Essay about Thirty Mile Fire

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Thirty Mile Fire

On July 10, 2001 four U.S Forest Service Firefighters died while battling the thirty mile fire. Six others injured including two hikers. The thirty mile fire was the second deadliest fire in Washington state history.

The fire started by campers thirty miles north of Winthrop in Okanogan National Forest in the Chewuch river valley. The fire was only 25 acres in size when twenty one Forest Service firefighters were dispatched to the fire.

The Northwest Regular Crew number six was the first to be on the scene, there objective was constructing direct fire line in the canyon during the late morning and early afternoon hours. Later in the afternoon the crew was attempting to control spot fires located east of the
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The van drove past the four on foot and came across the fire that was now across the road. The incident commander said the risk was to great to keep going down the road and through the fire. The IC turned the van around and picked up the other four crew members and began to drive north up the river canyon. The IC looked for safety zones and selected a site that was a rock scree above the road. A sand bar and the river were below the road where the van was parked.

The (NWR) number six crew waited above the road and watched the fire grow and get closer. As the crew watched the fire two civilians arrived in a truck that were camping above were the crew had stopped. The crew never told the civilians that they were there because it was going to be a deployment spot or a safety zone.

The crew was not prepared for the fire when it suddenly arrived. A wave of fire, heat, and smoke over took them by surprise, Eight of the crew deployed their shelters on the road and the two civilians took shelter with one of the crew members. The squad boss was high above the road in the rock scree watching the fire. He ran down towards the road but couldn’t get there before the fire arrived, He turned around and ran back up the slope were the other four crew members and the crew boss was.

The approach of the crown fire made them retreat farther up the slope were the five deployed their shelters next to the squad boss that was

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