OKANOGAN – Assistant Chief Christian Dean Johnson, 55, with Okanogan County Fire District #3 Okanogan, succumbed to his injuries sustained while engaged on the Spring Coulee Fire south of Okanogan.
The Spring Coulee Fire started at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept 1 just off B & O Road North, between Fletcher Loop Road and Spring Coulee Road. By 5:30 p.m. it was contained and in mop-up stage after burning 142 acres.
Johnson was on scene of the fire Authorities determined that Johnson and another firefighter were outside of his brush truck on the north end of the fire when he was overcome by flames. The other firefighter was able to outrun the fire, but came back to try to treat Johnson and call for help, officials said.
Johnson, who made his home in Okanogan, passed away Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019 at Harborview Medical Center surrounded by his wife Pam, family and friends.
“The family is grateful for the loving care Christian received from Harborview Medical Center staff and the unwavering support they received from the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters Burn Foundation,” said Maurice Goodall with Okanogan County Emergency Management. “Christians family thanks all for the prayers and support during this most difficult time.”
Johnson served his country as a sergeant in the Army, and was deployed with the Washington State National Guard from November 2003 to May 2005 in Baghdad. He retired after 22 years of service and volunteered for the Okanogan Fire Department for 20 years. He worked as the Building Inspector/Permit Administrator for the cities of Okanogan, Oroville and Tonasket.
Washington State Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz said, “Everyone at DNR is holding the family of Assistant Chief Christian Johnson in our hearts. Christian, an Army veteran and a member of Okanogan County Fire District 3, is a hero.
I cannot imagine how difficult and heart wrenching this time has been for his family. Even though Christian was not a DNR firefighter, we consider him one of our own and his family, friends, and colleagues are in our prayers.”
The family requests, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters Burn Foundation, Washington Wildland Fire Foundation or the Red Cross.
Johnson’s celebration of life will be announced once arrangements have been finalized.