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(My Fox Phoenix)   18 Firefighters confirmed dead battling Arizona wildfire (article updated)   (myfoxphoenix.com) divider line 121
    More: News, Yarnell Hill, Tonto National Forest, Wildfires in Arizona  
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8416 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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Archived thread
2013-07-01 12:22:10 AM
6 votes:
Guys, I'm going to interrupt for a serious moment. For those who would like to help, please consider the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. They are sending a team out to assist in this grievous time, and they can use all the assistance they can get as they coordinate getting family members on planes, set up grief counseling, contribute toward funeral expenses, set up educational funds for the children, and so forth. At the very least, join the 52 Club.

I know you Farkers are awesome and generous in horrible times like this. Thank you.


//ex-hotshot
//my eyes have been teary all evening
2013-07-01 01:59:32 AM
5 votes:
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 02:23:50 AM
4 votes:

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.
2013-07-01 01:45:04 AM
4 votes:

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.
2013-07-01 12:53:40 AM
4 votes:
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.
2013-07-01 12:25:47 AM
4 votes:
I am sorry.

My uncle used to be a head forester for a major forestry company and would spend days on site supervising forest fire fighting units. This was not an office job--the bosses are close enough to the fire that if it turns they may be surrounded. Three days with no sleep under hellish conditions is not a picnic, and the front line fighters have it worse.

My father was Fire Chief in the village because the company had the only truck equpped to pump water. Not much you can do when a tinder-dry woodframe house goes up in the middle of the night except hose down the ashes and the roofs of nearby houses, make sure it doesn't spread.

I can feel for the families and friends of men and women fighting fires, although even my family experience with fires is tame compared to what the front lines face in Arizona.

To start with, Arizona starts out hot enough to open jack pine seeds. Last year was the second most extreme year in the USA and the hottest.

So much for claims that global warming has stopped and that scientists are renouncing their belief in anthropogenic climate change. Don't you believe it. Naomi Oreske's meta-study which showed that 97% of papers support ACC has been followed up. She read about 700 papers--the new study read the conclusiions of about ten times that--it is still 97% agreement. The other 3% are dyed in the wool contrarians.

Death Valley is close to breaking or has broken a 100-year-old record of 130F. It's been over 120F in Phoenix and records are falling before July 4th.

Here's food for thought from a Fortune article announcing the deaths of these 19 peacetime heroes:

Not including the 19 deaths reported in Arizona, there have been 43 firefighter fatalities reported so far in 2013, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. A total of 83 firefighters died last year while on duty.

So we're ten deaths short of last year, a year from Hell. And that Arizona hot spot is sitting over the South West, while a cool spot squats over the Great Lakes, locking the jet stream and thus the weather patterns into place. This is a phenomenon that we will probably see more of in the future: hot and cold spots held in place for weeks or months by a traffic jam in the sky.

Arizona is no place to fight fires. Over 100F, there is no possible respite without artificial cooling or beds of ice for the firefighters to nap on. They are exposed to such tremendous heat for so long, I would not be surprised if it was the heat alone that was killing them.

Last year, according to the graphics which accompanied Obama's "environmental" speech, one third of Americans experienced 100F heat for ten or more days. TEN OR MORE DAYS IN A ROW.

Global warming is real, we are the only species that can do anything about it, and this is the Hell it brings, first as isolated events, then continuously.

Baby, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

You can't blame forestry policy or even stupid rich people moving into ex-urbs for all of the rising cost of climate and extreme events. Even when those are factored out, there is a very expensve remnant which can only be blamed on human activities besides forestry and tourism and building in  flood plans, sand dunes and fire-deprived forests.

We can all move to the front lines pretty damn fast if the wind shifts. Bless those who run to them rather than folding their hands together or sitting on them.
2013-07-01 12:09:00 AM
4 votes:

JesseL: WippitGuud: What is a "hotshot crew"

Firefighters trained to work in rough and remote areas.


... humping 100+ pounds of gear up and down the worst terrain in the nation in the hottest weather our continent offers in the middle of a wildfire with only their boots for escape for crap pay.

Navy SEALS of firefighting.
2013-07-01 01:38:32 AM
3 votes:
lh4.googleusercontent.com

This one is from 2011, there are more hi-res pics here:
http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/prescott/home/?cid=stelprdb5347883
2013-07-01 01:33:06 AM
3 votes:
This is an article about the Granite Mountain Hotshots from last year: http://cronkitenewsonline.com/2012/04/for-hotshot-fire-crews-training - can-be-a-matter-of-life-and-death/
2013-06-30 11:44:01 PM
3 votes:

HeadLever: ecmoRandomNumbers: At what point do you just say, "fark it. Just let it burn."

Typically, when it is dangerous to fight or when the resources are not important enough to just let burn. We had a monster 350,000 acre fire last year where I grew up and for many of the days, the firefighters turned into spectators.  However, when you have hundreds of homes threatened as in the case with this fire, agencies will probably tend to keep thier crews engaged longer than otherwise prudent.


Two years ago we had our half-million acre fire. We stayed until the mandatory evacuations. Fire got to within 2 miles of my house. The whole time, though, I thought, "Well, at least we're insured."

They're just things. You can't bring people back.
2013-06-30 11:25:45 PM
3 votes:
That had to be about the worst article I have read lately - 18 firefighters dead, zero details or even mention of them past sentence one. Are these things now being crowdsourced to twitter for content creation?

