximity 
of the Oak Hill Fire. The human-caused blaze traveled up a west-facing 
slope over rugged terrain and spotted into American Fork Canyon, where 
the park is located.  Highway 92 south of the fire through American 
Fork Canyon remains closed, and a Forest Service campground two miles 
from the park has been evacuated.  At the time of the report 
(Wednesday), the fire had moved within 500 yards of the park's 
northwest boundary. Superintendent Kit Mullen has delegated fire 
management authority to a Type I team assigned to the Wasatch Complex, 
a group of five fires currently burning in the Uinta National Forest.  
The park's fire crew has been working on hazard fuel reduction around 
park structures; interpretive rangers have been assigned to assist the 
Forest Service and Utah Department of Transportation with road 
closures and manning on-site information stations.  Chief of 
interpretation Suzanne Flory is the public information officer for the 
fire.  Administrative personnel have been supporting park operations 
with assistance from maintenance staff. The park will remain closed 
until further notice. [Kathleen Gonder, AO, GOSP, 8/2, for TICA, whose 
server is down]

00-450 - Grand Canyon NP (AZ) - Boating Accident with Fatality

At 8:30 a.m. on the morning of July 22nd, a 45-foot concession jet 
boat from Canyon Jetboat Service struck a submerged sandbar while 
traveling up the Colorado River. Two of the three passengers were 
thrown forward and received injuries. The vessel operator fired four 
smoke flares in his attempts to signal overhead aircraft for help. One 
passenger complained of chest pains, had difficulty breathing, and 
stopped breathing entirely 90 minutes later. He also had no pulse. The 
vessel operator and another passenger performed CPR for over an hour. 
The operator was finally able to signal another boat to send for help. 
An Arizona DPS helicopter responded at 11:20 a.m., and rangers Thane 
Weigand and Larry Stafford from Lake Mead and Chris Mengel from Grand 
Canyon headed there by boat. A paramedic from the DPS helicopter 
pronounced the man dead at the scene. The other injured passenger was 
taken by helicopter to the hospital in Kingman for medical treatment 
and evaluation. The vessel and deceased were removed from the sandbar. 
The accident site was in remote part of the park. All those on scene 
had extreme communications difficulties and were unable to radio out 
for additional resources on numerous occasions. [Chris Mengel, IC, 
GRCA, 8/4]

OPERATIONAL NOTES
BASE Jumping Regulations Ruling - The Ninth Circuit has upheld several 
important regulations that are employed against BASE jumpers who 
illegally jump from heights within NPS areas.  The court agreed with 
the Tenth Circuit in holding that the rectangular shaped ram-air 
aeroplastic wings employed by BASE jumpers are "parachutes," in spite 
of the sophistication of the device and its ability to operate like a 
hang glider. The defendant BASE jumpers had argued that the device 
qualified as powerless flight and accordingly could not be prohibited 
by 36 C.F.R. section 2.17(a)(3). The court also agreed with the Tenth 
Circuit that the term "delivery" used in section 2.17(a)(3) includes 
self-delivery, or "moving oneself from one area to another," which 
would apply to a single individual who BASE jumps.  The court also 
noted that the NPS has authority to enforce these regulations. 
Although the Federal Aviation Administration has jurisdiction to 
"develop plans and policy for the use of the navigable airspace and 
assign by regulation or order the use of the airspace necessary to 
ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace," the 
FAA does not have exclusive jurisdiction in NPS areas and nothing 
precludes the NPS from regulating landings within NPS areas.  Most 
important, the court also affirmed the conviction of a defendant for 
disorderly conduct under section 2.34(a)(4) for recklessly creating a 
risk of harm to himself, other BASE jumpers and to members of the 
public by "creating or maintaining a hazardous or physically offensive 
condition."  "The safety threat implicated in BASE jumping is most 
often the potential harm to the jumper due to the fatalities and 
injuries characterizing the extreme sport.  We do not, however, 
discount the safety risks in BASE jumping to members of the public, 
particularly in areas where people are likely to congregate... We 
therefore affirm the district court's determination that BASE jumping 
can create a risk of harm to the public and defer to the courts' 
evidentiary findings."  United States v. Albers, No. 99-10071 (9th 
Cir. 7/17/00). See also earlier appellate case relating to seizures by 
rangers on houseboat in United States v. Albers, 136 F.3d 670 (9th 
Cir. 1998). For more information on this case or other court 
decisions, contact NPS legal instructor Don Usher at FLETC via cc:Mail 
at NP-WASO.

