GoFundMe set up for injured firefighter

A GoFundMe site has been set up to collect donations for Nickolas Palmer, a forest firefighter who was injured by a helicopter that dropped 2,500 gallons of water on him while battling the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire late may. (Source: GoFundMe)

The wildland firefighter who was seriously injured late last month when a helicopter battling the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire dropped about 2,500 gallons of water on him has ended his fire season, according to a GoFundMe update. in place to support it.

According to the site, Nickolas Palmer of the Vale Interagency Hotshot Crew in Eastern Oregon has multiple fractures to his face and mouth, as well as three fractures to his nose. He had to undergo reconstructive surgery on his broken kneecap, his jaw shut, and several plates and supports placed on his face to help him heal.

“This is his 6th year of firefighting, and it’s one of his greatest passions, he’s been fighting fires since he was 18,” the site reads. “It’s absolutely devastating for him to be in this situation because he can’t do what he loves the most and instead has to recover. It will end up changing Nick’s life for a very long time, if not forever.

Palmer is in “severe pain” and the workers’ compensation he will receive will not pay nearly the same amount he would have gotten had he worked and collected overtime throughout the fire season, according to the site. The fundraiser premiered on Sunday with a goal of $20,000, and Palmer had raised over $30,000 by Monday night.

Another member of the Vale Interagency Hotshot Crew confirmed to the Journal that the donation page was legit, but said neither he nor anyone else was in a position to comment.

Two other crew members were injured by water – which was dropped by a helicopter hovering about 100ft above them on May 29 – but were treated and released the same day.

A report from the Bureau of Land Management said the hotshot crew worked a line of fire in the Pecos Wilderness while a helicopter was tasked with dropping loads of water over the edge of the fire. Instead, it missed the drop zone and “the last load was delivered over several crew members”.

Palmer and the other two hotshots were taken to a hospital in Santa Fe, then Palmer was taken to Albuquerque, according to the BLM.

As of Monday, just over a week after the incident, the fire had spread to 317,920 acres and was 65% contained. Nearly 3,000 people were working on the fire.

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