I heard last night via Twitter that we lost 3 more firefighters in Washington state. This morning we learned that they were US Forest Service firefighters.
As far as we know right now, they were involved in a vehicle accident while being overrun by the fire during a wind shift. I'm sure we'll learn more as the accident investigation unfolds, but I'm sick of losing brothers and sisters to fires and I'm not sure what we can do to prevent it.
After we lost the Granite Mountain IHC, it seemed like there was a shift in the way we did things and last year was (relatively) LODD-free. I guess it was really just a pretty tame fire season. I don't have the stats in front of me right now so maybe this year is "normal".
The wildland community is a fairly small one, so we always know someone who worked with a crew/engine/district where a LODD occurred or where the person was stationed. It seems that social media has also brought every incident closer to home. As an admin on the wildland firefighters group on FB, it seems that for every fatality or near miss there is someone (usually several someones) personally affected in the group. It always seems to make it more personal to me.
And I think that's a good thing. It can happen to any one of us out there on the line. For all of those out there fighting the fires: keep one foot in the black and your head on a swivel; no tree or house is worth your life. Keep safe and God bless.
Thoughts and prayers to the friends, families, and coworkers of the 3 in WA.
God bless and remember your LCES.