Jesus Fuking Christ
2013-06-30 11:22:43 PM
3 votes:
heroesofchicago.com
2013-07-01 08:55:17 PM
2 votes:
From the In Memory of Prescott Firefighters Lost 6/30/2012 Facebook page:

"In Memory of my son Travis Turbyfill.
Ironically as Shari and I was doing some shop cleaning on Saturday,we found a kindergarten binder that was of Travis, he and the teachers had put together and this was one of the pages it contained. Even then he new what he wanted to do his whole life. I will continue to celebrate his and the others lives. I am sure most his brothers felt and lived the same.
Love
Dad "
sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net
2013-07-01 02:37:51 AM
2 votes:
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 01:32:42 AM
2 votes:
"One of the last fail safe methods that a firefighter can do under those conditions is literally to dig as much as they can down and cover themselves with a protective - kinda looks like a foil type- fire-resistant material - with the desire, the hope at least, is that the fire will burn over the top of them and they can survive it," Fraijo said.
"Under certain conditions there's usually only sometimes a 50 percent chance that they survive," he said. "It's an extreme measure that's taken under the absolute worst conditions."
2013-07-01 01:28:07 AM
2 votes:
Went hiking in Mann Gulch a week ago:

drewblood.com

Very sad that the cycle has to continue.
2013-07-01 12:58:26 AM
2 votes:
GD, and we thought out here when 14 fire fighters died on Storm King mountain (1994) at the city limits of Glenwood Springs, CO that was bad as it got. But 18 in one Hotshot company? That's tough to swallow.

www.durangoherald.com

That fire ran up their ravine so fast and so hot Prineville Hotshots along with jumpers from Missoula, McCall and Helitack could not run quick enough to escape or move laterally quick enough. With hellish winds roaring up the ravine like a hurricane and temperatures hot enough to set the very ground on fire they made the decision to shelter in their last resort aluminum and glass fiber 'shake and bake' survival tents. Afterwards it was determined they were incinerated.

These men and women deserve every possible respect we can muster. There are none like them. Tough sons of biatches all. (get me a kleenex) Some give all. Do not forget.
2013-07-01 12:49:30 AM
2 votes:
There is the theory of letting smaller fires burn to help the natural cycle and prevent fuel build up that leads to major fires.  The problem is there is increasing building in fire prone areas and all it takes is a change of conditions for a small fire to blow up and threaten homes and other structures.  If you let things burn, it can easily grow into something you can't stop and it may threaten structures soon.  However if you stop every little fire immeidately, over the course of years, fuel loads increase and then any fire becomes much more severe quickly.  Given the past few major fire incidents, this season it appears more aggressive suppression efforts are being used with more air and ground assets called in earlier to stop things at least in California.  While this can control things fast, it means more fire personnel are at risk and if conditions change, we can have tragedies like this.

There will be an investigation on what went wrong here.  Sadly it is a dangerous job and these horrible incidents do happen from time to time and sometimes there is simply nothing that could have been done.  We don't know if they were placed in a bad position, missed a deployment order, bad weather forcast, or simply bad luck and conditions changed due to localized weather that couldn't be predicted.  We will have to wait to find out the tragic events that led to this horrible outcome. The thoughts and prayers of people should go out to those fighting to save lives and property and the loved ones who will have to endure the loss of these firefighters.
2013-07-01 12:42:47 AM
2 votes:
The men that fight those wildfires are among the best specimens humanity has to offer, both in strength of body and mind.
It's very sad to see them suffer such casualties.
RIP.
2013-07-01 12:20:25 AM
2 votes:

firefly212: thelunatick: Elzar: That had to be about the worst article I have read lately - 18 firefighters dead, zero details or even mention of them past sentence one. Are these things now being crowdsourced to twitter for content creation?

Jesus Fuking Christ


In a wildfire details are always almost impossible.   They are unpredictable and highly dangerous.  It could have been something as simple as the wind shifting, or the heat causing a gust that drove the fire into their laps.  They can cover hundreds of feet in seconds.

Do wildland firefighters not carry emergency shelters there? I know the fires move fast and all, but I'd like to think that we're learning from previous disasters. =/
Did the shelters not work?

IIRC, the fire shelters got better after the Payson (sp) Arizona fire in 1990.

I wonder what happened, but either way I feel terrible for the families of all the dead.


They work...but there's a reason those kinds of fires are called "widowmakers." The shelters are small and fire resistant, but if you run out of oxygen, there's not going to be much a shelter can do for you.
2013-07-01 12:14:29 AM
2 votes:
Rattlesnake Fire in July 1953. They still do firefighter training in this brush filled ravine.

lh5.googleusercontent.com
2013-07-01 12:02:58 AM
2 votes:

WippitGuud: What is a "hotshot crew"


Firefighters trained to work in rough and remote areas.
2013-07-01 12:00:18 AM
2 votes:
Didn't read through the latest posts, but a buddy of mine is on the Yarnell fire.  Says a thundercell came through at the end of the day. The outflow caused a blow up.  There were 8 tankers and 3 Aircranes launched to help. Couldn't get there in time I guess.
2013-06-30 11:59:17 PM
2 votes:
api.ning.com
2013-06-30 11:47:27 PM
2 votes:

firefly212: thelunatick: Elzar: That had to be about the worst article I have read lately - 18 firefighters dead, zero details or even mention of them past sentence one. Are these things now being crowdsourced to twitter for content creation?

Jesus Fuking Christ


In a wildfire details are always almost impossible.   They are unpredictable and highly dangerous.  It could have been something as simple as the wind shifting, or the heat causing a gust that drove the fire into their laps.  They can cover hundreds of feet in seconds.

Do wildland firefighters not carry emergency shelters there? I know the fires move fast and all, but I'd like to think that we're learning from previous disasters. =/
Did the shelters not work?

IIRC, the fire shelters got better after the Payson (sp) Arizona fire in 1990.

I wonder what happened, but either way I feel terrible for the families of all the dead.


A firestorm is a thing of great power. Imagine a hurricane made of gasoline. Now light it on fire. Nothing a man can carry can really stop one.
2013-06-30 11:46:50 PM
2 votes:
firefly212:

Do wildland firefighters not carry emergency shelters there? I know the fires move fast and all, but I'd like to think that we're learning from previous disasters. =/
Did the shelters not work?

IIRC, the fire shelters got better after the Payson (sp) Arizona fire in 1990.

I wonder what happened, but either way I feel terrible for the families of all the dead.


