Examining the “Wildland Firefighter Week of Remembrance”

This is the “Wildland Firefighter Week of Remembrance”.

On this date, June 30, in 2013, 19 granite mountain firefighters were lost in the Yarnell Hill fire in Arizona. 34 wildland firefighters were killed in the line of duty that fire season.

On July 6 in 19-94, 14 firefighters died on Storm King Mountain in Colorado. 35 wildland firefighters died that year.

“So this whole week is to have discussions honoring those folks killed in the line of duty and how can we learn from them; some of those events have changed our training, how we do operational how we fight fire, so a number of things have come out of those fatality fires,” said Jason Virtue, a Fire Staff Officer for Black Hills National Forest.

The main focus for this week of remembrance is so that future wildland firefighters learn from those who served before them.

“We kinda have a saying that says a lesson learned is a change in behavior and that’s kinda the Keystone of this week and again with some of the fatalities that have occurred, its occurred from trees falling, from driving accidents, vehicle roll overs, burn overs from fires and so as we move forward, depending on whatever level you are as a wildland firefighter, there is something you can walk away with,” Virtue said.

This week is intended as an opportunity to renew the commitment to the health, wellness, and safety of wildland firefighters.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News