Browns Camp, Crash, Tillamook State Forest

Emergency crews mount two hour rescue for dirt bike rider seriously injured in the Tillamook State Forest

Photo from the scene: Forest Grove Fire & Rescue

BROWNS CAMP – A dirt bike rider crashed at Browns Camp on Monday afternoon, requiring an extensive rescue to extract the patient, who was eventually transported via air ambulance to a Portland-area hospital.

According to Forest Grove Fire & Rescue (FGF&R), emergency crews from Forest Grove and Banks Fire District 13 were dispatched to the general area of the popular off-road recreation area of Browns Camp — an area that is approximately 31 square miles, according to estimates from ATV websites — for an unknown medical emergency call.

Dispatchers were able to get a general idea of a location, and that someone needed help, but due to poor cell service in the Tillamook State Forest, the call dropped before more information could be obtained, according to a FGF&R press release.

About 25 minutes later, emergency crews arrived and were told that someone had crashed a dirt bike further down a trail. After a three mile drive on gravel forest roads, emergency crews then had to hike another 1/2 mile with medical and rescue gear.

The patient was assessed, treated on scene, and then carried 1/2 mile to a waiting Lifeflight helicopter, which had landed on the closest road.

The patient was transported to a trauma hospital in Portland with serious injuries.

According to FGF&R, from the time crews were dispatched to when the helicopter lifted off, nearly two hours had passed.

Video of the Life Flight helicopter leaving the scene by FGF&R

“If you plan to go recreate in wilderness areas,” a statement from FGF&R read, “have a set plan of where you’re going and make sure family or friends have knowledge of this. Knowing specific trails that you’ll be using can greatly help emergency crews respond in these natural areas that have many roads and trails that aren’t marked with names.”

In addition to Forest Grove Fire & Rescue and the Banks Fire District, the Oregon Department of Forestry Forest Grove Unit, Metro West Ambulance and Life Flight Network all assisted on scene.

Emergency crews hike toward a waiting helicopter. Photo: FGF&R

Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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