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Fines Imposed for Death of Idaho Firefighter

LEWISTON, Idaho (AP) — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited a fire management organization and proposed a $14,000 fine for serious safety violations OSHA says led to the death of a U.S. Forest Service firefighter. KLEW-TV reports OSHA cited Clearwater-Potlatch Timber Protective Association, which was managing the Steep Corner Fire near Orofino last August when several trees fell, one killing 20-year-old Anne Veseth of Moscow.

The citation, dated Feb. 7, said the initial attack team violated eight of the 10 Standing Firefighting Orders, including maintaining proper communications, being aware of weather conditions and ensuring escape routes and safety zones were properly identified. An anonymous federal reporting system for wildland firefighters indicated the Montana-based Flathead Hotshots firefighting team declined to join suppression efforts on the Steep Corner Fire the day before Veseth died, citing safety concerns.

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