CULTURAL/NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Grand Canyon NP (AZ) - Condors 

Condor management has taken a new and deadly turn at Grand Canyon.  
Condors released north of the park and monitored by the Peregrine Fund 
have frequented the south rim and awed visitors.  Evidence is now 
showing that recent fatalities among at least four of the condors were 
a result of lead poisoning.  The lead has been traced to shotgun 
pellets, probably ingested when the scavengers' found an animal killed 
by a shotgun.  An attempt is being made to capture and field test all 
condors for lead poisoning.  Those found with high levels will be 
treated for removal of lead.  Hunters are being asked to remove 
portions of animals with lead in them.  Rangers have been issued 
special copper rounds for dispatching injured animals.  Condors were 
first released in Arizona in 1996, and their continued success in the 
wild is at risk.  [Nancy Muleady Mecham, PR, GRCA]

00-449 - Timpanogos Cave NM (UT) - Follow-up on Park Closure

The park was closed on the afternoon of July 30th due to the proximity 
of the Oak Hill Fire. The human-caused blaze traveled up a west-facing 
slope over rugged terrain and spotted into American Fork Canyon, where 
the park is located. The fire has since burned about 900 acres to the 
northwest of the park and is 15% contained. It's spreading slowly to 
the north and northwest, away from the park, and has not spotted 
significantly. When the fire approached the park in the early hours of 
July 31st, the computer server and critical files were removed from 
the administration office. The server was placed back on line late on 
August 3rd and communications with the park have been fully restored. 
The Oak Hill Fire is being managed as part of the Wasatch Complex. 
Red-carded park staff were formed into a crew and required to remain 
in the park around the clock. The Type I team managing the complex 
advised park staff to reduce fuel around park buildings, which was 
done. The road in lower American Fork Canyon and the park were closed, 
but both have reopened. A map of the fire can be found at 
http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/uinta/fire/wasatchcomplex/maps.html; details 
on the fire are also available at that site. [Kit Mullen, TICA, 8/6]

00-456 - Zion NP (UT) - Falling Fatality

Georg Sender, 63, of Illertissen, Germany, died from head injuries 
when he fell 10 to 15 feet while hiking off-trail near the top of 
Angel's Landing on August 2nd. Several EMT's and a Swiss emergency 
room physician were nearby and provided immediate medical assistance, 
including CPR. The latter was terminated after 45 minutes after 
consultation with the physician on scene and medical control at Dixie 
Regional Medical Center. A hiker in the vicinity used his cell phone 
to call for help, and park personnel were dispatched to the scene; an 
NPS trail crew working nearby was first to arrive. The body was 
removed by helicopter. Counselors were on scene to provide assistance 
to witnesses and family and conduct a CISD debriefing for responders. 
Sender was traveling with Rotel Tours of Germany. Seventeen park 
personnel and a BLM contract helicopter were involved. Chuck Passeck 
was IC. [Tom Haraden, Acting CI, ZION, 8/2]

00-457 - Acadia NP (ME) - Falling Fatality

A Maryland man died on the afternoon of Friday, August 4th, after 
falling an estimated 200 feet from one of the park's trails. Burt 
Marks, 51, of Gaithersburg, was hiking on the Beehive trail with a 
friend when he apparently took a misstep and fell. Rangers performed 
CPR but the efforts were soon discontinued due to the severity of 
Marks' injuries. Marks had been visiting the park with his hiking 
partner and their wives. The wives were not with the two men at the 
time of the accident. The incident remains under investigation. This 
is the second fatality on park trails this week. [David Buccello, CR, 
ACAD, 8/6]

00-458 - Lake Mead NRA/Grand Canyon NP (AZ) - Aircraft Accident

On July 22nd, Lake Mead NRA rangers Thane Weigand and Marc Burt and 
Grand Canyon NP ranger Chris Mengel responded to a report of an 
aircraft emergency landing near Pearce Ferry. The twin-engine Piper 
Navajo tour plane from Boulder City had lost one of its engines over 
Grand Canyon. The pilot attempted to fly to emergency landing strips 
in the area, but the plane continued to lose altitude over the next 40 
miles of travel and he was unable to climb to the altitude of any of 
those strips. He therefore landed on a beach across from the South 
Cove launch ramp. Neither the pilot nor any of his nine passengers was 
injured. The aircraft will be removed in a salvage operation. [Thane 
Weigand, IC, LAME, 8/4]

Zion NP (UT) - A lightning storm on the evening of August 3rd ignited 
eleven wildfires in the park - the majority of them discovered during 
a reconnaissance flight the next day. The largest is called the Cable 
Mountain Fire and has burned about 50 acres so far. Over 55 
firefighters are being used to contain it. Two others are also burning 
but are small in size. All others have died out. The weather continues 
to be hot and dry, with temperatures at or above 105 degrees.

Day/Date:   Tuesday, August 8, 2000       ALMANAC

On this date in 1911, President William Howard Taft traveled to 
Paradise Valley in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington.  His 
touring car had to be dragged the final distance from Narada Falls by 
a mule team.

00-460 - Mount Rushmore NM (SD) - Rabid Bat Bite

A 15-year-old male employee of NPS concessioner AmFac Recreational 
Services was bitten by a bat in the concession dining room on August 
2nd. The bat reportedly flew into the dining room late on the evening 
of August 1st and was seen there again on the 2nd. It fell to the 
floor that afternoon; when the employee picked it up to remove it, the 
bat bit him, then died. The body was sent to the state epidemiologist 
and tested positive for the rabies virus. The boy is now undergoing 
rabies treatment. The dining room was temporarily closed on August 
5th, the day the park was notified of the findings, so that a search 
for additional bats could be conducted by a local bat expert. None was 
found. The dining room reopened on the morning of the 6th. This is the 
second incident of a person being bitten by a rabid bat in the Black 
Hills area this summer. The state epidemiologist has asked the park 
for assistance in informing the public about the hazards of handling 
bats or any other wildlife. [Mike Pflaum, CR, MORU, 8/7]

00-462 - Glacier NP (MT) - Rescue

Ed Prach, 75, of Whitefish, Montana, fell while climbing in the Logan 
Pass area on the afternoon of July 27th, sustaining head lacerations, 
multiple fractures to both legs, and a ruptured kidney. Prach was 
climbing with five others in the saddle between Reynolds and Heavy 
Runner Mountains when he evidently lost his footing, fell 15 to 20 
feet over a rock ledge, then rolled another 100 feet down a steep snow 
field. Prach's companions climbed down to him and stabilized his 
injuries; some of them then hiked out to the Logan Pass VC and 
notified the park. Park staff in the vicinity hiked to the area and 
treated Prach. Other park personnel, including park medics, were flown 
to the scene along with requisite rescue gear. Because of the steep 
terrain, Prach had to be belayed about 200 feet down a slope to the 
nearest safe landing zone. He was flown by helicopter to Kalispell 
Regional Hospital, where he was last reported to be in critical 
condition. [Public Affairs, GLAC, 7/28]

00-467 - Glacier NP (MT) - Death of Concession Employee

Concession employee Christopher Wolk, 26, of Astoria, New York, died 
yesterday morning as a result of massive head trauma sustained in an 
accident that occurred late on the afternoon of Tuesday, August 8th. 
Wolk was swimming with other concession employees just below a 
waterfall in Swiftcurrent Creek when a 20-pound rock fell about 50 
feet and struck him in the head. Rangers were notified by other 
swimmers and responded quickly. They had to employ technical climbing 
methods to reach Wolk and raise him from the creek. He was then flown 
by air ambulance to a hospital in Great Falls, where he succumbed to 
his injuries. [Public Affairs, GLAC, 8/9]

00-470 - Katmai NP (AK) - Search in Progress; Fatality

Concession employees advised rangers of an overdue party on the 
afternoon of August 8th. The couple had departed from Brooks Camp the 
previous day on a two-hour canoe trip. An air search was begun 
immediately, and a swamped and beached canoe was found within 15 
minutes on Naknek Lake across from Brooks Camp. Rangers found the body 
of Atsushi Sugiura entangled with the canoe, his life jacket still on. 
Efforts are currently focused on the search for his wife, Naomi. A 
life jacket and other personal effects were found washed up on a beach 
nearby. Twenty NPS personnel are assigned to the incident. Ranger Ed 
Dunlavey is IC. [Chris Pergiel, CR, KATM, 8/8]

00-471 - Great Smoky Mountains NP (NC/TN) - Pursuit

Ranger Helen McNutt was on her way from Cades Cove to Maryville, 
Tennessee, on the evening of August 9th when she came upon a three-car 
accident about five miles from the park entrance. Since there were no 
other emergency vehicles on scene, she stopped to render assistance. 
An older model Dodge van pulled away almost immediately. Bystanders 
shouted to McNutt that the van driver was the cause of the accident 
and that he was drunk. After determining that there were no serous 
injuries, McNutt began to follow the van, which was being driven on a 
flat tire. An unmarked Blount County Sheriff's Office vehicle took 
control of the pursuit through Townsend, but McNutt took over the lead 
position when the van entered the park. Top speed during the pursuit 
was between 35 and 40 mph. By this time, the flat tire had been 
destroyed and the van was riding on the wheel rim. Heavy smoke was 
coming from the front end and sparks were evident as the rim gouged 
the road surface. The driver was riding the centerline of Laurel Creek 
Road. Fearing an accident, McNutt made the decision to ram the van, 
which was forced off the road into a pullout. The two occupants were 
arrested. The driver will be charged initially by the county; federal 
charges will follow. The female passenger will be charged by the 
county for public intoxication. [Jason Houck, CR, GRSM, 8/10]

00-472 - Yosemite NP (CA) - Rescue; Weapons Violation

Rangers heard gunshots and a person yelling for help on the cliff 
bands above Yosemite Chapel around 8 p.m. on August 2nd. When they 
began shining lights on the cliffs, additional shots were fired. They 
took cover and employed a PA system to make contact with a man spotted 
on the cliff, subsequently identified as Jonathan Haft, 22, of Beverly 
Hills. Haft employed the flash on his camera to respond to the 
rangers. He indicated that he was injured and that he'd reached his 
present location by climbing down the cliff from Four Mile Trail, but 
provided conflicting answers to other questions. Further investigation 
and rescue efforts were delayed by darkness and resumed in the 
morning. A telescope was used to locate Haft, who was wearing 
camouflage clothing and carrying a daypack and semi-automatic handgun. 
Rangers used the PA to instruct him to disassemble the handgun, 
separate the parts, place the daypack out of reach, and place his 
hands on his head. Haft complied with these commands. Rangers Keith 
Lober, Steve Yu and Michael Nash then heli-rappelled to the site, 
secured Haft's weapon, and escorted him on foot to the valley floor. 
Haft told them that he'd gotten stuck while attempting to climb 
directly to Glacier Point to get back to his car. He was charged for 
weapons violations and for disorderly conduct by creating a hazardous 
condition. [Dan Horner, YOSE, 8/8]
 
