BREAKING: “Mass Casualty Incident” declared after Burney crash involving Redding Hotshot fire crew

WRITER’S NOTE: From the outset, this accident was declared by the on-scene Incident Commander to be a “Mass Casualty Incident”, or MCI. A mass casualty incident, sometimes called a multiple-casualty incident, is any incident in which emergency medical resources, such as personnel and equipment, are overwhelmed by the number and severity of casualties. The term does NOT refer to fatalities, just the number of people injured and needing treatment. As of this report and its associated updates, there have been no reported fatalities.


UPDATED: Tuesday, April 30, 7:55 p.m. With additional details from CHP incident log

BURNEY — Emergency personnel from numerous area agencies are at the scene of a two-vehicle, major-injury traffic collision on Main St./SR-299E, between Tamarack Ave. and Elm St., in Burney. The crash was initially reported by a U.S. Forest Service Redding Hotshot crew member who put out an emergency radio transmission reporting they had just been involved in a rollover traffic collision with a second vehicle, later described as a gold Lexus.

Within minutes of arriving at the chaotic scene, an Incident Commander reported the Forest Service crew’s transport vehicle was off the roadway and on its side and immediately declared the event to be a Mass Casualty Incident with numerous injured. The IC then began requesting additional resources, including multiple additional ground and air ambulances to assist with the injured, which has been estimated at as many as eleven victims, per official radio traffic.


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Emergency personnel were first alerted to the crash around 5 p.m. this afternoon, Tuesday, April 30, when SHASCOM dispatchers received an emergency notification from the involved U.S. Forest Service Hotshot crew. As fire and rescue personnel began arriving at the scene less than two minutes later, they reported the highway was blocked in both directions as emergency apparatus began to arrive in the area from every direction.

The IC soon updated that there were eleven victims, including one who was seriously injured and listed as “immediate” who needed to be airlifted, two other seriously injured victims listed as “delayed” who also potentially needed to be airlifted or transported, and eight additional victims with minor injuries.

A Redding Hot Shots Fire Crew was involved in a two-vehicle accident that injured multiple people this afternoon. KRCR photo

At least two air ambulances soon landed in town; including Reach 5, which landed at the Burney Sheriff’s Sub-Station before flying its victim – the sole female occupant from the Lexus, according to a CHP incident log – to Mercy Medical Center in Redding.

CHP’s H-14, was next to land in the middle of Hwy-299E near the casino, before transporting its patient to Shasta Regional Medical Center in Redding. Another seriously injured victim was transported to Shasta Regional via ground ambulance.

The eight additional victims who sustained minor injuries – reportedly all members of the fire crew – were all transported to St. Elizabeth’s in Red Bluff, according to radio traffic.

A heavy wrecker was requested to the scene shortly before 6 p.m., and as of 6:15 p.m., CHP was still headed to the scene, with the nearest CHP unit responding from Adin.

A woman, who was the sole occupant of a Lexus involved in today’s crash was airlifted to Mercy Hospital. Her current condition was unknown. KRCR photo

A CHP incident log updated around 7:50 p.m., that the roadway was still blocked and that although one-way traffic had been implemented for about the last hour, traffic was once again being diverted away from the scene, as recovery efforts for the wrecked fire vehicle continued.

Contacted for further information regarding this accident CHP was not immediately able to provide any further details, or an estimate as to when the roadway would be re-opened.

SEE RELATED UPDATE: More details after Redding Hotshot crew crash injures 11

This is a developing story that will be updated as new information is available.

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Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.