Archie Creek firefighter found dead in car at staging area

No foul play is suspected.

Posted: Sep 23, 2020 8:56 AM
Updated: Sep 23, 2020 10:52 AM

GLIDE, Ore. – A firefighter assigned to the Archie Creek Fire in Douglas County was found unresponsive inside his vehicle Friday morning, officials said on Wednesday.

Walter Elsbury Jr., a heavy equipment operator, was found in his car at a fire staging area before his shift was scheduled to begin. No foul play is suspected.

Elsbury, an employee of Elsbury Logging Company in Burnes/Hines, had been working on the Archie Creek Fire for about a week. Officials said he was working to protect structures along Little River Road south of Glide on the west flank of the fire.

“The Bureau of Land Management, Umpqua National Forest and Douglas Forest Protective Association are deeply saddened over Mr. Elsbury’s death,” said Incident Commander Mike Dueitt in a news release. “We want the Elsbury family to know our Incident Management Team, the firefighting community as a whole and the residents along Little River Road are forever grateful for the work Wally did to protect homes from the Archie Creek Fire. Our condolences to you for the loss of your loved one.”

More than 1,000 personnel have been assigned to the Archie Creek Fire.

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