Deadly Arizona fire: What will we learn?

  • Article by: PETER M. LESCHAK
  • Updated: July 13, 2013 - 6:07 PM

Crews don’t make mistakes, they make decisions.

  • 10
  • Comments

  • Results per page:
  • 1 - 10 of 10
shushyn78Jul. 13, 13 7:47 PM

This article was all mumbo jumbo except for the line "no one should die for a building". Anyone who builds in an area susceptible to fire should not expect firefighters to risk their lives saving property. Avoidable tragedy.

3
2
rpkrzmarJul. 13, 1310:53 PM

What was "mumbo jumbo?" It was a fascinating, well written piece.

4
2
motJul. 14, 13 7:03 AM

shushyn78, rpkrzmar, you are BOTH right.

1
1
pumiceJul. 14, 13 8:40 AM

From the article: "I don’t know how much, if any, mitigation the citizens of Yarnell accomplished to defend themselves and their property, but if my experience is any guide, I suspect it wasn’t much." Do we consider living in any Wildland-Urban Interface a matter of individual accountability or a matter of communal responsibility? If the former, providing wildfire mitigation/defense is up to the individual. If the latter, providing wildfire mitigation/defense is an infrastructure issue which will require public funding.

From the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation July 11, 2013 oversight hearing which focused on the need for increased forest management: "Last year, 9.3 million acres burned due to forest fires and was the third worst fire season on record for acres burned. Meanwhile only 200,000 acres were harvested last year by the U.S. Forest Service. The lack of common sense management to remove excess growth are making our forest increasingly susceptible to catastrophic wildfires that threaten public safety, the economic livelihood of communities, water supply and forest health."

Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04): “There will always be drought, there will always be heat spells, and there will always be fire that is out of our control. While our hearts are with the families and communities affected by wildfire and those who put themselves in harm's way to protect us from it, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and what must be cured are the overgrown and unhealthy forests that are in many cases providing the fuel for these fires.”

Subcommittee Chairman Rob Bishop (UT-01): “Wildfires are often unavoidable acts of mother nature and unfortunately sometimes they are man-made. Either way, the best thing we can do to mitigate damage is to improve forest health by eradicating infestations and removing dead, decaying timber, as is often done on non-federal lands."

0
0
tmrichardsonJul. 14, 1310:21 AM

Pumice the turn of the century devastating fires in MN that killed so many and wiped out whole towns were all an artifact of the aftermath of LOGGING. The issue of "sanitizing" our forests to prevent fires is a red herring desiged to acheive other unrelated goals...reality is much more complex than that in many cases. In this case, this ain't exactly a forest in the sense that we know it which burned. This area had SEVERE drought, and given that Pete's article is spot on, in my opinion. We will see what the investigation produces--but if they are allowed to write up the truth, I suspect there will be multiple decisions by many people implicated in this tragedy. I for one wonder whether this crew had any business being there in the first place, given the conditions we read about now. I suspect they realized their problem before their demise too, but we may never know that. If they did, it seems clear they just didn't have enough time to get to a safe zone.

0
0
tjcdasJul. 14, 1310:32 AM

No firefighter should ever die to save a tree or a house from a wildfire. The chance of death has to be eliminated, yes the fire will be bigger and more trees maybe lost. Their needs to be a fundamental change of how these types of fires are dealt with.

0
1
firefight41Jul. 14, 13 1:06 PM

Deadly Arizona fire: What will we learn? ************* The one thing we learn from each fire is that fire is unpredictable and no matter how much training or how save the equipment firefighters will die. Rest in peace brothers. Rest in Peace.

2
1
firefight41Jul. 14, 13 1:07 PM

The chance of death has to be eliminated. ************** You can never eliminate the chance of death.

2
1
zimtownfloodJul. 14, 13 6:02 PM

We will learn nothing. Just like we learned nothing from 911, Katrina, Red River Valley annual flooding and this fire!

0
1
mirallJul. 17, 13 5:08 PM

I think it was the real-estate industry that taught us to substitute the word "home" for the word "house". "Saving homes" sounds like something firefighters might be motivated to run extra risks for; "saving houses" sounds quite different. Some communities are finally learning not to rebuild destroyed houses in flood plains, and there's a lot less risk to the lives of the responders than there is in a wildfire. The solution isn't to cut the wilderness down -- if you do that, some people will just want to move out to where you haven't cut it down yet. The real solution is not to build there at all, but since that can't be enforced, then at least let the people who want to build in dangerous areas take as much responsibility as possible in the ways that Leschak suggests, and let the firefighters remember that these structures are "houses", not "homes".

0
0
  • 1 - 10 of 10

Comment on this story   |  

ADVERTISEMENT

  • about opinion

  • The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.

  • Submit a letter or commentary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT