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Official: 18 firefighters dead in Arizona

mike2810

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Official: 19 firefighters dead in Arizona - CNN.com

Eighteen firefighters battling a blaze in Arizona who were unaccounted for Sunday night have been confirmed dead, said Wade Ward with the Prescott Fire Department. All were members of that city's fire department. It was not immediately clear how they died. Earlier, an official with the Arizona State Forestry Division had said that as many as 19 were still missing. The crew was fighting the Yarnell Hill fire, which broke out Friday northwest of Phoenix. The fire has grown to 1,000 acres, damaged three homes and forced the evacuations of residents in the communities of Peeples Valley and Yarnell, forestry official Art Morrison said. The blaze is believed to have been started by lightning.

A very tragic day for the wildland firefighting community. 18 dead from the Yarnell Hill fire. There may be more injured or fatalities as news comes in. The TV just had an announcement that as many as 250 homes/buildings lost. Yarnell's economy is based on ranching, mining and services to travelers and retirees. Peeples Valley three miles north, is closely linked to Yarnell. There is about 640 people within Yarnell.

I retired from the wildland fire community after 30 years of service. this is one of the most tragic days that I can remember. I can only hope the families and friends find comfort through their believes. These firefighters died trying to protect the natural resources and the town.
 

DA60

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Wow - 18?!?

Brave profession.

Very tragic.
 

mike2810

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Seems the fire blew up and trapped them. Wind shifts, extreme temps 100+, and the vegetation(fuels) are extremely dry.

This tragic event will be investigated to determine why the firefighters became trapped. This is worse than South Canyon fire in Colorado many years ago where we lost firefighters.

I would expect more news will be out later tonight or monday am.
 

nota bene

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Terrible news. Terrible year for the firefighting community.
 

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When you break out that fire shelter tent it is your only resort left. They have improved the quality of the fire shelter tent over the years but it can only protect you for so long.

What a horrible death these firefighters met. This is the biggest firefighter tradegy that I know of. I am so sorry.
 

Fisher

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Horrible. Made me think of the Mann Gulch fire I read a book about a few years back, but worse.
 
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Sad ... I wonder what went wrong ... I guess we'll know more in the days or weeks to come ... I hope lack of funds and poor training had nothing to do with it ... this is going to be so hard for their families ...
 

mike2810

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When you break out that fire shelter tent it is your only resort left. They have improved the quality of the fire shelter tent over the years but it can only protect you for so long.

What a horrible death these firefighters met. This is the biggest firefighter tradegy that I know of. I am so sorry.

your right, the shelter has improved. yet it will not protect against direct flame contact.

A very sad day. May God provide comfort the families.
 

mike2810

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Sad ... I wonder what went wrong ... I guess we'll know more in the days or weeks to come ... I hope lack of funds and poor training had nothing to do with it ... this is going to be so hard for their families ...

I doubt if it was lack of training or funds. My guess is very critical fuel conditions, extreme fire weather, and a unexpected shift in winds with the fire blowing up.
 

Jredbaron96

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Sad day. My heart goes out to the families.
 
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I doubt if it was lack of training or funds. My guess is very critical fuel conditions, extreme fire weather, and a unexpected shift in winds with the fire blowing up.

hope you're right, but either way, it's tragic and it should help to remind us of all the folks who put their lives on the line for us, and how we are all connected to one another, dependent on one another, regardless of ideology ... I hope there's money out there to help the families ...
 

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Here's some more information -

Who They Were: The ‘Granite Mountain Hotshots’ – 19 Brave Souls Who Perished in Arizona Fire | Stand With Arizona

May God's grace ease the burden for the families of these fine men.

Thanks for the link. It shows a group picture of the 19 members of that hotshot team. They look like an atheletic team.

The video even shows them practicing with the fire shelter tents they each have on them.

I had an uncle who was a forest firefighter in Calif and he often told about the speed a fire can move.

I just can't believe not a single one survived it.
 
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