Virginia fire chief killed in ATV crash fighting wildland fire, US
Rocky Wood, chief of the Haysi Volunteer Fire Department and an employee of the Virginia Department of Forestry in the US, died while fighting a wildland fire. At approximately 20h30 on 9 March 2023, Wood was fighting a 15-acre wildfire along Lester’s Fork Road near the Roseann community in Buchanan County in southwest Virginia when he died in an ATV crash. In addition to his role as fire chief, Wood was also Haysi’s vice mayor.
Wood was a seven-year VDOF employee who worked in the Western Region’s Vansant Office, VDOF said in a news release. He became a full-time forest technician in 2016. Wood joined the Haysi town council in 2008. Prior to that, he worked as a part-time wildland fire fighter with the agency and for the Virginia Department of Corrections.
“Today our hearts are broken as we send our sincere condolences to Rocky’s family, friends and fellow colleagues during this difficult time,” said State Forester Rob Farrell.
The fire was contained as of Friday morning. The specifics of the accident are under investigation.
Sources: Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF), Associated Press
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