SEATTLE – A month after Okanogan volunteer firefighter Christian Johnson was injured in the Spring Coulee Fire, he continues to recover at Harborview Medical Center.
Assistant Fire Chief Christian Johnson received second- and third-degree burns over 60 percent of his body in the Sept. 1 fire southwest of town. He was flown from the scene to Harborview.
As of Monday, Sept. 30, he was listed in critical condition. He has had several grafting surgeries.
Johnson is expected to spend two to three months in the intensive care unit, according to Okanogan County Emergency Management.
The incident in which Johnson was injured and the fire’s origin are under investigation by the state Department of Natural Resources and Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office.
The investigation is continuing, said Janet Pearce, spokeswoman for DNR.
Johnson, a 20-year veteran of the Okanogan Fire Department, also serves as building official for Okanogan, Tonasket and Oroville. He is retired from the Army and Washington National Guard. He was a sergeant in the Army and was deployed with the Guard to Iraq from November 2003 to May 2005.
His wife, Pam, works for the Okanogan County Treasurer’s Office.
Community members, firefighters and military nationwide, friends and family have rallied to help the Johnsons:
-A gofundme.com account, title Donations for Assistant Chief Christian Johnson, had raised $35,800 from 484 donors as of Monday. The goal was $15,000.
-An account for his benefit also has been set up at North Cascades Bank’s Okanogan branch.
-Omak Elks Lodge plans a spaghetti feed and auction for his benefit at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, at the lodge. Dinner is by donation, with the auction to follow. Larry Campbell will be the auctioneer.
Donations to the auction may be made by contacting Donna Dahlquist, 509-557-2192.
-Samaritan Riders plan a motorcycle ride from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, to benefit Johnson. The event starts in the Walmart parking lot, 902 Engh Road, Omak, and includes a poker run.
-Omak Volunteer Fire Department donated Friday proceeds from its Okanogan County Fair ice cream booth, plus donations from the public.
-Family and friends urge people to make blood donations in Johnson’s name through the American Red Cross.
Johnson cannot have visitors, but cards may be sent to Christian Johnson, c/o ICU Burn Unit Ninth Floor, 325 Ninth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104.