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(My Fox Phoenix)   18 Firefighters confirmed dead battling Arizona wildfire (article updated)   (myfoxphoenix.com) divider line 341
    More: News, Yarnell Hill, Tonto National Forest, Wildfires in Arizona  
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8421 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Jun 2013 at 11:20 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-01 01:51:09 AM  

wakitu: [farm3.staticflickr.com image 640x480]

We have watched plenty of helicopters dipping into the lake - always a thrill - and have a great team of
Hot Shots up the hill...but watching the Coulson tanker was incredible. Loved having the Hawaii Mars on
Lake Elsinore in '07 - and such a feeling of security! She fought a lot of fires that year, and you always
knew when she was taking off. Awesome.

[farm3.staticflickr.com image 640x480]


Great documentary on them. Mighty Planes on Smithsonian. They where flying to the Texas/Mexico boarder. Lake Elsinore Was the only lake they could land at on the way. There are only 2 planes left. The rest are used for parts.
 
2013-07-01 01:52:49 AM  

Whistling Kitty Chaser: I'm on a fire northwest of there. There's no report out yet, but I'm guessing that the same thunderstorm downdrafts that drove our guys off the hill are what killed them.

Situational awareness and LCES should have saved them, though. This is a shiatty day for the fire community.


Are you on the Hualapai Mountain fire? If so, let me know if you need anything, I'm about 10 minutes drive away. EIP.
 
2013-07-01 01:52:58 AM  
*you
 
2013-07-01 01:54:30 AM  

Infernalist: From my admittedly limited understanding, forest fires are both natural and important to the environment in that part of the country, and yet they're actively suppressed?

And then when fires do happen due to drought, bad things happen due to an abundance of old wood and brush that normally would have been burned off in a small fire every other year or so...

Or am I reading the situation wrong?


Up until 10 years ago or so, that was the case.

Now they try to just contain the fires as best they can while keeping structures safe and avoiding letting them become unmanageable. They do controlled burns when conditions aren't so explosive in order to keep too much fuel from accumulating on the forest floor, and there's an effort to thin the trees back to their natural density of a couple dozen per acre instead of the hundreds per acre we see as a result of decades of absolute suppression.
 
2013-07-01 01:55:23 AM  
Reichling said the 19 firefighters were found in an area that also had 19 fire shelters deployed. Some of the firefighters were inside a shelter, which is typically used as a last resort to withstand the fire as it blows over. Some of the crew members were found outside the shelters.

Well that answers the shelter question.

http://www.azcentral.com/news/arizona/articles/20130630crews-fightin g- small-fires-around-Arizona.html?nclick_check=1
 
2013-07-01 01:59:05 AM  

doglover: thisisyourbrainonFark: studebaker hoch: This is a forest fire

0:00 start of video showing arrival of radiant heat pulse from fire behind camera.
0:17 First flame appears on forest floor.  Area ignition, similar to flashover, begins.
0:40 Fire hits peak heat of 850 degrees C and begins to cool.
1:35 direct sunlight on the forest floor, the fire has passed through.

A minute and a half, start to finish.

A man would have been dead in fifteen seconds.

That is ... sobering.

Yeah.

All the assholes here saying "Who do we blame!?" really have to watch this on a loop until they get it.

18 guys can easily be incinerated or suffocated by a forest fire with a little gust of wind behind it, even if they do everything right. Fire's awesome, as in that it's worthy of awe, and terrible.


The most amazing thing is when the fires get into the canopy. The tops of the trees explode and burning pitch and wood just flies everywhere, setting another set of trees on fire. And on and on. The fires get so big they have their own weather system. Just amazing.
 
2013-07-01 01:59:32 AM  
I have friends on the department.  The fire suddenly backtracked on them.  They didn't have time to run, so they tried to get in their fire shelters and it overtook them.  Fark folks, this is NOT the time to be criticizing how these brave men and women did their jobs.  I went to school with many of them, and taught EMT classes.  Good people died today doing their jobs.  Praise them for their bravery, and pray for the ones left behind.
 