I think sometimes the speed of the flames is simply too quick.
2013-06-30 11:38:49 PM
2 votes:
Sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad, sad day.
2013-06-30 11:37:49 PM
2 votes:
Respect for everyone who is trained to run in when the rest of us would run out.
2013-06-30 11:36:09 PM
2 votes:

ecmoRandomNumbers: At what point do you just say, "fark it. Just let it burn."


Typically, when it is dangerous to fight or when the resources are not important enough to just let burn. We had a monster 350,000 acre fire last year where I grew up and for many of the days, the firefighters turned into spectators.  However, when you have hundreds of homes threatened as in the case with this fire, agencies will probably tend to keep thier crews engaged longer than otherwise prudent.
2013-06-30 11:31:35 PM
2 votes:

Elzar: zero details


SOP in these circumstances until they get thier shiat in order.  You have 18 families that need to be told what happened correctly the first time.
2013-06-30 11:29:19 PM
2 votes:
Respect, and sadness.
2013-07-02 01:56:23 AM
1 votes:

JesseL: ecmoRandomNumbers: violentsalvation: Does anybody know if the names have been released?

The family of one of the firefighters, Chris McKenzie, voluntarily released info to the media.

Also Andrew Ashcroft:
[sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net image 500x670]


*sigh*

This is why I think as a "civilized society" we underpay taxes compared with other first-world countries in the sense of how well will we provide their families left behind: the lost wage-earner, support raising kids in a single-parent household, daycare, medical bills, education...
2013-07-01 06:30:51 PM
1 votes:
http://prescottaz.com/main.asp?FromHome=1&TypeID=1&ArticleID=120777&S e ctionID=1&SubSectionID=1
Those who lost their lives are:

• Ashcraft, Andrew - Age: 29

• Caldwell, Robert - Age: 23

• Carter, Travis - Age: 31

• Deford, Dustin - Age: 24

• MacKenzie, Christopher - Age: 30

• Marsh, Eric - Age: 43

• McKee, Grant - Age: 21

• Misner, Sean - Age: 26

• Norris, Scott - Age: 28

• Parker, Wade - Age: 22

• Percin, John - Age: 24

• Rose, Anthony - Age: 23

• Steed, Jesse - Age: 36

• Thurston, Joe - Age: 32

• Turbyfill, Travis - Age: 27

• Warneke, William - Age: 25

• Whitted, Clayton - Age: 28

• Woyjeck, Kevin - Age: 21

• Zuppiger, Garret - Age: 27
2013-07-01 03:01:52 PM
1 votes:
one of my oldest and best friends was one of the 19..... he was truly one of the best people anyones ever met. it makes me sick thinking how they died,but he was doing what he loved.

rest easy,zuppiger
2013-07-01 09:14:10 AM
1 votes:

brantgoose: I am sorry.

My uncle used to be a head forester for a major forestry company and would spend days on site supervising forest fire fighting units. This was not an office job--the bosses are close enough to the fire that if it turns they may be surrounded. Three days with no sleep under hellish conditions is not a picnic, and the front line fighters have it worse.

My father was Fire Chief in the village because the company had the only truck equpped to pump water. Not much you can do when a tinder-dry woodframe house goes up in the middle of the night except hose down the ashes and the roofs of nearby houses, make sure it doesn't spread.

I can feel for the families and friends of men and women fighting fires, although even my family experience with fires is tame compared to what the front lines face in Arizona.

To start with, Arizona starts out hot enough to open jack pine seeds. Last year was the second most extreme year in the USA and the hottest.

So much for claims that global warming has stopped and that scientists are renouncing their belief in anthropogenic climate change. Don't you believe it. Naomi Oreske's meta-study which showed that 97% of papers support ACC has been followed up. She read about 700 papers--the new study read the conclusiions of about ten times that--it is still 97% agreement. The other 3% are dyed in the wool contrarians.

Death Valley is close to breaking or has broken a 100-year-old record of 130F. It's been over 120F in Phoenix and records are falling before July 4th.

Here's food for thought from a Fortune article announcing the deaths of these 19 peacetime heroes:

Not including the 19 deaths reported in Arizona, there have been 43 firefighter fatalities reported so far in 2013, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. A total of 83 firefighters died last year while on duty.

So we're ten deaths short of last year, a year from Hell. And that Arizona hot spot is sitting over the South West, while a cool spot squats over the Great ...


While I don't disagree with your statements about Climate Change, IMHO:

1) The time for it isn't in the middle of a thread about a loss more tragic than events like the Mann Gulch fire.  They wrote songs and made movies about it that had grown men crying - and this is a worse loss than that by almost 50%.

2) I would caution you to not make the same mistake that the contrarians make every time it snows in April in Missouri or Nebraska.  Weather does not equal Climate.  Yes, it's hot now.  Yes, it will be cold in January.  It is the totality of these hot and cold days viewed in the whole that dictates climate.

But seriously - this is horrible.  I heard it is the worse single loss for American Firefighters since 9/11.  Thoughts and prayers.  Truly a wrenching event.
2013-07-01 08:10:01 AM
1 votes:

HAMMERTOE: No other profession (or hobby) comes as close to true heroism than firefighting. None.

These brave men and women stare the raw fury of physics in the face and strive to work their will upon it. Most times, they succeed. Some times they fail, and the consequences are often catastrophic. Unlike LEO's, they don't militarize and treat everybody as potential firebugs. They don't make sudden, erratic maneuvers in traffic, then speed at 120 to write somebody a ticket for doing 70 in a 55. Some of them parachute into the middle of a forest fire with nothing more than they can carry. These are the bravest of the brave. Not even the Hellfighters, who extinguish oil well fires using nitroglycerine rise to this level. These 19 heroes will be sorely missed.


Very well put.  Not to give police TOO harsh a treatment, some of them are good guys, but generally speaking the police are not people I want to have around.  I've never said "DAMNIT, he comes a firefighter.  Why can't he just leave us alone!"  I think 9/11 told us everything we needed to know about firefighters.  The world is a worse place today without those 19 heroes indeed.
2013-07-01 08:05:46 AM
1 votes:
No other profession (or hobby) comes as close to true heroism than firefighting. None.

