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  • Wildland FF Lodds-Idaho

    First and foremost, my sincere condolences to the families of our brothers, who made the ultimate sacrifice. May our Lord provide comfort to the families and friends!

    (Salmon, Idaho-AP) -- Authorities have identified the two
    firefighters killed in the Cramer fire near Salmon Tuesday night as
    23-year-old Jeff Allen of Salmon and 22-year-old Shane Heath of the
    Treasure Valley area.
    Both were veteran firefighters. Allen became a seasonal
    firefighter in 1999, and had been a member of the Indianola
    Helitack Crew since 2000.
    Heath, a Boise State University student, was in his second year
    as an Indianola Helitack Crew member, and had been a wildland
    firefighter for four years.
    The men were overrun by flames after rappelling to the ground to
    clear a helicopter landing zone in the rugged backcountry of
    central Idaho's Salmon-Challis National Forest.
    U-S Forest Service spokeswoman Erin O'Connor said authorities
    are investigating the deaths.
    Helitack crews travel by helicopter to provide initial attack
    response to wildland fires. They deal with the most remote, steep,
    and smoky environments.


    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

  • #2
    BOISE, Idaho (AP) - The two helitack firefighters who died while
    battling a blaze in the Salmon-Challis national forest probably
    died very quickly, the Lemhi County coroner said Thursday.
    Jeff Allen, 24, of Salmon and Shane Heath, 22, of Melba, were
    killed in the Cramer fire Tuesday night about 17 miles west of
    Shoup. After rappelling from a helicopter, the two were preparing a
    landing zone when the blaze exploded around them.
    "They got caught in a fireball," Coroner Mike Mitchell said.
    "It was very quick."
    The remains of both men have been released to their families,
    Mitchell said.
    The deaths of the two firefighters drew sympathy from the Bush
    Administration, Idaho's congressional delegation and Gov. Dirk
    Kempthorne, who ordered state flags flown at half-staff on
    Thursday.
    "We are all deeply saddened by this tragedy," U.S. Department
    of Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman said in a prepared
    statement.
    Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo said Allen and Heath died as heroes.
    "These men are heroes of battle, just as the men and women
    fighting overseas, and they fought a faceless, terrifying enemy
    with bravery, heroism, and selfless dedication to the families and
    communities of central Idaho," Crapo said.
    Allen began working as a seasonal firefighter in 1999, when he
    joined the Indianola Helitack Crew. He was a business student at
    Boise State University.
    Heath, also a Boise State student, was in his second year as an
    Indianola Helitack Crew member and had been a wildland firefighter
    for four years.
    A national fire team was sent Wednesday to take command of the
    fire, which had blown across more than 5,400 acres by Thursday
    morning. It was not threatening any structures.
    After taking Wednesday off to regroup, the 170 firefighters
    already fighting the fire resumed operations Thursday. More than
    300 reinforcements are expected to begin arriving in the next few
    days, said fire information officer Jennifer Rabuck.
    Meanwhile, other fires continued to burn.
    Crews returned to the Hot Creek blaze on Thursday after they
    driven away from the fire line Wednesday by extremely heavy smoke.
    The blaze spread across 15,360 acres and was burning 40 miles
    northeast of Boise.
    Fire information officer Cyd Weiland said more than 400
    firefighters would concentrate on building an east-west line on the
    south end of the fire.
    The fire was burning about three miles from Atlanta, but the
    historic mining town was not considered to be in danger, Weiland
    said. Still, the Elmore County Sheriff's Office decided Thursday
    afternoon that no additional visitors or residents would be allowed
    into the Atlanta area for now.
    Some of Thursday's weather conditions were working in
    firefighters' favor.
    Temperatures in southwestern Idaho were expected to be 10
    degrees cooler and relative humidity was rising from bone-dry
    levels earlier in the week. However, the possibility of
    thunderstorms presented a higher potential for lightning strikes,
    Weiland said.
    It was not known when the fire would be contained and roads to
    the area remained closed Thursday.
    In north-central Idaho, the Slims fire burning 35 miles east of
    Grangeville continued to grow, reaching 1,400 acres by Thursday
    evening. More than 250 firefighters were attempting to burn behind
    the fire to create a fire line. But three helicopters assigned to
    the blaze were unable to fly Thursday afternoon because an
    inversion was causing poor visibility.
    In central Idaho, 157 firefighters were working to contain the
    Crystal Creek fire, burning on about 1,000 acres. That fire also
    continued to spread.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Rest in Peace Jeff!

      SALMON, Idaho (AP) - While flags flew at half mast across the
      country, 1,500 mourners filled the Salmon High School gymnasium to
      pay tribute to Jeff Allen, one of two firefighters killed battling
      a wildfire in central Idaho last week.
      Allen, 24, and Shane Heath, 22, Melba, died fighting the 5,614
      acre Cramer fire last Tuesday.
      The two Boise State University students were members of the
      Indianola Helitack Crew. After rappelling from a helicopter, the
      two were preparing a landing zone Tuesday when the blaze exploded
      around them and they were killed.
      More than 100 firefighters attended the service for Allen
      Saturday.
      The high school's fight was sung in Allen's honor. He had been
      one of the school's star basketball and football players and was an
      assistant coach for the BSU basketball team.
      Amid a procession of Forest Service officers and bagpipers;
      friends, family and relatives recounted their memories of Allen.
      Since the accident, community members have kept nearly 24 hour
      vigils with Allen's family and more than 40 bouquets lined the
      gymnasium during his funeral service.
      "Another great one has been taken from us," said Bill Schlenk,
      one of Allen's junior high school teachers.
      Twenty-seven pallbearers and scores of mourners escorted Allen's
      coffin to the Salmon cemetery where a tanker plane and two
      helicopters paid tribute in a fly over.
      "He loved that dangerous job," said Allen's uncle Fred Snook.

      (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
      Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
      Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

      *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
      On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

      Comment

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