OSHA fines forest agencies in firefighter's death

LEWISTON, ID - A representative from the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forest said they disagree with a recent citation they received in connection with the death of a wild land firefighter.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued $14,000 in fines and a citation to the U.S. Forest Service and the Clearwater Potlatch Timber Protection Agency after the tragic death of a 20-year-old firefighter.

Anne Veseth of Moscow was killed at the Steep Corner Fire in August of 2012 and OSHA found several violations of a "serious nature" on the part of CPTPA. However Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests supervisor Rick Brazell said an intensive investigation was conducted into Veseth's death and defended the agency's wildfire fighting operations to OSHA on Tuesday in Boise.

"We explained to them that under a natural environment there's a lot of hazards out there and anytime you go out into the woods there are trees that are unstable or whatever and steep slopes and rocks where you can fall," said Brazell.

OSHA states in their citation that eight of the ten standing firefighting orders, including maintaining proper communications, and ensuring escape routes and safety zones were properly identified and maintained were violated.