2013-07-01 02:00:22 AM  

WippitGuud: What is a "hotshot crew"


They are considered elite among wildland fire crews, they're kind of like the special forces of fighting a wildfire.  They have some of the highest physical standards and training because they go to where it might take some very quick and dangerous work to halt a fires progress.
 
2013-07-01 02:00:55 AM  

nullptr: //also a smokey bear commercial is on WLS 890 AM right now =|


late night WLS, once caught it about 250 miles from Chicago, and I know it can reach further.
 
2013-07-01 02:01:55 AM  
The valley of the shadow of death
 
2013-07-01 02:06:36 AM  

JesseL: Infernalist: From my admittedly limited understanding, forest fires are both natural and important to the environment in that part of the country, and yet they're actively suppressed?

And then when fires do happen due to drought, bad things happen due to an abundance of old wood and brush that normally would have been burned off in a small fire every other year or so...

Or am I reading the situation wrong?

Up until 10 years ago or so, that was the case.

Now they try to just contain the fires as best they can while keeping structures safe and avoiding letting them become unmanageable. They do controlled burns when conditions aren't so explosive in order to keep too much fuel from accumulating on the forest floor, and there's an effort to thin the trees back to their natural density of a couple dozen per acre instead of the hundreds per acre we see as a result of decades of absolute suppression.


Well, good on them, then.  I'm guessing the new system works better, so what exactly went wrong here?

Wrong place, wrong time?
 
2013-07-01 02:08:46 AM  

TheShavingofOccam123: doglover: thisisyourbrainonFark: studebaker hoch: This is a forest fire

0:00 start of video showing arrival of radiant heat pulse from fire behind camera.
0:17 First flame appears on forest floor.  Area ignition, similar to flashover, begins.
0:40 Fire hits peak heat of 850 degrees C and begins to cool.
1:35 direct sunlight on the forest floor, the fire has passed through.

A minute and a half, start to finish.

A man would have been dead in fifteen seconds.

That is ... sobering.

Yeah.

All the assholes here saying "Who do we blame!?" really have to watch this on a loop until they get it.

18 guys can easily be incinerated or suffocated by a forest fire with a little gust of wind behind it, even if they do everything right. Fire's awesome, as in that it's worthy of awe, and terrible.

The most amazing thing is when the fires get into the canopy. The tops of the trees explode and burning pitch and wood just flies everywhere, setting another set of trees on fire. And on and on. The fires get so big they have their own weather system. Just amazing.


Call it "crowning" we really didn't see too much of that from my position reporting on Black Forest, didn't realize how bad that got until the sheriff gave the first estimate of homes lost.  People really don't realize that these things aren't grass fires, Waldo Canyon swept into Colorado Springs moving 60 mph at one point with flames 60 feet in the air.
 
2013-07-01 02:09:48 AM  

Infernalist: JesseL: Infernalist: From my admittedly limited understanding, forest fires are both natural and important to the environment in that part of the country, and yet they're actively suppressed?

And then when fires do happen due to drought, bad things happen due to an abundance of old wood and brush that normally would have been burned off in a small fire every other year or so...

Or am I reading the situation wrong?

Up until 10 years ago or so, that was the case.

Now they try to just contain the fires as best they can while keeping structures safe and avoiding letting them become unmanageable. They do controlled burns when conditions aren't so explosive in order to keep too much fuel from accumulating on the forest floor, and there's an effort to thin the trees back to their natural density of a couple dozen per acre instead of the hundreds per acre we see as a result of decades of absolute suppression.

Well, good on them, then.  I'm guessing the new system works better, so what exactly went wrong here?

Wrong place, wrong time?


The wind suddenly picked up and changed direction due to a thunderstorm that popped up to the north east of the fire, so the fire flared up hugely and moved in on the hotshots from a new direction.

I live about 30 miles east of the fire and the wind around that time was gusting 30-40 mph.
 
2013-07-01 02:10:54 AM  

UNAUTHORIZED FINGER: Whistling Kitty Chaser: I'm on a fire northwest of there. There's no report out yet, but I'm guessing that the same thunderstorm downdrafts that drove our guys off the hill are what killed them.

Situational awareness and LCES should have saved them, though. This is a shiatty day for the fire community.

Are you on the Hualapai Mountain fire? If so, let me know if you need anything, I'm about 10 minutes drive away. EIP.


Yeah, that's the fire I'm on. Dean Peak. I'm pretty set, but I owe you a beer for the sponsorship a couple of months back.
 
2013-07-01 02:11:57 AM  

Infernalist: JesseL: Infernalist: From my admittedly limited understanding, forest fires are both natural and important to the environment in that part of the country, and yet they're actively suppressed?

And then when fires do happen due to drought, bad things happen due to an abundance of old wood and brush that normally would have been burned off in a small fire every other year or so...

Or am I reading the situation wrong?

Up until 10 years ago or so, that was the case.

Now they try to just contain the fires as best they can while keeping structures safe and avoiding letting them become unmanageable. They do controlled burns when conditions aren't so explosive in order to keep too much fuel from accumulating on the forest floor, and there's an effort to thin the trees back to their natural density of a couple dozen per acre instead of the hundreds per acre we see as a result of decades of absolute suppression.

Well, good on them, then.  I'm guessing the new system works better, so what exactly went wrong here?

Wrong place, wrong time?


Man vs. Nature. Man sometimes loses.
 
2013-07-01 02:23:18 AM  

JesseL: Infernalist: From my admittedly limited understanding, forest fires are both natural and important to the environment in that part of the country, and yet they're actively suppressed?

And then when fires do happen due to drought, bad things happen due to an abundance of old wood and brush that normally would have been burned off in a small fire every other year or so...

Or am I reading the situation wrong?

Up until 10 years ago or so, that was the case.

Now they try to just contain the fires as best they can while keeping structures safe and avoiding letting them become unmanageable. They do controlled burns when conditions aren't so explosive in order to keep too much fuel from accumulating on the forest floor, and there's an effort to thin the trees back to their natural density of a couple dozen per acre instead of the hundreds per acre we see as a result of decades of absolute suppression.


There is the added wrinkle from invasive species destruction of trees.  Bark beattles from China invaded the US years ago and have been fairly quickly killing numerous trees of various types.  This extra tree death leaves large strands of ready tinder so any fires that do break out in these ares have massive growth potential.  Live trees can resist smaller fires but dead trees are just a large fuel source to make a small fire blow up.  The costs involved with preemptively removing these dead trees means only the ones closest to structures or particularly dangerous are removed and the problem continues to grow as the beattles eat their way through forest after forest.
 
2013-07-01 02:23:25 AM  

Whistling Kitty Chaser: UNAUTHORIZED FINGER: Whistling Kitty Chaser: I'm on a fire northwest of there. There's no report out yet, but I'm guessing that the same thunderstorm downdrafts that drove our guys off the hill are what killed them.

Situational awareness and LCES should have saved them, though. This is a shiatty day for the fire community.

Are you on the Hualapai Mountain fire? If so, let me know if you need anything, I'm about 10 minutes drive away. EIP.

Yeah, that's the fire I'm on. Dean Peak. I'm pretty set, but I owe you a beer for the sponsorship a couple of months back.


I've been watching it from my front yard. Stay safe, and I'll consider us even. Shout out if you need anything.
 
2013-07-01 02:23:50 AM  

Infernalist: From my admittedly limited understanding, forest fires are both natural and important to the environment in that part of the country, and yet they're actively suppressed?

And then when fires do happen due to drought, bad things happen due to an abundance of old wood and brush that normally would have been burned off in a small fire every other year or so...

Or am I reading the situation wrong?


