The deadliest wildfire in the last 30 years involving firefighters started after a lightning strike on Friday, June 28th. The fire spread to at least 2,000 acres by Sunday, June 30th as a result of triple-digit temperatures, low humidity and very windy conditions. Over 200 hundred brave firefighters battled the blaze and heat.
Yarnell & Glen Isla is located about 85 miles Northwest of Phoenix, Arizona, and very close to Sedona (where I vacationed this past week).
The deaths of the Granite Mountain Hotshots marked the nation’s biggest loss of firefighters in a wildfire in 80 years. Only one member of the 20-person crew survived, and that was because he was moving the unit’s truck at the time.
Arizona’s governor called it “as dark a day as I can remember” and ordered flags flown at half-staff.
[The Granite mountain Hotshots established in 2002, were an elite ground firefighting crew known for their innovative problem-solving and history of safe, aggressive fire suppression. Members of the crew were highly trained, came from diverse backgrounds, and worked long hours in extreme environmental conditions doing the most demanding of fireline tasks.
They carried 50-70 pounds on their back, hiked seven miles or more to where they needed to work, and worked up to 14 hours, sometimes longer. The average age of the men in the hotshot crew was 22-years-old.
“They have to be ready to leave for an assignment on two hours’ notice, which sometimes means missing family events,”Wade Ward of the Prescott FD said last week. “They have to be prepared to be on that assignment for 21 days, get two days rest at home, and possibly be sent out on another 21-day assignment.” ] -taken from the ‘Stand with Arizona’ website http://standwitharizona.com/blog/2013/06/30/who-they-were-the-granite-mountain-hotshots-19-brave-souls-who-perished-in-arizona-fire/
I am in awe of the courageous acts demonstrated by the men and women that fight our Nations fires.
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”. John: 13-13