Wildfire survivor returns home

Justin Knutsen, 33, says he is making plans to rebuild in his Spokane County community.

Media Contact: Susan Gregg, sghanson@uw.edu, 206-390-3226

Justin Knutsen recently returned to his home community after receiving care for second-degree burns sustained in the Oregon Road Fire in Spokane County. He was discharged from the Regional Burn Center at Harborview Medical Center, where treatments included a skin graft to his left arm.

“As long as he's able to do his therapy, I anticipate a full recovery to the point where he'll be back doing exactly what he was doing on the course of a couple weeks to a month,” said Dr. Dylan Jason, a UW Medicine surgeon and member of Knutsen’s care team.

Knutsen’s home and several neighboring residences were destroyed in the fire in early September. He hopes to help lead his community's efforts to rebound from the disaster.

“I really want to help everybody who lost their homes in the fire,” Knutsen said. “I'm a construction worker. I own my own construction business and so (do) a couple of my friends. I'm just excited to get together with them and start rebuilding the whole community.”

Download broadcast-ready soundbites with Knutsen and Dr. Jason.

Related: Wildfire survivor speaks from hospital bed 

UW Medicine