Smoke from poison oak sickens Eugene wildland firefighter

Smoke from poison oak sickens Eugene wildland firefighter
Kenneth Cole

GRANTS PASS, Ore. - Smoke from burning poison oak caused an allergic reaction in a Eugene firefighter battling the Douglas Complex fires early Tuesday, sending him to the hospital.

Kenneth Cole with firefighting contractor Dust Busters Plus of Eugene was treated at Three Rivers Medical Center in Grants Pass for an allergic reaction to poison oak smoke, according to Lee Jurasevich, who owns Dust Busters.

Jurasevich said Cole was carrying first aid supplies that helped him slow the allergic reaction.

Cole was released from the hospital later in the day.

"He is resting and spending time with his family. He is looking forward to joining the crews again and getting back on the fire line soon," the company said on its facebook page. "We are so grateful that he is okay and we are very proud of his crew for how professionally they handled this difficult situation."