Forest fires are one of the most spectacular destructive forces of nature. These infernos have the potential to wipe out wide swaths of land and disrupt entire ecosystems, and in this day and age they are largely caused by human interference. During such catastrophes, the wildlife is often shaken up to a good degree, and if Bigfoot exists, it would seem that they would not be above being scattered and pushed out by it all. According to some reports by firefighters this seems to be exactly the case, and here we will look at a selection of reports of Bigfoot seen on the fringes of blazes, by the people who fight them.

Our first report comes from the files of the Bigfoot Field Research Organization (BFRO), and allegedly occurred in 1993, in Snohomish County, Washington, in the United States. The witness claims to be a firefighter with a wildland firefighting crew with the US Forest Service, and at the time he was assigned to a place called Mt. Baker Snoqualmie NF. On July 22 of that year, the area was plagued with numerous lightning strikes, some of which were causing wildfires, and so the witness and his crew were called into action. They broke off into two groups in order to determine what areas were hit, and it was not long before he saw the telltale smoke of a fire in the Beckler River Road area. He and his partner geared up and began their climb up very rugged, steep, and rocky terrain, which was so choked with brush that it took them 3 hours to navigate and finally reach the fire.

They fought the blaze for a further 2 hours, managing to extinguish it, after which they decided to take a different route back down the mountainside. As they made their way slowly down the treacherous terrain, the witness says that his partner, Joe, dropped his shovel to send it careening around 100 feet down the slope to land on a rocky outcropping. The witness made to go retrieve it, and noticed a cave nearby, partially hidden by the brush and trees, from which belched forward an odiferous stench. He shone his flashlight within, but it was too dark to gage the size, and that wall of stench kept him from getting any closer. It was about this time that he says he was overcome by an “overall eerie feeling,” for reasons he could not quite figure out. It was then that he would have a truly bizarre experience, of which he says:

I yelled up to Joe that I had found a cave and it really stunk. He seemed to just want to keep heading back to the truck so he continued down the path we were on before I climbed down for the shovel. I was looking down the mountain to see how I was going to get down off the ledge and connect with the trail we were on before. As I was standing there, I saw out of the corner of my eye, a bowling ball-sized boulder came flying from over my head. It crashed and rolled into a ravine about 10 or 15 yards downhill from me. I yelled back up the hill to Joe, "Did you throw that!!?". When he said "No!!", I realized that he had already walked away from where he had been and was now way to the left of my location.


It was at that moment I realized that rock COULD NOT have been thrown by him, nor did it roll down the hill because I would have heard it crashing down from above me. I then looked back uphill from where the rock had come from just in time to see ANOTHER rock coming from above me. The second rock hit the ground more to the left and below me. I was visually scanning the area where the rock had come from when I heard movement in the brush. I crouched down and watched the area. I then saw a dark, hairy figure walking upright along the side of the mountain, away from me. It was always partially obscured by brush and trees so I couldn't really tell color or exact height, but I would guess about 7-9 ft. tall.


I watched it for a few seconds then yelled to Joe "I see it!", I think I said "I think it's a bigfoot!". As soon as I yelled that, I looked back up and it was dead still and silent. I felt like it stopped and hid when I yelled because I didn't see or hear anything else. At this point I really wanted to get out of there so I side-hilled over to Joe and we quickly descended back to our vehicle. We were both very freaked out and talked about it all the way back to the ranger station where we reported the incident to our wildlife biologist and other officials at the ranger district. I was later contacted by someone at the U of W who wanted to interview me and have me take him to the site. I moved from the area shortly afterwards and I never took him there. Which is why I'm submitting this report. I want people to know my story.

What was going on here? Even more spectacular than this account is one that was also covered by the BFRO and supposedly occurred in 1999. The anonymous witness, a government firefighter, claimed that on August 6, 1999, an area of Battle Mountain, Nevada, was hit by several bush fires that would soon spin out of control to become what is now known as the Battle Mountain Complex Fire. As they made their way through the charred hellscape, the witness claims that they came across an apparently injured figure that they at first from a distance thought to be another firefighter, but which quickly proved to be anything but, and the witness says in the report:

I observed an animal wounded by fire moving on all fours not like a bear. More like ape. Fire fighters captured animal, contacted local vet and medical doctor. U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife, Department of Interior, and Bureau of Land Management on the scene. Animal tranquilized and moved to unknown location. Those at scene told not to talk about what they saw.


