A listing of deadly wildfire incidents

2013-07-02T00:00:00Z A listing of deadly wildfire incidentsThe Associated Press The Associated Press
July 02, 2013 12:00 am  • 

A look at some of the deadliest tragedies that have claimed the lives of wildland firefighters, including the 19 killed Sunday in an Arizona blaze:

• June 30: Nineteen members of an elite crew were killed in a fire near the Arizona town of Yarnell, south of Prescott. The fast-moving Yarnell Hill Fire, fueled by hot, dry conditions, is the deadliest wildfire involving firefighters in the U.S. for at least 30 years.

• Aug. 5, 2008: Nine people were killed when a helicopter crashed shortly after taking off with a load of firefighters heading back to camp in Northern California. Seven of the dead were firefighters with Grayback Forestry Inc. The crew was fighting a fire on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest outside Redding, Calif.

• Oct. 26, 2006: Five firefighters assigned to San Bernardino National Forest Engine 57 were fatally burned when fierce Santa Ana winds blew the Esperanza Fire over their structure-protection position at Twin Pines in the San Jacinto Mountains.

• Aug. 24, 2003: Eight contract firefighters who had spent two weeks fighting an Idaho wildfire were killed on their way home when their van collided with a tractor-trailer and exploded into flames outside Vale, Ore. The firefighters, all men, worked for First Strike Environmental, a contract firefighting company and all were from Oregon.

• July 6, 1994: A blaze near Glenwood Springs, Colo., killed 14 firefighters who were overtaken by a sudden explosion of flames. The lightning-sparked Storm King Mountain blaze roared through shrubs as the firefighters scrambled uphill. Thirty-five firefighters on the mountain that day survived.

• June 26, 1990: The rapidly spreading Dude Fire in the Tonto National Forest near Payson in north-central Arizona trapped 11 firefighters, killing six of them.

• July 9, 1953: The Rattlesnake Fire in Northern California took the lives of 15 firefighters battling a blaze in the Mendocino National Forest.

• In August 1949: 15 smoke jumpers parachuted into Mann Gulch north of Helena, Mont., to fight a wildfire started by lightning. The wind picked up and caused the fire to spread thousands of acres in just 10 minutes, forcing the men to drop their gear and race for their lives up the steep slope to the ridge. Twelve smokejumpers and a Helena National Forest fire guard died after being overtaken by the fire. Their story was memorialized by Norman Maclean, the author of "A River Runs Through It," in the book "Young Men and Fire."

• Oct. 3, 1933: The Griffith Park wildfire in Los Angeles killed 29 firefighters.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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