Skip to comments.19 Firefighters Working Yarnell Hill Fire Confirmed Dead (Arizona) (Update: 19 dead)
Posted on 06/30/2013 7:45:43 PM PDT by kristinn
Prescott Fire Department confirmed 19 firefighters have died while battling the Yarnell Hill fire on Sunday night. They're part of the Prescott Granite Mountain Hot Shots.
The wildfire was likely caused by a lightning strike Saturday night.
The Yarnell Hill fire, about 35 miles southwest of Prescott, has burned about 1,300 acres and forced the evacuation of 50 homes.
The fire started Friday and has not yet burned down any structures, but Sunday night firefighters pushed the blaze back away from communities, hoping to keep the blaze from overtaking any homes.
A growing fire in Yarnell forced about 600 residents from their homes.
(Excerpt) Read more at myfoxphoenix.com ...
Prayers for the brave.
Click on GeoMAC Viewer and then explore that window.
Prayers lifting, that the update is correct.
Many must have perished from the extreme heat.
Mann Gulch Fire 1949
Prayers for the families.
What an awful day.
RIP and thinking of their families...
They would be no better off if he were in country. Except for the cost, I’m glad he’s where he is.
Brother when you weep for me Remember that it was meant to be
Lay me down and when you leave Remember I'll be at your sleeve
In every dark and choking hall I'll be there as you slowly crawl
On every roof in driving snow I'll hold your coat and you will know
In cellars hot with searing heat At windows where a gate you meet
In closets where young children hide You know I'll be there at your side
The house from which I now respond Is overstaffed with hero's gone
Men who answered one last bell Did the job and did it well
As firemen we understand That death's a card dealt in our hands
A card we hope we never play But one we hold there anyway
That card is something we ignore As we crawl across a weakened floor
For we know that we're the only prayer For anyone that might be there
So remember as you wipe your tears The joy I know throughout the years
As I did the job I loved to do I pray that thought will see you through
Horrible. Prayers for their families.
Yorkie was the first person that came to mind since she lives so close.
Prayers for all of the families and for those fighting the fire.
Oh such loss...
Lots of families are hurting down there.
Prayers for their souls and those left behind...
“Lessons learned from the Mann Gulch fire had a great impact on firefighter training. However, some of the lessons were forgotten and the tragedy would be repeated in the South Canyon Fire of 1994, in which 14 firefighters died.”
Forest fire fighter deaths in a single fire due to the fire itself in double digits occur, but rarely. This total of 19 is the largest since before 1949.
1949 Montana Helena NF 13 deaths
1953 California Mendocino NF 15
1966 California Angeles NF 12
1994 Colorado Glenwood Springs 14
Yearly totals can be between 10- 30, but occur in 1s 2s or up to 8 at a time. It’s dangerous work.
Firefighting is always dangerous work..I have heard of firefighters dying in the line of duty but had never heard of a number that high, in one time..unreal..God Bless these brave men who battle these fires they are true heroes
I am in the far northwest corner of the Phoenix valley. Went up to Wickenburg and up 89 the back way into Prescott just before the Granite Mtn fire a few weeks ago. That route took me through the area burning today.
The back yard smells like smoke so the winds are pushing it this way.
This is a horrific loss to the local FD up there. Sounds like their whole wildfire team almost.
“Young Men and Fire” is the work that really let us understand this danger.
We stopped at the McDonalds at Cordes Junction (East of Prescott) today about 1:00 p.m. on our way home from Surprise. It was 107 degrees and very, very windy.
..can someone explain to me how so many firefighters can die in one time Ive never heard such a thing.
Only God knows, but I will make an effort. They take extraordinary risks that probably should not be taken. These wildfires are horrific and I have seen a few up close here in the Northwest. The speed and ferocity with which they move leaves little margin for error and they can change speed and turn on a dime. You have very little chance of survival if you get caught in one of these and these crews can only move as fast as they can run through difficult terrain. We had some perish here in Washington a few years ago from a very questionable decision by the crew supervisor who had questionable ability. I respect their bravery, but I question why we put men and women at such risks in the first place.
As more people build in the forest and live in the forest (I am one) there will be more structures burned. My house is not worth the life of a firefighter(s). I have insurance and I take practical steps to improve my property (as I am allowed) to lessen the risks, but I accept that risk by living here just as I believe people who live on the Florida coast should assume the risks of hurricanes as the cost of living there.
We would be much better served by employing these men and women to care for the forest by clearing fire breaks and periodically lowering the fuel load in the forest. An overgrown forest with a high fuel load is not always a “natural” thing because wildfires used to burn more often and they were left unchecked to clear the forests. It’s amazing how fast the forests recuperate too - see Glacier National Park for proof.
It’s time to rethink our strategy for forest and land management and a tragedy like this would be a good reason. I truly hope and pray this report is wrong, but if not I pray for the affected families and also pray something good will come out of such a tragedy.