Animal approximately 7.5 feet long/tall, human like arms and legs, face not like man or ape but mixed between. Genitalia: male, uncircumcised and human-like. Hair covering most of body except chest, chest has hair but sparse, hands with sparse hair, palms bare, with five digits with human opposition of thumb and 5th digit. Speech - attempted to communicate with care-givers once it realized they were attempting to care for it. Multiple burns on hands, feet, legs and body; some 2nd and 3rd degree burns, using "rule of nines" approximately 45 per cent of body with burns.


Doctor and Vet working together providing care and moved it to unknown location locally. This notice given in violation of orders given by BLM, DOI and DF&W. Witnesses numbered in the area of 30-25. Word is out in the government agencies, and among the firefighters, since an M.D. was called out. Many thought a firefighter was injured. Please note that I am a government employee of one of the listed agencies fighting brush fire in wilderness area of Nevada (large scale fire approximately 70,000 acres burned) and under orders not to disclose information. I believe a cover up is in the making, people need to know, the animal needs to be kept alive and studied and released in protected area.

Considering how dramatic and incredible this report was, the BFRO at first looked at it with raised eyebrows and considered that it might be a hoax, but researcher Thom Powell believed it to be true and followed up on it to not only confirm that the fire had indeed happened, spreading to 180,000 acres and enlisting over 600 firefighters to battle it, but also managing to get into contact with the original witness, who he calls “Marty,” and who gave him further, more detailed information, including that there were 20 other witnesses to the strange event. He also provided a detailed, rather incredible description of the capture and treatment o the apparent Bigfoot, and Powell would write in his report:

The incident happened in the early afternoon. About 20 fire fighters were directly involved. The injured patient apparently wandered within sight of the fire crew, and was then surrounded. The patient "seemed to know that he was captured", because he soon gave up. Marty mentioned this several times - "he just gave up". The patient sat down on his buttocks, giving no evidence of a will to resist. "Like a dog gives up, and then you can do anything with it". The patient was laid out on the ground at first. His injuries were rather serious, including burns to the hands, feet, legs, and trunk, as well as much singed hair.


It didn't take long for medical services to get to the scene. The attending medical team included the regular M.D. for the fire crews, a vet that Marty didn't recognize, and one or more paramedics. The vet was taken aback at working on a creature so human-like, and he is reported to have allowed the physician to do most of the work. At some point Demerol and morphine were administered. The patient was placed on a spine board, which was too small. He was then placed on a regular ambulance stretcher. The sides were left down because part of the body hung over too far. The feet hung off the end.


A cut-down was performed to obtain an intravenous line, and fluids were administered. During the treatment of his wounds and the efforts at life support, the patient communicated with moans, groans and grumbling. Bowel sounds were heard by Marty, who was as close as three feet from the patient. No language-like vocalizations were heard. The patient responded to touch: specifically patting and stroking to calm him ("You're not going to find an ape or a monkey responding the same way"). Two or three times Marty mentioned that the patient was especially responsive to a young Native American woman who started ministering to him right from the very beginning.


The patient was removed from the scene in the back of a utility truck, not in an ambulance. Marty said an ambulance would have alerted townsfolk and possibly news reporters, thinking that a fire fighter had been injured. No one would follow a nondescript van. The total time from initial sighting to extraction was estimated at three hours. There was no urination, defecation, or vomit at the scene. The patient did not eat anything during that time. Serum and blood were leaking from the burned areas of the body.


The area of the arm on which the cut-down was performed was shaved. The hair probably fell to the ground. There was significant blood from the cut-down site and from the subsequent insertion of a venous line, and some of that blood dripped to the ground. No one knows where the patient was taken. No video cameras were on the scene to film any aspect of the incident. The fire commander was present. He had a camera, and he did record what he saw. The patient is described as being about seven feet tall - "Give or take a few inches". Marty does not give a weight estimate. Most of the body is covered by brownish hair about two inches in length; no gray hairs are evident. There are no mats noted on the coat. There is an odor about the patient. It is not an especially obnoxious odor. Marty calls it a "natural" odor, but he had a hard time describing it. He said it is similar to a strong equine odor. The head is not "sloped", the forehead is "heavy boned", the lips large, but human-like, the ears human-like and tight to the head, with the ear lobe attached, not dangling.