These brave men and women stare the raw fury of physics in the face and strive to work their will upon it. Most times, they succeed. Some times they fail, and the consequences are often catastrophic. Unlike LEO's, they don't militarize and treat everybody as potential firebugs. They don't make sudden, erratic maneuvers in traffic, then speed at 120 to write somebody a ticket for doing 70 in a 55. Some of them parachute into the middle of a forest fire with nothing more than they can carry. These are the bravest of the brave. Not even the Hellfighters, who extinguish oil well fires using nitroglycerine rise to this level. These 19 heroes will be sorely missed.
2013-07-01 07:22:42 AM
1 votes:

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 05:31:57 AM
1 votes:
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 03:34:27 AM
1 votes:
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 03:09:12 AM
1 votes:

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 02:38:47 AM
1 votes:
TWX
2013-07-01 02:26:34 AM
1 votes:
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 02:23:18 AM
1 votes:

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 02:11:57 AM
1 votes:

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 02:10:54 AM
1 votes:

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 02:09:48 AM
1 votes:

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 02:06:36 AM
1 votes:

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 02:00:55 AM
1 votes:

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 02:00:22 AM
1 votes:

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 01:55:23 AM
1 votes:
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 01:49:36 AM
1 votes:
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?
2013-07-01 01:46:52 AM
1 votes:

the801: here wouldn't BE people dying in fires if you people would not go where the FIRE IS!


I have some friends that have been living in Colorado for the last few years.  After seeing them bug out each and every year during fire season, I wondering if maybe building thinly spread out suburbs in the 'country' is such a good idea.
2013-07-01 01:46:01 AM
1 votes:

BiblioTech: buzzcut73: RIP to these guys.In years past I've done structural firefighting, ARFF, and HAZMAT, but wildland firefighting? Nope, even I'm too much of a chickenshiat for that.

The ones I can't even begin to fathom are smokejumpers.  What kind of person do you have to be to jump out of a plane into a fire?


Heroes.
2013-07-01 01:36:46 AM
1 votes:
Get used to it, boys and girls, it's only going to get worse as time rolls on.
2013-07-01 01:35:57 AM
1 votes:
farm3.staticflickr.com

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
2013-07-01 01:35:11 AM
1 votes:

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.
2013-07-01 01:30:41 AM
1 votes:

T Baggins: brantgoose: Not including the 19 deaths reported in Arizona, there have been 43 firefighter fatalities reported so far in 2013, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. A total of 83 firefighters died last year while on duty.


Let's not forget the volunteers from West, TX.
2013-07-01 01:26:05 AM
1 votes:
I live in Kingman, Arizona. I just went outside five minutes ago and watched a fire in the Hualapai Mountains crest the summit. Lots of houses up there, my sis-in-law's father's included. This is gonna be an ugly Summer.

/111 degrees today
2013-07-01 01:21:18 AM
1 votes:
Hot shots have to be bad ass, here. I mean they are humping a lot of gear in really hot weather with little water and they are trying to create fire lines with what they have.

I hiked on Saturday when it was 118 and I only carried water. It was so damn hot I had a hard time breathing. These guys are in that shiat with their gear, digging and clearing brush, swinging axes AND near flames that are even hotter.

They will be missed.

This link shows the drought and how bad it is getting. Water is everything out here. The reason for south wilderness is because of lack of water.

http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/
2013-07-01 01:20:30 AM
1 votes:

HeadLever: evaned: I can't think of anysingle event that had a higher firefighter toll.

The Big Burn did


Thanks. I've added that to the list of firefighters page. :-) Like I said, I'm not even remotely surprised that I didn't know of something.

Actually there are probably a couple of others on that list (e.g. "a firestorm that caused the most deaths by fire in United States history, killing as many as 1,500, possibly as many as 2,500") that would count, but don't have explicit counts for firefighters, even in the actual article.
2013-07-01 01:19:26 AM
1 votes:
Holy crap. The Great Chicago Fire, the Peshtigo Fire and the Great Michigan Fire all happened on the same day.

1700 died in the Peshtigo, at minimum 500 in the Michigan fire and another 300 in the Chicago fire.

That was not a good day.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wildfires#North_America
2013-07-01 01:12:48 AM
1 votes:

JesseL: TheShavingofOccam123: If these people were killed trying to save summer cabins that were surrounded by "decorative" scrub and trees, then fark the homeowners.

Nobody should die trying to save a cabin. Let it burn.

/high temp and high winds are a lethal combination.
/i wonder if these were prison crews.

Not many summer homes in Yarnell. Mostly retirees and ranch workers I think.

The crew was the Granite Mountain Hotshots - nothing like a prison crew.


Don't knock the prison crews.  They are godsend and a very budget friendly resource that does difficult jobs freeing up the civilian firefighters for other tasks.  They are a valuable resource for many states that simply wouldn't be able to offer the same level of service to fight fires, do search and rescue work, and engage in flood relief.  They may be prisoners, but they work their butts off doing a very difficult and dangerous job.  All while they earn a dollar or so an hour and earn some good time credits to reduce their sentences which is a bargain.
2013-07-01 01:09:09 AM
1 votes:
farking Christ. This isn't real, right? This is another FARK bad joke?
2013-07-01 01:07:21 AM
1 votes:

thisdaydreamer: This is the largest [loss] of of firefighters since 9/11 and I'm a dumbass for wondering what could have gone so horribly wrong as to wipe out an entire fire department?


I might be able to make that statement stronger.

There's a small chance that this is the largest number of firefighters to perish in a single wildfire. I looked through the Wikipedia list of wildfires for "firefighter", and the highest number of deaths listed under that term was 18, in a 1971 Japan fire. It's totally possible Wikipedia is missing something or uses a different term or something, but... it's also possible that it isn't.

