WA Fire Chief Dies During Wildland Fire Response

Firefighter fatality

A fire chief responding to a wildland fire in Washington passed away of a medical emergency, according to a report from the U.S. Fire Administration.

On Saturday, August 28, 2021, Chief Emeritus James Krouse, 72, of the Colfax Fire Department responded to a wildland fire on Green Hollow Road. While stretching hoselines, he experienced a medical emergency and collapsed.

Chief Krouse was immediately taken to the local hospital where he passed away from an apparent heart attack.

Crews from around the Palouse, who were helping Colfax with the wildfire, included District 12, District 11, Steptoe, Albion, Palouse, Colfax City, and rural departments, managed to control and extinguish the wildfire.

Chief Krouse served as Colfax chief for 40 years and was a volunteer in Colfax for 52 years. He served as Colfax Chief from 1972 to 2010, followed his father, Earl, who was the previous chief.

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