Arizona wildfires have never been shown to have been caused by illegal immigrants, despite the Arizona political leadership's best efforts to convince us that Mexicans, not years of hot dry weather and lightning strikes, incinerate our fair nation.

I don't like to imagine the last moments of these firefighters' lives. Last month, when my own state burned and half a thousand homes reduced to ashes I tried to think of my neighbors whose homes and stuff were capriciously incinerated while some of their neighbors were spared.

But mostly I thought about the miserable days of the volunteers in full firefighting gear hauling ass along the one-lane roads and driveways of the prestigious ultra-libertarian Black Forest suburb of anti-tax Colorado Springs fighting tooth-and-nail for the idiotically cedar-shake-shingled homes of their well-to-do entitled yet unquestioned charges, in 100-degree heat and shifting hot high winds.

But these people in Arizona deserve our highest national honors, like the fourteen young heroes who suffocated under their fire-shelters on Storm King Mountain

Or the fifteen trained and experienced firefighters who perished running for their lives at the Rattlesnake Fire.
 
TWX
2013-07-01 02:26:34 AM  
And to think that the state legislature legalized fireworks a couple of years ago...

I know, it's unlikely fireworks started this particular fire, but launching flaming things designed to burn brightly in the open air in a tinderbox of a state is a stupid idea.
 
2013-07-01 02:29:32 AM  

BuckTurgidson: Infernalist: From my admittedly limited understanding, forest fires are both natural and important to the environment in that part of the country, and yet they're actively suppressed?

And then when fires do happen due to drought, bad things happen due to an abundance of old wood and brush that normally would have been burned off in a small fire every other year or so...

Or am I reading the situation wrong?

Arizona wildfires have never been shown to have been caused by illegal immigrants, despite the Arizona political leadership's best efforts to convince us that Mexicans, not years of hot dry weather and lightning strikes, incinerate our fair nation.

I don't like to imagine the last moments of these firefighters' lives. Last month, when my own state burned and half a thousand homes reduced to ashes I tried to think of my neighbors whose homes and stuff were capriciously incinerated while some of their neighbors were spared.

But mostly I thought about the miserable days of the volunteers in full firefighting gear hauling ass along the one-lane roads and driveways of the prestigious ultra-libertarian Black Forest suburb of anti-tax Colorado Springs fighting tooth-and-nail for the idiotically cedar-shake-shingled homes of their well-to-do entitled yet unquestioned charges, in 100-degree heat and shifting hot high winds.

But these people in Arizona deserve our highest national honors, like the fourteen young heroes who suffocated under their fire-shelters on Storm King Mountain

Or the fifteen trained and experienced firefighters who perished running for their lives at the Rattlesnake Fire.


I sent you an e-mail about an hour ago. You're absolutely right.
 
2013-07-01 02:30:32 AM  

TWX: And to think that the state legislature legalized fireworks a couple of years ago...

I know, it's unlikely fireworks started this particular fire, but launching flaming things designed to burn brightly in the open air in a tinderbox of a state is a stupid idea.


It's very unlikely that fireworks had anything to do with this fire. The article stated the fire was caused by lightning.
 
2013-07-01 02:37:51 AM  
I was a volunteer firefighter in the early 80's in southern Yosemite.   One small pumper truck and one ambulance (~'72 Olds hearse-style).  That truck carried maybe 30-60 seconds of water.  All my life's work put together wouldn't amount to the total level of energy I had to put into just training for fighting a forest fire.  Making firelines and practicing fighting fires with just a shovel was hardest physical work ever.  And I never got to deal with a real fire, only little staged ones.  I can't imagine the long-term efforts anyone on those front lines in this weather have to endure.  Fires are a fast, tricky demon, and sadly we were reminded of that today.  RIP guys.  :(
 
2013-07-01 02:38:47 AM  
 
2013-07-01 03:06:29 AM  

Bathia_Mapes: TWX: And to think that the state legislature legalized fireworks a couple of years ago...

I know, it's unlikely fireworks started this particular fire, but launching flaming things designed to burn brightly in the open air in a tinderbox of a state is a stupid idea.