Actually, barring 9/11, I can't think of  anysingle event that had a higher firefighter toll. Not that I'd really expect to, but... yeah, this is bad.
2013-07-01 01:06:16 AM
1 votes:

JesseL: They're saying 250 homes lost. I didn't even know Yarnell had 250 homes.

http://goo.gl/maps/6Cdmj


Yikes :(
2013-07-01 01:04:35 AM
1 votes:
They're saying 250 homes lost. I didn't even know Yarnell had 250 homes.

http://goo.gl/maps/6Cdmj
2013-07-01 01:00:14 AM
1 votes:
Unfortunately, we'll have to get used to this shiat. F*ckin' heroes.

imageshack.com
2013-07-01 12:59:40 AM
1 votes:

Daedalus27: There is the theory of letting smaller fires burn to help the natural cycle and prevent fuel build up that leads to major fires.  The problem is there is increasing building in fire prone areas and all it takes is a change of conditions for a small fire to blow up and threaten homes and other structures.  If you let things burn, it can easily grow into something you can't stop and it may threaten structures soon.  However if you stop every little fire immeidately, over the course of years, fuel loads increase and then any fire becomes much more severe quickly.  Given the past few major fire incidents, this season it appears more aggressive suppression efforts are being used with more air and ground assets called in earlier to stop things at least in California.  While this can control things fast, it means more fire personnel are at risk and if conditions change, we can have tragedies like this.

There will be an investigation on what went wrong here.  Sadly it is a dangerous job and these horrible incidents do happen from time to time and sometimes there is simply nothing that could have been done.  We don't know if they were placed in a bad position, missed a deployment order, bad weather forcast, or simply bad luck and conditions changed due to localized weather that couldn't be predicted.  We will have to wait to find out the tragic events that led to this horrible outcome. The thoughts and prayers of people should go out to those fighting to save lives and property and the loved ones who will have to endure the loss of these firefighters.


Well said. Wiki has a good history as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_wildfire_suppression_in_the_ Un ited_States

Appears it wasn't until the '60s that people in charge started understanding that fire is part of the natural process.
2013-07-01 12:59:33 AM
1 votes:

TheShavingofOccam123: If these people were killed trying to save summer cabins that were surrounded by "decorative" scrub and trees, then fark the homeowners.

Nobody should die trying to save a cabin. Let it burn.

/high temp and high winds are a lethal combination.
/i wonder if these were prison crews.


Not many summer homes in Yarnell. Mostly retirees and ranch workers I think.

The crew was the Granite Mountain Hotshots - nothing like a prison crew.
2013-07-01 12:59:11 AM
1 votes:
3.bp.blogspot.com

Metal roofs. Steel structures. No one died saving this house.

I guess it's just too expensive for some people.
2013-07-01 12:56:42 AM
1 votes:

kombi: Knucklepopper: kombi: ElizaDoolittle: ongbok: ElizaDoolittle: kombi: Im going to assume it was like the incident in California. Mexican radio station blocked there radios and they did not get the pullout order. Tried to get out and burned up in there truck. But again just assuming. something like that.

So the Mexicans were to blame? Listen to me, you toad, if THEIR (yes, that's how you spell it correctly) radios could be blocked by any Mexican radio station, the fault lies with the FD, not any Mexican radio station.

Wow. People will find any way possible to throw the blame at Mexicans, or any minority, won't they?

Apparently some will, but forget them.  I shouldn't have gotten so angry. Respect the dead; respect their families, and the loss they are experiencing. Show compassion for the children who have lost a parent and the spouses who have lost a partner.

I love how nowadays you mention something that happened. And give the facts but all of a sudden,...RACIST. I tell something that is true. How some fire fighters died in San Diego County. But no RACIST. I did not blame Mexicans. The article said it was caused by lightning. Have no reason not to believe that.

I think the point in question is your claim that Mexican radio stations "blocked" their radios.

It did. See our biggest radio stations. Nicknamed flamethrower broadcast at 50,000 watts. They have no limit. Wolfgang Jack broadcasted on AM from TJ and covered the whole US and parts of Canada on 1,000,000 Watts. It just overloaded there radios and they did not get the pullout order. It happened.

Radio is a biatch sometimes. Atmospheric condition's, weather, You name it. It will effect it. And it does not have to be on the same freq. Think of it this way. Your driving down the road. Turn the radio to am and you hear a buzz or hum from the engine. Same concept.


Citation, please. And not to Wolfman Jack but to your claim about those firefighters' deaths.
2013-07-01 12:55:06 AM
1 votes:
The Hawaii Mars was here for a few summers. We have a few videos up here. What a team that is. There is a whole ground crew that goes with it. They saved our ass a few times.

Hawaii Mars
2013-07-01 12:55:02 AM
1 votes:

gfid: thisdaydreamer: What the farking hell happened?

Really?

Fire, dumbass.  Seriously - WTF?


This is the largest of of firefighters since 9/11 and I'm a dumbass for wondering what could have gone so horribly wrong as to wipe out an entire fire department?
2013-07-01 12:54:59 AM
1 votes:
If these people were killed trying to save summer cabins that were surrounded by "decorative" scrub and trees, then fark the homeowners.

Nobody should die trying to save a cabin. Let it burn.

/high temp and high winds are a lethal combination.
/i wonder if these were prison crews.
2013-07-01 12:54:58 AM
1 votes:
  Have many friends who work fighting forest fires here in BC, for both the government and private contractors. So sad to hear about this tragedy. Been to a few to many funerals for folks in this line of work. Much respect for all their efforts, condolences to their friends and families.
2013-07-01 12:54:34 AM
1 votes:
i1.ytimg.com
2013-07-01 12:51:37 AM
1 votes:

Knucklepopper: kombi: ElizaDoolittle: ongbok: ElizaDoolittle: kombi: Im going to assume it was like the incident in California. Mexican radio station blocked there radios and they did not get the pullout order. Tried to get out and burned up in there truck. But again just assuming. something like that.

So the Mexicans were to blame? Listen to me, you toad, if THEIR (yes, that's how you spell it correctly) radios could be blocked by any Mexican radio station, the fault lies with the FD, not any Mexican radio station.

Wow. People will find any way possible to throw the blame at Mexicans, or any minority, won't they?

