I just saw this as breaking news on twitter I Could not believe it..can someone explain to me how so many firefighters can die in one time Ive never heard such a thing..such a horrible tragedy God bless these brave firefighters
If I was to guess I'd say probably heavy winds shifted directions. Maybe the fire jumped a ridge and cut them off.
Many must have perished from the extreme heat.
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.
..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.
In Worcester MA 6 were were killed fighting a abandoned building fire. They got lost and ran out of air, along with crews sent in to look for them. Not sure how so many were jilted igniting a wild fire, unless they got trapped.
switched direction on them too fast to make a safe zone around them, not enough oxygen in the air around them, mixed up in their surroundings,...
Back in the late 50s/early 60s they had something similar happen in a place called Mann Gulch (I believe in Montana). A group of firefighters was caught on a grass-covered hill by a wildfire. Their senior guy survived when he lit a small fire in the grass then lay down in the burnt-out section (and the wildfire passed around him); he was slightly burned but OK. The remainder tried to out run it up the hill, and wouldn’t drop their equipment (which slowed them down). Those that didn’t die immediately died within the next few days; I believe it was 17 of them.