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Firefighter battling Virginia wildfire dies in ATV accident

March 11, 2023 GMT

ROSEANN, Va. (AP) — A firefighter battling a wildfire in western Virginia was killed when an ATV overturned, the state Department of Forestry announced Friday. Rocky S. Wood was killed while fighting a 15-acre wildfire near the Roseann community in Buchanan County on Thursday night, the department said in a news release. Wood was scouting the area to determine where to create a containment line around the perimeter of the fire when the ATV he was riding overturned, said John Miller, a spokesperson for the Department of Forestry. “Today our hearts are broken as we send our sincere condolences to Rocky’s family, friends and fellow colleagues during this difficult time,” State Forester Rob Farrell said in a statement. Wood first worked for the department as a part-time wildland firefighter and joined the department full-time as a forest technician in 2016, working in the western region’s Vansant office, the department said. He had also worked for the Virginia Department of Corrections. Wood was vice mayor of Haysi, joining the town council in 2008, and served as the chief of the Haysi Volunteer Fire Department, the town said in a post announcing Wood’s death. “Rocky gave his life as a sacrifice of safety for our community,” the town said.