Authorities say a firefighter from Oregon removing hazardous trees from the Missionary Ridge fire was killed when a live tree fell on him.
A preliminary investigation indicates 51-year-old Alan Wyatt was looking another direction when the tree fell on him Tuesday. It was Wyatt's first day on the fire lines.
An autopsy will be performed Wednesday. Investigators are expected on scene to determine what went wrong.
Wyatt was part of a four-member private contracting team out of Ontario, Oregon. His crew members have the option of going home. Counseling is available for other firefighters.
Wyatt is at least the ninth firefighter to die in the line of duty nationwide this season and the sixth to die in Colorado.
The Missionary Ridge fire has burned more than 72,000 acres north of Durango and is 55 percent contained.