A young boy died alongside his dog in the Oregon wildfires – NBC News

A young boy died alongside his dog in the Oregon wildfires – NBC News

A 12-year-old boy was found dead Wednesday alongside his dog after wildfires swept through towns near Lyons, Oregon.

The boy, Wyatte Tofte, reportedly ran from his home as flames approached. His body was found next to his dog’s body after the fire had burned through the area.

Wyatte’s grandmother, Peggy Mosso, also died in the fire Wednesday.

The boy’s mother, Angela Mosso, is in an intensive care unit after suffering severe burns.

Wyatte’s father, Christopher Tofte, confirmed the deaths to NBC affiliate KKGW. Lonnie Bertalotto, Wyatte’s uncle and Peggy’s son, also confirmed the deaths in a post on Facebook late Wednesday.

“Don’t take anything in life for granted and make the best of everyday,” Bertalotto wrote.

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Wyatt Tofte, 12.Courtesy Tofte family

Wyatte was the great-grandson of Roger Tofte, the creator of Oregon fantasy theme park The Enchanted Forest, where according to its website three generations of the Tofte family worked before the fire.

In a post on Facebook, the Enchanted Forest confirmed the deaths and wrote that Wyatte was “loved and adored by all of his family and friends” and said Peggy was “a loved and important member of our extended family.”

“We ask for privacy and love right now,” the park’s post said.

“I can say personally, and on behalf of all our first responders, our hearts go out to the family,” Marion County Sheriff Joe Kast told NBC News affiliate KKGW, saying their investigation into the deaths is “ongoing.”

According to the U.S. Incident Information System, an interagency information portal, the Santiam Fire that killed Tofte and Mosso started on August 16 about six miles north of Detroit, Oregon in the Opal Creek Wilderness.

Its growth was fed by the Beachie Creek Fire and “a series of small fires largely caused by downed power lines and other ignition sources throughout the area.” It has since merged into the Lionshead fire east of the Detroit Lake.

The Lionshead Fire began late Sunday after lightning struck on the land of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation.

Katy O’Hara, a spokesperson for Pacific Northwest Incident Management Team 3, the interagency federal team fighting the Lionshead fire, said extremely low visibility had impeded fire response on Wednesday.

“Crews continued aggressively working to strengthen lines of the fire on the eastern side of the cascades on the Warm Springs Reservation in preparation for the predicted westerly wind shift forecasted for later this afternoon,” O’Hara wrote Thursday.

A spokesperson for Oregon Gov. Kate Brown did not immediately respond to a NBC News request for comment.

Image: Tim FitzsimonsTim Fitzsimons

Tim Fitzsimons reports on LGBTQ news for NBC Out. 

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