A look at deadly US accidents involving fire crews

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Updated: 6/30/2013 11:51 pm

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 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.

— 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.

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Online: National Fire Protection Association, nfpa.org

 

©2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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