Apparently some will, but forget them.  I shouldn't have gotten so angry. Respect the dead; respect their families, and the loss they are experiencing. Show compassion for the children who have lost a parent and the spouses who have lost a partner.

I love how nowadays you mention something that happened. And give the facts but all of a sudden,...RACIST. I tell something that is true. How some fire fighters died in San Diego County. But no RACIST. I did not blame Mexicans. The article said it was caused by lightning. Have no reason not to believe that.

I think the point in question is your claim that Mexican radio stations "blocked" their radios.


It did. See our biggest radio stations. Nicknamed flamethrower broadcast at 50,000 watts. They have no limit. Wolfgang Jack broadcasted on AM from TJ and covered the whole US and parts of Canada on 1,000,000 Watts. It just overloaded there radios and they did not get the pullout order. It happened.

Radio is a biatch sometimes. Atmospheric condition's, weather, You name it. It will effect it. And it does not have to be on the same freq. Think of it this way. Your driving down the road. Turn the radio to am and you hear a buzz or hum from the engine. Same concept.
2013-07-01 12:51:28 AM
1 votes:

BuckTurgidson: Yeah, right thread.


I'd give you a reasoned response but that side conversation is being deleted. And that's probably for the best, it isn't the right thread for that.

RIP firefighters.
2013-07-01 12:43:49 AM
1 votes:

Redwing: AZcentral.com live video just showed pic of the 19 firefighters in a group photo. I thought next of kin had to be notified beforehand, and 19 families couldnt have been contacted that quick.

PS: 108 degrees!


Several sources have said that every single member of Prescott's wildfire team died. Once the number of dead and the fact that they were from Prescott became public, so did their identities.
2013-07-01 12:43:33 AM
1 votes:

doglover: JesseL: [fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net image 350x263]

Thanks, guys. Rest well.


Amen.
2013-07-01 12:34:37 AM
1 votes:

HempHead: HeadLever: HempHead: 19 dead firemen is a small price to pay to save 50 empty houses built from combustible materials out in the wilderness.

No it is not and no one is saying that.

Why were they risking their lives to put out a fire if not to save houses? People were evacuated long ago.

 When big fires get going, they generate their own winds, blasting embers and sparks miles from the actual fire. The more fuel you give it, the bigger it gets, the faster the winds, and so on. Should it get from a relatively rural area into a more heavily-populated one, the fire will go absolutely nuts.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oakland_Firestorm_of_1991

Once a firestorm really gets going in a heavily-populated area, you get things like Chicago.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Chicago_Fire

Little towns nearby were wiped off the map.

Also, keep in mind that after these huge fires, bodies are found in house remains. There are always confused people, kids, old or very ill people who, for whatever reason, don't get out.
2013-07-01 12:33:44 AM
1 votes:

T Baggins: WippitGuud: HempHead:
19 dead firemen is a small price to pay to save 50 empty houses built from combustible materials out in the wilderness.

If only there was a fire proof material houses could be built from.

So, you would choose to just let the fire burn uncontrolled?

The implication was he'd prefer houses in fire-prone wilderness areas be designed to withstand wildfires, which is not as outlandish as you're characterizing it.


I'm not trying to be outlandish. Even if the construction is fire-proof, they would just be burnt-out shells.
And you get the same arguement in tornado areas, hurricane areas, flood-prone areas... so like most of the country.
2013-07-01 12:32:11 AM
1 votes:
fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net
2013-07-01 12:27:49 AM
1 votes:

Allen. The end.: This sucks. You know, I constantly have big military planes flying over my house...is there no way we could come up with a federal emergency plan that uses these giant planes to dump h20, suppressants, etc. on these fires?


You could buy some 415 Superscoopers from Canada.

As long as there is a lake nearby, this thing takes in 1,620 gallon of water in literally 10 seconds.
2013-07-01 12:27:43 AM
1 votes:

Allen. The end.: This sucks. You know, I constantly have big military planes flying over my house...is there no way we could come up with a federal emergency plan that uses these giant planes to dump h20, suppressants, etc. on these fires?


They have them. We use them out here in CA by the ocean. The problem is you need not only big planes, but big runways, and also big lakes with enough room for the big planes to fly down and scoop up a hold full of water without losing enough airspeed to take off again. There's room over an ocean; often not much over a lake. Also, big planes use a lot of expensive fuel--is your county wealthy enough to afford it? L.A. County almost couldn't.
2013-07-01 12:25:17 AM
1 votes:
I just saw this.

19 people at once.  Jesus.
2013-07-01 12:21:13 AM
1 votes:
This sucks. You know, I constantly have big military planes flying over my house...is there no way we could come up with a federal emergency plan that uses these giant planes to dump h20, suppressants, etc. on these fires?
2013-07-01 12:20:20 AM
1 votes:

alienated: I just wish we hade more aerial assets for these types of fires. RIP


I just wish I was qualified to help. Fire is one of the things I'm good at.
2013-07-01 12:17:03 AM
1 votes:

WippitGuud: HempHead: WippitGuud: HempHead:
19 dead firemen is a small price to pay to save 50 empty houses built from combustible materials out in the wilderness.

If only there was a fire proof material houses could be built from.

So, you would choose to just let the fire burn uncontrolled?

Yes. I believe Yellowstone National Park has adopted this policy. Stopping a natural fire merely creates the environment for huge fire after a few years.

Or, mandate 200 yard fire breaks around every house and stop them from being built from wood.

OK.
What happens if the wildfire slams into Phoenix?


Cant happen. No forests in downtown Phoenix.

Fires happen in Phoenix every year believe it or not, and yet the city still stands.



By the 1940s, ecologists recognized that fire was a primary agent of change in many ecosystems, including the arid mountainous western United States. In the 1950s and 1960s, national parks and forests began to experiment with controlled burns, and by the 1970s Yellowstone and other parks had instituted a natural fire management plan to allow the process of lightning-caused fire to continue influencing wildland succession.

