Laguna Hotshot Camp Weather

Friday, July 10, 2015

Never Forget

Incident Name: Thirtymile Fire 
Date:  07/10/01, 1724 hrs
Personnel: 4 Lives Lost (see below)
Age:  Varies
Agency/Organization:  US Forest Service 
Position: Varies
Thomas Lee Craven, 30- Firefighter/Wildland Full Time
Devin Andrew Weaver, 21-Firefighter/Wildland Part Time
Jessica Lynn Johnson, 19- Firefighter/Wildland Part Time
Karen Lee FitzPatrick, 18- Firefighter/Wildland Part Time
The Thirtymile Fire began when a picnic cooking fire was abandoned and spread to the surrounding forest. The fire was located in the Chewuch River Canyon, about 30 miles north of Winthrop, Washington. The Northwest Regulars #6, a 21-person Type 2 crew from the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, was dispatched to the fire in the early morning hours of July 10, 2001. The crew arrived at the fire at approximately 9:00 a.m. After a safety briefing, the crew went to work at 11:00 a.m. The crews worked until approximately 3:00 p.m. when they stopped to eat, rest, and sharpen their tools. About 4:00 p.m., they responded to a request for help from another crew in the area; two of the three squads were sent to assist.
The fire began to develop quickly, and the decision was made to leave the area. The road to safety was cut off by fire progress. The incident commander selected a site near the river that was rocky and had less vegetation than other areas in the canyon. Although several firefighters congregated above the road to monitor the fire, they were not prepared for the suddenness with which it arrived. Six firefighters, including the four that died, deployed their fire shelters above the road. After the fire passed, it was learned that Squad Boss Craven and Firefighters Fitzpatrick, Johnson, and Weaver had been killed. The cause of death for all four firefighters was asphyxia due to inhalation of superheated products of combustion. Their fellow crewmembers and two civilians survived.

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