By Bill Carey
NEZ PERCE COUNTY, Idaho — A volunteer firefighter with the Nez Perce County Fire Department was burned while fighting a grass fire off Webb Ridge Road in Nez Perce County.
Jimmy Ralstin, 70, was severely burned across 50% of his body, KHQ reported. Ralstin had responded to the fire that grew to 15 acres. An unexpected shift in the wind resulted in a burn over that injured Ralstin and damaged a fire truck.
“We are told that he called himself an ambulance on his radio,” Ralstin’s daughter Crystal Morgan said.
Ralstin was transported to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Lewiston and later flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle due to the severity of his injuries.
Nez Perce County Fire Chief Joshua Hall said in a statement on Facebook that the department is thankful Ralstin is alive, but he is “not out of the woods yet.”
The fire grew to around 15-20 acres in size before being extinguished. Nez Perce County Fire crews and local farmers worked together to knock down the blaze, Big Country News reported. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.