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Injured Montana firefighter now recovering from successful surgery

Dan Steffensen, left, is a Montana firefighter who was injured Saturday, July 16, 2021, and is being treated at the University of Utah Burn Center. (Dan Steffensen)

SALT LAKE CITY – A Montana firefighter is being treated at the University of Utah's Burn Center after he was severely burned while battling the Harris Fire, which has burned 2,700 acres in southern Montana.

Dan Steffensen from Red Lodge Fire Rescue was listed in serious condition with significant burns to his body.

An air ambulance transported him to the U. on Friday after winds shifted fire activity toward Steffensen and his fire engine.

Chief Tom Kuntz with Red Lodge Fire Rescue said Steffensen is now recovering from successful surgery, and his recovery could take up to six months.

"I was able to travel to Salt Lake and sit with Dan and express the love and faith that people have had," said Kuntz.

He added Steffensen's absence from the Red Lodge Fire Rescue was being felt in the community.

A strong wind surge fanned flames that overwhelmed Steffenson as he worked the Harris Hill Fire near Joliet, Montana, which was 80% contained Monday night.

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Mark Jones


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