- Associated Press - Thursday, August 27, 2015

Dispatchers with the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office helped coordinate the responses of federal, state and local firefighters, police and sheriff’s deputies and other emergency responders to fire near the north-central Washington state community of Twisp.

Here are some details from the notes taken by dispatchers on Aug. 19, when three firefighters were killed and four others injured fighting the fire. The dispatch records were obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request.

-2:49 p.m. - A deputy advises dispatchers that the wind has changed direction, now heading West to East at about 15 miles an hour.

-2:52 p.m. - An automatic emergency management alert is sent, advising all residents on or near the Twisp River to evacuate immediately.

-2:56 p.m. - A local fire district calls for an ambulance for a burn victim, about six miles up the road.

-2:57 p.m. - Evacuations continue, an elderly resident refuses to leave his home, and a deputy warns dispatchers that the fire may jump over Twisp River Road, which in calmer conditions could serve as a natural firebreak.

-3:01 p.m. - A Department of Natural Resources employee advises dispatchers that multiple firefighters are entrapped. This notation is believed to refer to the engine crash, but no other details are included.

-3:02 p.m. - Emergency workers are headed to Twisp City with a patient, no other details given.

-3:05 p.m. to 3:59 p.m. - Evacuations and road closures continue, and all law enforcement officers that aren’t currently assigned to calls are asked to meet at a nearby high school.

-4:01 p.m. - Dispatchers note that the Department of Natural Resources is still requesting Life Flight, an air ambulance. One person still needs to be medically evacuated and another patient is still being assessed.

-4:36 p.m. - One patient is handed off to a critical care transport team at the airport.

A supplemental report added to the dispatch log a few days later included a description of the accident scene by a deputy who helped the county coroner retrieve the bodies from the burned Forest Service fire engine. The door handles of the engine had burned away, so one of the doors had to be pried open to gain access to the vehicle, Deputy Ottis Buzzard wrote.



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