00-476 - Mount Rushmore NM (SD) - Special Event: Motorcycle Rally

The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was held in Sturgis, South Dakota, 
and the Black Hills area from August 7th through August 13th.  This 
year's rally was promoted heavily as the 60th anniversary/millennium 
rally.  Preliminary estimates by local officials are that over 500,000 
people attended, making it the largest crowd in the history of the 
event.  NPS units in the region - Mount Rushmore, Badlands, Devils 
Tower, Wind Cave, and Jewel Cave - were all significantly impacted by 
rally-related traffic and visitors.  The Midwest Region special events 
team was based at Mount Rushmore and provided support to Badlands, 
Devils Tower, and Mount Rushmore.  An estimated 113,000 bikers visited 
Mount Rushmore during the rally period, a total 40 percent higher than 
the previous highest total in 1999.  On Tuesday, August 8th, 
approximately 19,500 vehicles entered Mount Rushmore, the highest one 
day vehicle total in the history of the park.  Motorcycle traffic was 
heavy from August 4th through August 13th.   Mount Rushmore rangers 
and the Midwest SET managed the extremely heavy traffic, responded to 
approximately 14 motorcycle accidents, handled 15 illegal drug cases, 
and responded to numerous EMS assists, minor law enforcement 
incidents, and visitor assists.  Rangers observed over 200 outlaw 
biker gang members or associates from over 30 different gangs wearing 
"colors".  This event has developed into one of the nation's largest 
events, with bikers spread throughout the Black Hills region for up to 
ten days each year. [Mike Pflaum, CR, MORU, 8/12]

00-477 - Grand Canyon NP (AZ) - Pursuit; MVA

On August 12th, an employee at the park's south entrance station 
reported that a truck had gone through the gate at a high rate of 
speed and without paying the entrance fee. Ranger Kent Delbon 
attempted to stop the truck a few miles within the park's boundary, 
but the driver of the truck turned around and attempted to flee.  
Delbon followed for a quarter of a mile, then backed off when he 
determined that the driver was evidently impaired. The truck hit a 
signpost on a median just north of the entrance station, then collided 
with one of the entrance station booths, flipping the truck onto its 
side and causing structural damage to the entrance station.  Four NPS 
fee staff employees were inside the booth at the time of the collision 
but were unharmed.  The truck began leaking fuel, but responding units 
controlled and absorbed the spill.  The two occupants of the truck 
were rapidly extricated and taken to Flagstaff Medical Center. Alcohol 
is believed to have been a contributing factor. An investigation is 
underway. [Rosie Peragine, IC, GRCA, 8/14]

00-478 - Denali NP (AK) - Rescue

On August 8th, Muriell Lecaplain, 30, of Lyon, France, obtained a 
backcountry pass from the park with the objective of spending two 
weeks on Muldrow Glacier. Four days later, the Rescue Coordinator 
Center (RCC) in Anchorage received an emergency signal from 
Lecaplain's personal locator beacon (PLB). Rangers on board an NPS 
contract helicopter searched for her that evening, but were unable to 
spot her. The search resumed on the morning of August 13th. Lecaplain 
was located by the crew on an Air National Guard helicopter that 
afternoon and flown to Alaska Regional Hospital for treatment of an 
injured arm and hypothermia. Although Lecaplain was almost invisible 
on the glacier, the ANG crew was able to nail down her exact location 
with the electronic equipment they had onboard their Pavehawk 
helicopter. The type of PLB she was carrying must be activated by the 
person using it in order for the rescue signal to be sent out. The 
signal is picked up by satellite and relayed to the RCC. It also 
displays the name of the individual who is in need of rescue. [Jane 
Tranel, IO, DENA, 8/13]

