Trouble on the Troublesome Fire
by kstodd13 on Jun 23, 2021, 02:07PM

I was dispatched to the East Troublesome Fire of Colorado on October 22, 2020, the largest fire in Colorado history. Around 1500 we were tending to a spot fire that was quickly growing out of control. The smoke was so thick hiking to the fire I was trying not to vomit. After reaching the fire at the top of the hill we had a sudden wind change and a wall of fire came racing towards myself and my partner. Someone below yelled at us to run, so I did. While sprinting from the flames I lost my footing and came crashing down onto a boulder. The weight of my pack and the momentum I had from running downhill was enough to shatter the bottom portion of my femur. While waiting to be transported out flames were gradually growing closer and closer. It took being carried out by my crewmates, a truck, three ambulance rides, and 12 hours to make it to a facility that could provide me proper care. I spent a week in the trauma unit and was then placed in an extended stay hotel to remain close to healthcare. I am 7 months post-injury, I had my final surgery last week and am on the physical come-up for recovery. But, my hardest struggles have been the mental aspect. PTSD from the fire and having my active lifestyle taken away from me has proved incredibly challenging. I turned to this page to learn how others cope with a life altering injury.