Firefighters Struck by Lightning

UPDATE FRAZIER PARK, CA (Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011 at 7:10 p.m.)–The names of the three firefighters injured in the lightning strike near the 2600 block of Lockwood Valley Road are Ryan Bridgen, Andy Juarez and Jonathan Marquez, according to USFS officials. The incident occurred in the area of Ozena Fire Station while observing an active thunder cell and on standby for new fires in the area.

UPDATE FRAZIER PARK, CA (Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011 at 6:30 p.m.)–The three firefighters injured by a close lightning strike today are in good condition after they were transported to area hospitals this afternoon. According to USFS Public Information Officer Andrew Madsen, "The lightning struck about 50 feet away and knocked all three of them down. They had severe ringing in their ears. The medic evaluated all three and, according to protocol, sent them to hospitals for overnight evaluation." Madsen said two were taken to Ventura County Medical Center, one by air and one by ground. The third firefighter was taken to Bakersfield Mercy Southwest. "They’ll probably be released on Wednesday," Madsen said.

FRAZIER PARK, CA (Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011 at 5:40 p.m.)–Three United States Forest Service firefighters were struck by lightning this afternoon while working the Frazier I Fire. Initial reports are that all three are stable and being transported to area hospitals. Widespread thunderstorms swept Kern County and the Mountain Communities on Saturday, igniting over 50 fires countywide.

More information will be posted here as it is made available.

This is part of the September 09, 2011 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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