Officials confirm identities of three firefighter fatalities and injury

WENATCHEE Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest (OWNF) officials announced notifications have been made to the families of the three fallen and one injured USFS firefighters and can now confirm the identities of those lost and injured:

  • Tom Zbyszewski, age 20
  • Andrew Zajac, age 26
  • Richard Wheeler, age 31
  • Daniel Lyon, age 25, was injured and is being treated at Harborview Hospital in Seattle.
  • “We are mourning the loss of Tom, Andrew, and Richard and are in connection with and closely monitoring the recovery process of Daniel,” said Mike Williams, Forest Supervisor on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. “This was a tragic incident, and our hearts go out to their families, friends, and colleagues.”

Harborview Hospital posted the following statement on its Facebook page concerning Daniel:

“The 25-year-old male firefighter, who is a resident of Puyallup, Wash., remains critical in intensive care at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle,” the hospital statement said. “He has burns to approximately 60 percent of his body. He arrived to Harborview’s Emergency Department last night (Aug. 19). His family is not doing any interviews at this time and appreciates the support from the community.”

According to Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers, the three USFS deaths occurred in a wildfire on DNR land near Twisp, Wash.

A national incident management team has arrived at the OWNF headquarters to provide assistance.

A Critical Incident Stress Management team will soon arrive on the Forest to support employees and help them work through the tragedy.

Updates will be provided as more information becomes available.