00-479 - Zion NP (UT) - Rescue

Six members of the park's SAR team hiked into Orderville Canyon on the 
evening of July 25th in response to a report of a 43-year-old visitor 
with an ankle injury. Jack Reno of Clovis, California, had been 
canyoneering with two friends when he rolled his ankle and suffered a 
severe fracture. His companions left him behind and hiked 
three-and-a-half miles to report the accident. While waiting for help 
to arrive, Reno crawled about a quarter mile down the canyon. Four 
members of the SAR team spent the night with him and were joined in 
the morning by six more team members. Reno was carried out on a litter 
through several deep pools in The Narrows on the North Fork of the 
Virgin River, then floated by raft about two miles to Riverside Walk. 
He was evacuated by ambulance to a hospital and treated for his 
injury. Cindi Purcell was IC. [Dispatch, ZION, 7/31]

00-480 - Arches NP/Canyonlands NP (UT) - Search

On August 1st, a 13-year-old boy from Woodstock, Illinois, was 
mountain biking on a backcountry trail outside of Moab (and directly 
across the Colorado River from Arches NP) with his father and other 
members of a youth group. He biked ahead of his group, took a wrong 
turn, and became lost in very rugged desert canyon terrain. An initial 
search was conducted that night by county SAR team members; it proved 
fruitless, so a major search was begun the following day. The NPS was 
asked to assist and contributed 18 employees to the effort. The 
incident involved well over 100 people from numerous local, county, 
federal, private and volunteer organizations and received significant 
regional media attention. Arches and Canyonlands employees worked as 
trackers, ground searchers, dog team members, aerial searches, and 
support staff in plans, logistics and communications. Ranger Gary 
Haynes was the plans section chief. Environmental conditions were a 
major consideration, with daytime temperatures reaching 110 degrees, 
steep canyons, and rough and rocky terrain. The search continued until 
mid-day on August 5th, when trackers found the boy's body about 
two-and-a-half miles from his abandoned bicycle. There were no 
injuries or heat-related illnesses during the operation despite the 
prevailing conditions. [Jim Webster, CR, ARCH, 8/7]

00-482 - Grand Canyon NP (AZ) - Attempted Suicide; Rescue

On August 11th, dispatch received a call from park visitors who had 
seen a man jump off the South Rim of the Grand Canyon near Mather 
Point. They also reported that the man was still alive and lying below 
the rim. Rangers responded to the scene within minutes and found a 
31-year-old man from Odessa, Texas, lying in a group of trees 
approximately 150 feet below the rim. Ranger Matt Vandzura quickly 
rappelled to the patient and determined that he was suffering from a 
hemo-pneumothorax, partial avulsed foot, flail chest, and numerous 
other fractures. Vandzura was able to relieve the pressure of the 
pneumothorax through a needle thoracotomy. Ranger Nancy Mecham 
assisted in stabilizing the patient. Vandzura and the patient were 
lifted from the scene via helicopter short haul. The patient was then 
flown to the Flagstaff Medical Center, where he has undergone surgery 
on his foot and is in stable condition. [Kent Delbon, IC/Shift 
Supervisor, South Rim, GRCA, 8/13]

OPERATIONAL NOTES

Update on Cerro Grande Board of Inquiry - In June, Director Stanton 
appointed a board of inquiry to investigate whether personnel actions 
should be taken in regard to the way the Cerro Grande prescribed fire 
was conducted.  The board was unable to complete its report by July 
31st as planned.  The board was unable to interview several people 
because they are out fighting fires. They may not be available for 
interviews until much later in the fire season. The Forest Service 
member of the board was also called back to Montana on emergency fire 
management duties.   It's there uncertain when the report will be 
completed. If the report proposes any personnel actions, then its 
findings will not be made public until the affected employees have 
completed their right to review and respond to any proposed personnel 
actions. At that point, an official decision will be announced and the 
board's report will be released. [Public Affairs, WASO]

 

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