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Thread: Miss. Firefighter Succumbs to Wildfire Burn Injuries

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Miss. Firefighter Succumbs to Wildfire Burn Injuries

    Miss. Firefighter Succumbs to Wildfire Burn Injuries

    LON SLEPICKA and HEATHER CASEY
    Firehouse.com News

    John Paul (J.P.) Pritchett, Sr., Forestry Crew Chief for the Mississippi Forestry Commission, died of complications Sunday from burns he received while fighting a wildfire August 20.

    Pritchett had been running a bulldozer, plowing a firebreak on a several-hundred acre wildfire near the county line separating Webster and Clay counties, according to information officer Harold Anderson.

    A change in wind pushed a wall of fire toward him. Pritchett tried to use the blade of his bulldozer to clear an area around his position and scoop out a depression so he could take cover. But he was enveloped by the flames, causing him serious burns.

    Pritchett, 56, had been separated from other firefighters while working the fire on private property. No one else was injured in the blaze.

    Prior to coming to the forestry commission, Pritchett had worked 20 years for Weyerhaeuser until 1990. In both jobs he had been involved with all facets of forestry.

    The state forestry commission is responsible in Mississippi for all wildfires on state and private lands. They assist firefighters on federal property.

    Pritchett died September 3 while at the Mississippi Firefighters Memorial Burn Center in Greenville, Mississippi.

    Pritchett, who lived in Bell Fountain, leaves a wife, two adult children and a 17-year-old daughter. The funeral was Sept. 6, at the Oliver Funeral Home in Eupora.

    A memorial has been established in his name at the burn center in Greenville.


    Firefighters Memorial Office
    P.O. Box 935
    Greenville, Miss 38702
    (662) 332-3101



    http://www.firehouse.com/lodd/2000/ms_sep3.html

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Pritchett, Sr., John Paul

    Age: 57
    Rank: Fire Crew Chief
    Status: Career
    Incident Date: 08/20/2000
    Incident Time: 17:30
    Death Date: 09/03/2000

    Cause of Death: Exposure
    Nature of Death: Burns
    Emergency Duty: Yes
    Duty Type: Fireground Operations
    Activity Type: Cutting Fire Breaks (Wildland)
    Fixed Prop. Use: Outdoor Property

    Fire Dept. Info:
    Mississippi Forestry Commission, Webster County
    P.O. Box 368
    Walthall, Mississippi 39771
    Chief: Russell Swords

    Final Summary:
    Forestry Crew Chief Pritchett and a forester from the wood products company that owned the land that was on fire were teamed together. The assignment for the pair was to use a tractor-plow (operated by Forestry Crew Chief Pritchett) to cut a fire break to tie in the rear and contain the right flank of the fire. As the tractor-plow worked, the brush between the tractor line and the burned area was set ablaze by the forester using a drip torch so that future spread could be prevented. The backfire became too intense, so the decision was made to stop the backfire part of the operation. As the forester continued to follow the tractor-plow, he encountered a bee

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