Arizona Deaths Come Near Storm King Anniversary

July 2, 2013

The deaths of hot shot crew members in Arizona comes just before the anniversary of a similar tragedy in Colorado.

On July 6, 1994, 14 firefighters were killed when they were trapped fighting a fire that blew up just west of Glenwood Springs on Storm King Mountain.

A 50-acre fire erupted into a 2,000-acre firestorm and raced up a hillside. Some firefighters tried to outrun it while others wrapped themselves in fireproof shelters.

Nine of the victims were members of a Prineville, Ore.-based hot shots team.

An Occupational Health and Safety Administration investigation blamed the disaster on a “management failure.” The Bureau of Land Management reorganized its fire program as a result.

Fourteen marble crosses bearing the firefighters’ names now stand on the mountain at the end of a hiking trail.

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