The patient is "strong jawed". He could not remember the color of the eyes, but thought they might be brown. The head is about two times the size of a human head. There is hair on the face, but not on the palms or soles of the feet. There is great bulk to the patient, but there is no fat. He said hos observations of the form of the body did not match with "that film with the one running into the woods", and he called that film a probable hoax. The hands are about 1.5 times a human hand; five fingers with opposable thumb. The fingernails are thicker and heavier, and one was chipped. The feet are large; five ties on each foot; no evidence of fractures, injuries, arthritis, or deformation. The sexual features are those of an uncircumcised male, matching the human anatomy. Marty made the comment several times that these are not monkey or ape features. He felt he was in the presence of a very human creature.

Powell asked the witness to return to the scene to see if he could collect any physical samples such as blood or hair, but when he did it would turn out that the entire area had been completely bulldozed, possibly to hide just such evidence. This was met with suspicion by the BFRO, as it seemed a bit too convenient that “Marty” couldn’t provide any evidence for what he was claiming, but Powell remained convinced of the veracity of the story. The witness would later claim to him that the creature had been moved to “a university or some hospital that was not disclosed,” and Powell would come away from it all saying, “I am left with two inescapable conclusions: First, bigfoots do exist and second, the government does not want us to know it. The big question that remains in my mind is: Why?”

Was there really a Bigfoot injured in a fire out at Battle Mountain, Nevada, and if so where did it go? We will probably never know for sure. Finally, we have a report from Oregon Bigfoot, which purportedly happened in September of 2011 near White City, Jackson County, Oregon. The witness describes himself as a wildland firefighter who was at the time at a place called Dead Indian Mountain fighting a bush fire. At one point they stopped near the fire line to have a bite to eat, and that was when they heard a very deliberate banging sound that sounded like someone bashing together pieces of wood. These noises would seemingly follow them around, and appeared to sometimes get very close to their position, which was all not a little unsettling, especially since they could not determine what was creating the commotion. They put it out of their mind and focused on battling the fire, and then the witness saw something truly outlandish up the hill in the brush. He says:

There were multiple sets of eyes that flashed at us as they moved about 60 feet in nothing flat. I’d say they were about 100 feet or less form the unburned brush. I’m 6’3” and it was easy to see that one of them was taller than me by the glow of the eyes. I only saw a blur of color as they moved, but when they stopped the other eyes disappeared and I was left looking at one set squatted down low to the ground. We began making noise and I beat my shovel against a Polanski I was carrying for the sawyer and we began walking towards the one set of eyes. They glowed kinda yellowish green and they were fixated on me. Some of the other guys saw them too as I moved in but I got about 40 or 50 feet from it maybe closer I realized they weren’t going to run. We were aware of each other, it looked right into my eyes but it was almost shapeless black, no silhouette just the eyes looking at me.


I decided to back off, and our boss said to line it up there are animals in the woods and for everyone to calm down because it was quickly turning into a state of chaos and people were getting scared. So we lined up and marched out and didn’t see any more eyes that night.  As the night turned to day, we were all the way up at the top division alpha where we had lost a containment line and the fire burned the green. As we gridded it we found what looked like a human sized and shaped footprint over the top of the boot prints. I’ll never forget those eyes staring at me like “I know you’re here, you know I’m here, if you want to make something of it I will.” Some of us got the impression it was protecting the others by staring us down. I’m glad I didn’t get closer.

These are strange reports to be sure, and one wonders what to think of them all. Is there anything to it, or is this all hoaxes and the work of the imagination? It does seem that firefighters are in a position to see such strange things, and fires have a way of stirring up the wildlife of an area, so maybe there is something to be gleaned from this all. In the end, who really knows? Such reports are hard to corroborate, and they mostly get files in with all the others, none of it proof, but all very compelling all the same. Perhaps one day we will know the answers to such mysteries, but for now such accounts orbit about us, just out of our reach of answers or closure.

Brent Swancer

Brent Swancer is an author and crypto expert living in Japan. Biology, nature, and cryptozoology still remain Brent Swancer’s first intellectual loves. He's written articles for MU and Daily Grail and has been a guest on Coast to Coast AM and Binnal of America.

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