Why didn’t the fire shelters protect the Granite Mountain Hotshots?

“The Yarnell Hill Fire was pretty tragic because an entire Hotshot crew, the Granite Mountain Hotshot Crew, perished in that fire,” Mason said. … With temperatures exceeding 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit with extreme turbulent air conditions, Mason notes no fire shelter could have protected that crew on June 30 of 2013.

What went wrong with the Granite Mountain Hotshots?

More were predicted on the fatal day, June 30, when firefighters battled the rapidly spreading blaze. … The National Weather Service that day predicted thunderstorms, downdrafts, a reversal in wind direction, and gusts approaching 50 miles per hour. When that happened, it fatally trapped the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots.

Did the Granite Mountain Hotshots make a mistake?

The Forest Service investigation concluded that nobody did anything wrong and that all actions taken by Yarnell wildfire supervisors and the Granite Mountain crew were reasonable and appropriate.

Did Granite Mountain Hotshots burn or suffocate?

All but one of the Granite Mountain Hotshots crew members died on June 30, 2013, while fighting the lightning-caused Yarnell Hill Fire. The crew died as they were overrun by flames in a box canyon. The fire too intense and moving too quickly for their shelters to protect them.

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Are fire shelters effective?

In the United States fire shelters began being used by wildland firefighters during the late 1960s and have proven extremely effective. In more than 1,200 uses through 2013 only 41 deaths had occurred.

How many Granite Mountain Hotshots died?

The Yarnell Hill Fire claimed the lives of 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. All but one crew member died in the wildfire south of Prescott after a change in wind direction pushed the flames back toward their position.

Is Brendan McDonough still a firefighter?

Today, Brendan McDonough continues to live in Prescott, Arizona with his daughters and fiancé. … He enlisted in the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a team of elite firefighters based in Prescott, Arizona.

What is the purpose of a backburn?

Back burning involves starting small fires along a man-made or natural firebreak in front of a main fire front. Back burning reduces the amount of fuel that is available to the main fire by the time that it reaches the burnt area. Back burning is utilized in controlled burning and during wildfire events.

What does Brendan McDonough do now?

Although is took some time for McDonough to heal from the tragedy, he is doing his best to “pay it forward and honor the brothers he lost that day.” He started Hold Fast Recovery Center in Prescott, Ariz., and is now a public speaker who works with numerous nonprofits for veterans, police officers, firefighters, and …

What fire killed the Granite Mountain Hotshots?

On June 30, 2013, 19 of the 20 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots were killed during the Yarnell Hill Fire. Brendan McDonough, who had separated from the crew earlier in the day, survived the incident. The fallen firefighters: Andrew Ashcraft, 29.

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Has anyone survived in a fire shelter?

One veteran firefighter’s survival story. In 2006, Johnson was leading a crew of nearly a dozen while battling the Little Venus Fire in the remote backcountry of the Shoshone National Forest, when each one of them had to deploy a fire shelter to survive.

How much heat can a fire shelter withstand?

Shelters reflect almost 95 percent of radiant heat, or heat coming from the sun. With direct heat in the form of flames, the shelter can withstand 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything hotter and the shelter begins to melt and no longer protects the firefighter.