It's very unlikely that fireworks had anything to do with this fire. The article stated the fire was caused by lightning.


I just hope things get doused before the 4th.
 
2013-07-01 03:09:12 AM  

violentsalvation: Bathia_Mapes: TWX: And to think that the state legislature legalized fireworks a couple of years ago...

I know, it's unlikely fireworks started this particular fire, but launching flaming things designed to burn brightly in the open air in a tinderbox of a state is a stupid idea.

It's very unlikely that fireworks had anything to do with this fire. The article stated the fire was caused by lightning.

I just hope things get doused before the 4th.


Even if they do (please, gods, let this fire be extinguished quickly with no further loss of life!), this would likely be a good year to find some way other than fireworks to celebrate the 4th.
 
2013-07-01 03:15:21 AM  
thisdaydreamer:

...  this would likely be a good year to find some way other than fireworks to celebrate the 4th.

fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net
 
2013-07-01 03:19:03 AM  

violentsalvation: Bathia_Mapes: TWX: And to think that the state legislature legalized fireworks a couple of years ago...

I know, it's unlikely fireworks started this particular fire, but launching flaming things designed to burn brightly in the open air in a tinderbox of a state is a stupid idea.

It's very unlikely that fireworks had anything to do with this fire. The article stated the fire was caused by lightning.

I just hope things get doused before the 4th.


thisdaydreamer: violentsalvation: Bathia_Mapes: TWX: And to think that the state legislature legalized fireworks a couple of years ago...

I know, it's unlikely fireworks started this particular fire, but launching flaming things designed to burn brightly in the open air in a tinderbox of a state is a stupid idea.

It's very unlikely that fireworks had anything to do with this fire. The article stated the fire was caused by lightning.

I just hope things get doused before the 4th.

Even if they do (please, gods, let this fire be extinguished quickly with no further loss of life!), this would likely be a good year to find some way other than fireworks to celebrate the 4th.


Agreed to both.
 
2013-07-01 03:34:27 AM  
crm114

Call it "crowning" we really didn't see too much of that from my position reporting on Black Forest, didn't realize how bad that got until the sheriff gave the first estimate of homes lost. People really don't realize that these things aren't grass fires, Waldo Canyon swept into Colorado Springs moving 60 mph at one point with flames 60 feet in the air.

A running crown fire cannot be stopped by man

Nothing to do but get out of the way.
 
2013-07-01 03:38:23 AM  
 
2013-07-01 03:49:15 AM  

studebaker hoch: Fifteen hundred acres, zero percent contained


Reporter Katy is kinda hot, and not just from the fire.
 
2013-07-01 03:51:04 AM  
Shoot the fire with a cannon
 
2013-07-01 03:58:59 AM  

BarkingUnicorn: IDK if this has been posted already:


Who They Were: The 'Granite Mountain Hotshots' - 19 Brave Souls Who Perished in Arizona Fire [standwitharizona.com image 550x297]


I can't stop crying and this picture doesn't help.

RIP, Granite Mountain Hotshots. If you look up "hero" in the dictionary, this picture should be right there.
 
2013-07-01 04:22:12 AM  
I don't have many "heroes" in life, but the people who run towards a dangerous situation when everyone else is running away are amazing to me. I can't imagine having the courage to put myself at risk of such a horrifying end as these folks endured. If there's any justice in this life, we'll at least learn something in either technique or technology from this that will save some other crew's lives someday.
 
2013-07-01 04:42:14 AM  
fark fark fark fark.
Breaks my heart.
And all just kids
 
2013-07-01 04:50:00 AM  
We were on divert for flash fire victims tonight. Code triage, waiting for them to come.  Then news came of the deaths.  Kind of a solemn night all around as many of the techs are either firefighters or EMTs.  Not to many happy faces in the building this evening.  Not to mention spouses of firefighters that are on the nursing staff.  A shame is a shame, no matter what form it comes in.

Best wishes to the surviving families.
 
2013-07-01 04:57:09 AM  
Condolences, respect, and heart goes to the families.
 
2013-07-01 04:58:24 AM  

BarkingUnicorn: IDK if this has been posted already:


Who They Were: The 'Granite Mountain Hotshots' - 19 Brave Souls Who Perished in Arizona Fire [standwitharizona.com image 550x297]


Last year folks from my school profiled them, be warned that knowing what we know now this is farking hard to watch:

http://cronkitenewsonline.com/2012/04/for-hotshot-fire-crews-trainin g- can-be-a-matter-of-life-and-death/
 
2013-07-01 04:58:29 AM  
The firefighters were part of a specially trained "hotshot" unit who had battled other wildfires in New Mexico and Arizona in recent weeks, officials say.

They were forced to deploy emergency tent-like structures meant to shield them from flames after becoming trapped and "something drastic" happened, said Dan Fraijo, fire chief in the nearby city of Prescott.

"One of the last fail-safe methods a firefighter can do is literally to dig as much as they can down and cover themselves with a protective fire-resistant material, with the hope that the fire will burn over the top of them and they can survive it," he said.

"Under certain conditions there's usually only sometimes a 50% chance that they survive. It's an extreme measure that's taken under the absolute worst conditions."


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23123817

Holy hell - this is the worst thing I have read in a very long time. They dug their own graves and waited in hope.

Rest in Peace brave men.
 
2013-07-01 05:31:57 AM  
There should be enough planes and helicopters in every state that has wildfires so they do not have to wait days for air support. Just another example of them not really caring. I'm sure if they were building a new sports complex they could find the money.
 
2013-07-01 06:07:15 AM  
Wow...that was news that I really didn't need to wake up to,
 
2013-07-01 06:10:13 AM  

Slappy McLongstockings: There should be enough planes and helicopters in every state that has wildfires so they do not have to wait days for air support. Just another example of them not really caring. I'm sure if they were building a new sports complex they could find the money.


I don't think it's the lack of PLANES that's the problem. Do you think you could fly one of these?
 
2013-07-01 06:23:47 AM  

doglover: Slappy McLongstockings: There should be enough planes and helicopters in every state that has wildfires so they do not have to wait days for air support. Just another example of them not really caring. I'm sure if they were building a new sports complex they could find the money.

I don't think it's the lack of PLANES that's the problem. Do you think you could fly one of these?


 The Forest Service had to ground 33 air tankers in 2004, leaving 11 available.  They're 50 years old and nearing the end.

http://www.thec2group.com/news/forest_service_releases_wish_list_for _n ew_firefighting_planes/
 
2013-07-01 06:33:20 AM  
I'm not one to get really choked up about first responders, but firefighters have especially large and well-polished brass balls.
 
2013-07-01 06:39:27 AM  
Shiat. I hate Mondays.
 
2013-07-01 06:39:36 AM  
My mother in law just moved into her house in Yarnell 11 days ago from Stockton CA. Last we heard she evacuated with just a box of photos. My thoughts go out to the heros and the ones left behind.
 
2013-07-01 06:40:36 AM  
Terrible news.

Condolences to their familes, colleagues and friends.

As an Aussie I'm well aware of what large bush fires can do.
 
2013-07-01 06:40:51 AM  
The nation was crushed for a week when 6 firefighters were killed in Worcester, MA in 1999. These numbers made me numb. They became a number and not lives lost as sons, fathers, brothers.
 
2013-07-01 07:13:19 AM  
This Is So sad.

Makes me kinda glad that california uses inmates to do a lot of The dirty work.
 
2013-07-01 07:22:42 AM  

Erinvaries: Makes me kinda glad that california uses inmates to do a lot of The dirty work.


Because America doesn't have the largest number of convicts in the prison system of any country in the world and there's not rampant evidence of false or dubious convictions based on politics being commonplace.
 
2013-07-01 07:56:20 AM  
That's just godawful.
 
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