February 15, 2022 7:09 pm
The Charlotte Observer
(MCT)A firefighter remains hospitalized after suffering multiple burns during a wildfire in western North Carolina, according to Otto Fire and Rescue in Macon County.
The firefighter was identified as department Chief Terry Rholetter Jr. and he was injured Saturday, Feb. 12, officials said in a Facebook post. Otto is about 190 miles west of uptown Charlotte.
“He received several burns and was flown to Augusta Burn Center (in Georgia),” the department said.
“As of right now he is undergoing surgery which will be the first of many. So let’s keep our Chief in prayers. As of right now we are still figuring the process out and what is needed.”
Details of how the burns occurred were not released, but Macon County Emergency Service says a firefighter was hurt around 1 p.m. Saturday near Highway 441 North. The fire damaged “at least one structure,” emergency services said.
“Gusty winds and dry conditions have kept fire departments across Macon County responding to numerous brush or wild land fires over the last several days,” emergency services said in a Feb. 12 Facebook post.
A dramatic change in weather Sunday, Feb. 13, was expected to ease the fire risk, including “a slight chance of snow,” officials said.