OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash. — Assistant Chief Christian Johnson was fighting with the Spring Coulee fire when he was severely burned and airlifted to Seattle, where he is receiving care at Harborview Medical Center.
Okanogan County Fire District is setting up an account for donations with North Cascades Bank to help his family with any necessary needs. Donations can be sent to North Cascades Bank, PO Box 672, Okanogan WA 98840.
A GoFundMe page has also been started to support Johnson and his family, and it's already raised thousands of dollars.
The GoFundMe calls Johnson a “selfless man, who is always willing to help those in need, and never asks for anything in return.”
In a Facebook post sharing the fundraiser, it’s mentioned that Johnson is looking at a minimum of two to three months in the intensive care unit.
Johnson is suffering from second and third-degree burns over 60 percent of his body. He is in a medically-induced coma while doctors attempt to stabilize him so they can perform skin graft surgery.
"I think we're in the beginning of a very long battle and he's going to have a very long fight ahead of him but he's a very strong man and we're sure that he is going to pull through – he's a fighter," said Ethan Freel, an Assistant Fire Chief for the Okanogan Volunteer Fire Department.
Okanogan County Emergency Management spokesman Maurice Goodall said Johnson has been around the community for a long time and is well-known.
Goodall also added that Johnson's family is with him in Seattle and more information should be released soon.
"His wife Pam, she's been a trooper and has her head high and her spirits are high but we have the real side of things – off work and bills still need to be paid," Freel said.
Christian served as a sergeant in the Army and was deployed with the Washington State National Guard from November 2003 to May 2005 in Baghdad. He retired after 22 years of service and has volunteered for the Okanogan Fire Department for 20 years.
The Spring Coulee Fire started over the weekend near B&O Road North between Fletcher Loop and Spring Coulee roads. The fire spread to the north and burned about 150 acres before being contained a short time later.
Sebastion Robertson with KING-TV contributed to this report.