Many of Yellowstone's plant species are fire-adapted. Some (not all) of the lodgepole pines (Pinus contorta), which make up nearly 80% of the park's extensive forests, have cones that are serotinous sealed by resin until the intense heat of fire cracks the bonds and releases the seeds inside. Fires may stimulate regeneration of sagebrush, aspen, and willows, but the interactions between these plants and fire is complicated by other influences such as grazing levels and climate. Though above-ground parts of grasses and forbs are consumed by flames, the below-ground root systems typically remain unharmed, and for a few years after fire these plants commonly increase in productivity.
http://www.nps.gov/yell/naturescience/wildlandfire.htm
2013-07-01 12:14:23 AM
1 votes:

ArcadianRefugee: I drove through Arizona once. What the hell is there to burn?


Arizona has a good number of forests.  It is not all Phoenix.

www.uygardergi.com
2013-07-01 12:13:38 AM
1 votes:

HempHead: If only there was a fire proof material houses could be built from.


Adobe. Can you say a-doe-bay?

My grandparents built their house from adobe in the 30s here in AZ. It's still standing. Warm in winter, cool in summer. But that was before mass-manufactured stucco/styrofoam housing.
2013-07-01 12:11:50 AM
1 votes:

LessO2: Go ahead Westboro, we dare you.


Their angle this time will probably be the SCOTUS overturning of DOMA/Prop 8.
2013-07-01 12:10:04 AM
1 votes:

doglover:

Wildfires aren't called "tamefires" for a reason.

Famous Thamas: Wildfires are called that for a reason.



The stupid, it burns...wildfires are not called that because of their behavior but because of their location. They happen IN THE WILD. Believe it or not the word didn't originate with forest fires but had to do with the propagation of skin conditions by plants such as poison ivy. The rash burned and one got it while out in nature hence "wild fire"; it didn't take on its common meaning today until centuries later.
2013-07-01 12:06:05 AM
1 votes:
http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5186394.pdf 

doglover: thisisyourbrainonFark: doglover: firefly212: thelunatick: Elzar: That had to be about the worst article I have read lately - 18 firefighters dead, zero details or even mention of them past sentence one. Are these things now being crowdsourced to twitter for content creation?

Jesus Fuking Christ


In a wildfire details are always almost impossible.   They are unpredictable and highly dangerous.  It could have been something as simple as the wind shifting, or the heat causing a gust that drove the fire into their laps.  They can cover hundreds of feet in seconds.

Do wildland firefighters not carry emergency shelters there? I know the fires move fast and all, but I'd like to think that we're learning from previous disasters. =/
Did the shelters not work?

IIRC, the fire shelters got better after the Payson (sp) Arizona fire in 1990.

I wonder what happened, but either way I feel terrible for the families of all the dead.

A firestorm is a thing of great power. Imagine a hurricane made of gasoline. Now light it on fire. Nothing a man can carry can really stop one.

The shelters did save lives in the Storm King fire, IIRC.

To survive a firestorm, you'd need to be in an underground bunker with its own self contained oxygen supply and no ventilation.

If the heat, which can melt rock, doesn't get ya the lack of oxygen will. A foil shelter can only do so much.


I hear you. Couldn't find much on how they were used in Storm King except this:

"The remaining 35 firefighters survived by escaping out the east drainage or seeking a safety zone and deploying their fire shelters."

http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5186394.pdf
2013-07-01 12:01:03 AM
1 votes:
Jeesus. That's terrible. Thanks guys for your tremendous efforts. :'(.
2013-07-01 12:00:58 AM
1 votes:

HeadLever: ecmoRandomNumbers: At what point do you just say, "fark it. Just let it burn."

Typically, when it is dangerous to fight or when the resources are not important enough to just let burn. We had a monster 350,000 acre fire last year where I grew up and for many of the days, the firefighters turned into spectators.  However, when you have hundreds of homes threatened as in the case with this fire, agencies will probably tend to keep thier crews engaged longer than otherwise prudent.




19 dead firemen is a small price to pay to save 50 empty houses built from combustible materials out in the wilderness.

If only there was a fire proof material houses could be built from.
2013-06-30 11:57:45 PM
1 votes:

thisisyourbrainonFark: doglover: firefly212: thelunatick: Elzar: That had to be about the worst article I have read lately - 18 firefighters dead, zero details or even mention of them past sentence one. Are these things now being crowdsourced to twitter for content creation?

Jesus Fuking Christ


In a wildfire details are always almost impossible.   They are unpredictable and highly dangerous.  It could have been something as simple as the wind shifting, or the heat causing a gust that drove the fire into their laps.  They can cover hundreds of feet in seconds.

Do wildland firefighters not carry emergency shelters there? I know the fires move fast and all, but I'd like to think that we're learning from previous disasters. =/
Did the shelters not work?

IIRC, the fire shelters got better after the Payson (sp) Arizona fire in 1990.

I wonder what happened, but either way I feel terrible for the families of all the dead.

A firestorm is a thing of great power. Imagine a hurricane made of gasoline. Now light it on fire. Nothing a man can carry can really stop one.

The shelters did save lives in the Storm King fire, IIRC.


To survive a firestorm, you'd need to be in an underground bunker with its own self contained oxygen supply and no ventilation.

If the heat, which can melt rock, doesn't get ya the lack of oxygen will. A foil shelter can only do so much.
2013-06-30 11:54:19 PM
1 votes:
Not that it brings back the dead parents/siblings/kids but I hope the families get insanely large insurance payouts and MORE. Likely a lawsuit(s) will come out of this, though I don't know what legal stipulations are on that sorta thing being that they "signed up for it."

/I has the sads
2013-06-30 11:53:53 PM
1 votes:
Colorado's on fire and now Arizona? Damn
2013-06-30 11:53:41 PM
1 votes:
Christ, this says the Prescott Fire Department lost nearly its entire crew.

http://www.dcourier.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleI D= 120733&TM=85903.19
2013-06-30 11:51:20 PM
1 votes:

doglover: firefly212: thelunatick: Elzar: That had to be about the worst article I have read lately - 18 firefighters dead, zero details or even mention of them past sentence one. Are these things now being crowdsourced to twitter for content creation?

