A look at deadly U.S. fire crew incidents

Bodies of dead firefighters are removed from the site of the Mann Gulch fire near Helena, Montana, August 1949. National Interagency Fire Center

Here is a look at some of the deadliest U.S. tragedies to have claimed the lives of wildland firefighters, including the 19 killed in an Arizona blaze Sunday:

  • June 30, 2013: Nineteen members of an elite crew are killed in a fire northwest of Phoenix that lit up the night sky in the forest above the town of Yarnell. The fast-moving blaze 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 forest fire on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest outside Redding, Calif.
  • 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 10, 2001: Four firefighters died in the Thirtymile Fire in Okanogan National Forest in Washington State.
  • 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 eastern Arizona trapped 11 firefighters, killing six of them.
  • July 16-17, 1976: The Battlement Creek Fire killed five firefighters in Grand Valley (now Parachute), Colo., including the pilot of a B-26 air tanker which crashed while dropping retardant. Three other firefighters were killed while working a burn-over.
  • November 1, 1966: Thirteen "hotshots" were killed while fighting the Loop Fire in Angeles National Forest in California.
  • November 25, 1956: Eleven men died fighting the Inaja Fire, at the Cleveland National Forest in California.
  • July 9, 1953: The Rattlesnake fire in Southern California took the lives of 15 firefighters battling a blaze in Mendocino National Forest.
  • Aug. 5, 1949: The Mann Gulch fire near Helena, Mont., killed 12 smokejumpers and a forest ranger after they were overrun by flames. Their story was memorialized in the book "Young Men and Fire" by Norman Maclean, who also wrote "A River Runs Through It."
  • August 31, 1937: In Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming, 15 firefighters were trapped and killed when a change in weather caused flames to change direction.
  • Oct. 3, 1933: The Griffith Park wildfire in Los Angeles killed 29 firefighters. More than 150 other people were injured.

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