Sunday, July 6, 2014

South Canyon Fire 20th Anniversary

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the loss of 14 firefighters on Storm King Mountain in Colorado during the South Canyon Fire.

Firefighters honor and remember their own. In the years since this tragedy, hundreds of firefighters have hiked the Storm King Mountain memorial trail to the site where their brothers and sisters died on July 6, 1994. Many have left mementos as a way to pay tribute to those who were lost.

I hiked that trail in 1996, a short two years after the event. It was very sobering to see firsthand the terrain those firefighters were working in, and the steep mountainside they tried to scale in their attempt to find safety. There is no doubt that visitors twenty years later will still find the experience emotional.

The photos below were taken by me at the memorial in nearby Glenwood Springs in July 1996.



For more information on the South Canyon Fire and this year's commemoration, go to: http://www.southcanyonfire.com/

I also highly recommend John N. Maclean's award-winning book Fire on the Mountain: The True Story of the South Canyon Fire, available through Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and other booksellers.


For a shorter commentary on the South Canyon Fire tragedy that also addresses last year's Yarnell Hill Fire deaths, check out Maclean's July 4 article for National Geographic:

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