Jesus Fuking Christ


In a wildfire details are always almost impossible.   They are unpredictable and highly dangerous.  It could have been something as simple as the wind shifting, or the heat causing a gust that drove the fire into their laps.  They can cover hundreds of feet in seconds.

Do wildland firefighters not carry emergency shelters there? I know the fires move fast and all, but I'd like to think that we're learning from previous disasters. =/
Did the shelters not work?

IIRC, the fire shelters got better after the Payson (sp) Arizona fire in 1990.

I wonder what happened, but either way I feel terrible for the families of all the dead.

A firestorm is a thing of great power. Imagine a hurricane made of gasoline. Now light it on fire. Nothing a man can carry can really stop one.


The shelters did save lives in the Storm King fire, IIRC.
2013-06-30 11:50:39 PM
1 votes:
looking at the area on Inciweb's map there are a LOT of natural chimenys to get caught in especially with the fire moving uphill.  The foil in those blankets start breaking down at about 500 degrees, and with 20' flames and 20 mph winds....damn... prayers for the families. A full hand crew, yeah someone is relieved of duty.
2013-06-30 11:50:10 PM
1 votes:
Well that was a fark up of epic proportions.  Whoever is incident commander of that better have a damned good excuse and lawyer.
2013-06-30 11:47:10 PM
1 votes:

doglover: thisdaydreamer: What the farking hell happened?

Wildfires aren't called "tamefires" for a reason.


Nineteen lost at once is pretty farking extreme, even for a wildfire. The people in charge of those firefighters will have some very tough questions to answer.
2013-06-30 11:44:46 PM
1 votes:

thisisyourbrainonFark: Damn, I live near Storm King Mountain in Colorado. Terrible news.


Have you hiked the memorial trail?  I've been thinking about a trip to Glenwood Springs just for that.
2013-06-30 11:44:28 PM
1 votes:
Wildfires are called that for a reason.  I was part of a controlled burn once, to help prevent wildfires like this from spreading, and to "restart" the prairie there.

The burn started out fine, but all it took was one gust of wind, and it blew our nice little fire into something terrifying.  This wasn't even dry conditions, and before I knew it our little party was surrounded by fire.  Fortunately for us, we had a pumper truck with us that had enough water in it for us to get out.  We only ended up burning a few acres of grasslands with that mishap.

I can't imagine what it is like fighting a real wildfire is like.  Losing these firefighters is terrible, and my heart goes out to their families.
2013-06-30 11:43:45 PM
1 votes:
That is farking huge. That must have been an epic blaze or maybe something exploded. Anyone know if they are pros or volunteers? You never see that many die at once. Holy Fark.
2013-06-30 11:41:38 PM
1 votes:
Damn, I live near Storm King Mountain in Colorado. Terrible news.
2013-06-30 11:40:52 PM
1 votes:

Somebody Else: Great song by Richard Shindell about firefighters surrounded by a blaze:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgQNeGPJdcQ
"Cry Cry Cry sings of the devastation of the Mann Gulch fire of 1949 through the point of view of Dodge, one of the remaining survivors. "


13 crosses high above, the cold Missouri waters

/not going to listen to that one tonight - much much to sad
2013-06-30 11:40:41 PM
1 votes:
Somebody in the chain of command farked up bad.
2013-06-30 11:35:10 PM
1 votes:

thelunatick: Elzar: That had to be about the worst article I have read lately - 18 firefighters dead, zero details or even mention of them past sentence one. Are these things now being crowdsourced to twitter for content creation?

Jesus Fuking Christ


In a wildfire details are always almost impossible.   They are unpredictable and highly dangerous.  It could have been something as simple as the wind shifting, or the heat causing a gust that drove the fire into their laps.  They can cover hundreds of feet in seconds.


Do wildland firefighters not carry emergency shelters there? I know the fires move fast and all, but I'd like to think that we're learning from previous disasters. =/
Did the shelters not work?

IIRC, the fire shelters got better after the Payson (sp) Arizona fire in 1990.

I wonder what happened, but either way I feel terrible for the families of all the dead.
2013-06-30 11:34:32 PM
1 votes:
Great song by Richard Shindell about firefighters surrounded by a blaze:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgQNeGPJdcQ
"Cry Cry Cry sings of the devastation of the Mann Gulch fire of 1949 through the point of view of Dodge, one of the remaining survivors. "
2013-06-30 11:30:17 PM
1 votes:
Someone is getting fired.
2013-06-30 11:30:14 PM
1 votes:
At what point do you just say, "fark it. Just let it burn."
2013-06-30 11:29:38 PM
1 votes:

Elzar: That had to be about the worst article I have read lately - 18 firefighters dead, zero details or even mention of them past sentence one. Are these things now being crowdsourced to twitter for content creation?

Jesus Fuking Christ



In a wildfire details are always almost impossible.   They are unpredictable and highly dangerous.  It could have been something as simple as the wind shifting, or the heat causing a gust that drove the fire into their laps.  They can cover hundreds of feet in seconds.
2013-06-30 11:28:07 PM
1 votes:
100 degree temps and 20 mph winds.

this is one sad day.
2013-06-30 11:27:09 PM
1 votes:

Prometheus_Unbound: Chinchillazilla: How the fark did that many people die? Jesus Christ.

From the news report I saw, they somehow got surrounded by the fire.


Ah, that would explain it, sadly. Damn it.
2013-06-30 11:26:32 PM
1 votes:

ThatDarkFellow: thisdaydreamer: What the farking hell happened?

I'm assuming the wildfire killed them


Silly reiteration aside, I'm curious as to how they could have died, as well - the fire was moving at half a mile an hour, at least according to the article, so I'd kind of ruled out "being overtaken."
2013-06-30 11:24:05 PM
1 votes:
Just saw that on the news. So sad. People like that are why there's a hero tag.

RIP
2013-06-30 11:21:34 PM
1 votes:
What the farking hell happened?
 
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