OKANOGAN, Wash. — The Okanogan County sheriff’s office says a man died of an apparent heart attack while fighting a wildfire near his home.
The sheriff’s office says 67-year-old Rob Koczewski was stricken Saturday while he and his wife were hauling water and digging fire lines on their property, which was threatened by part of the massive Carlton Complex wildfire.
Sheriff Frank Rogers says Koczewski was a retired Washington State Patrol trooper and U.S. Marine. A friend said he had a history of heart issues.
The Carlton Complex is the worst of dozens of wildfires that burned in the past week of hot, dry weather in Eastern Washington. It burned about 150 homes and scorched 470 square miles in and around Brewster, Pateros, Twisp and Winthrop in north central Washington.