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**Wildland FF LODD**

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  • **Wildland FF LODD**

    Dead....from burns suffered at a prescribed burn. That's right...you read it correctly...a PRESCRIBED burn. Why people? What was he doing working ALONE? Good grief...haven't we learned anything?

    PHOENIX (AP) - A firefighter widely credited with helping save
    Show Low from the ravages of last year's Rodeo-Chediski fire died
    Thursday of injuries suffered in a prescribed burn.
    Rick Lupe, 43, had been hospitalized for more than a month after
    he suffered third-degree burns over 40 percent of his body during a
    prescribed burn operation near Whiteriver on the Fort Apache Indian
    Reservation.
    Lupe and his crew performed prescribed burns on May 12 and 13.
    On May 14, they were doing fire mop up and putting out hotspots,
    said family spokesman Wendell Peacock.
    Winds kicked up and Lupe, who was by himself at the time, was
    engulfed in flames. He deployed his fire shelter, but it got away
    from him, Peacock said.
    The incident was investigated, but the only witness to what
    happened was Lupe.
    "What happened we don't know," said Peacock, a Bureau of Land
    Management spokesman who has temporarily been assigned to the
    Bureau of Indian Affairs. "Something went wrong and only Rick
    knows."
    Lupe, who was being treated at Maricopa Medical Center,
    underwent three skin-graft operations and had been in a drug
    induced coma since the accident, Peacock said.
    Lupe is largely regarded as a hero in Show Low and
    Pinetop-Lakeside. He led the crew that built fire line in Hop
    Canyon, stopping the Rodeo-Chediski fire from crossing a highway
    and burning into Show Low.
    "What else can you say, he kind of saved us," said Show Low
    Mayor Gene Kelley.
    The city's flags were lowered to half-staff Thursday. Gov. Janet
    Napolitano also ordered the state's flags lowered in Lupe's honor.
    "He was very, very well-respected and rightfully so," Kelley
    said. "We know those people go out there and have a very high risk
    job, but you just don't think about it until you lose one."
    Lupe, who had been a firefighter for two decades, died almost
    exactly a year after the Rodeo-Chediski fire started in two parts
    on the Apache reservation. The fire, which was the largest in state
    history, grew to 469,000 acres and forced the evacuation of about
    30,000 people in Show Low and neighboring communities before it was
    stopped.
    To show their support for Lupe, the residents of Show Low and
    Pinetop-Lakeside held a fund-raiser for his family so they could be
    near him at Maricopa Medical Center, Kelley said. About $16,000
    were raised.
    "They don't come any more intelligible or careful or safety
    conscious than Rick Lupe," Peacock said. "This was just a very
    unfortunate accident."
    Lupe is survived by his wife, Evelyn, and three sons.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

    Rest in peace brother....may God aid and comfort your family!
    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
    Funeral services planned for firefighter

    (Whiteriver-AP) -- A memorial service is planned for Wednesday
    in Whiteriver for firefighter Rick Lupe (LOO'-pee)
    He was severely burned in a prescribed burn on May 14th.
    He had been in Maricopa County Medical Center Burn Unit for the
    past five weeks until he passed away June 19th.
    Lupe was a member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe and a fuel
    specialist for the Bureau of Indian Affairs Fort Apache Agency.


    (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
      Incident reports - Lupe Burnover

      From the NIFC.gov website:

      United States Department of the Interior
      BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS
      NATIONAL INTERAGENCY FIRE CENTER
      3833 SOUTH DEVELOPMENT AVENUE
      BOISE, IDAHO 83705-5354




      Sawtooth RX Burn Burnover

      24 Hour Report

      On May 14, 2003, a Bureau of Indian Affairs firefighter from the Fort Apache Agency in Whiteriver, Arizona was seriously burned when he was trapped in a small flare up on the Sawtooth RX burn.

      He was transported immediately by helicopter to the Indian Health Service Hospital in Whiteriver, and then transferred to the Maricopa Medical Center - Burn Unit in Phoenix, Arizona, where he is in critical condition with burns over 40% of his body.

      An Interagency Accident Investigation Team has been formed by the BIA Fire Office in Boise, Idaho and is enroute to begin the investigation.

      No other firefighters were injured when the flare up occurred.

      The Accident Investigation report is due to the Regional Director within 45 days.



      ______________________________________
      Allen J. Anspach, Team Leader

      ______________________________________
      Date








      United States Department of the Interior
      BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS
      NATIONAL INTERAGENCY FIRE CENTER
      3833 SOUTH DEVELOPMENT AVENUE
      BOISE, IDAHO 83705-5354






      Sawtooth Prescribed Fire Deployment/Burnover Investigation

      72 Hour Brief


      On May 14, 2003, at approximately 2:45 pm, Bureau of Indian Affairs fire employee Richard G. Lupe was involved in a burnover and fire shelter deployment while working on the Sawtooth prescribed burn, about six miles west of Whiteriver, Arizona on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.

      Mr. Lupe walked, under his own power, from the burnover site to the staging area where he received aid from his co-workers until the helicopter assigned to the prescribed burn was able to transport him to the Indian Health Service Hospital in Whiteriver, Arizona. From the IHS hospital Mr. Lupe was flown to the Maricopa Medical Center – Burn Unit in Phoenix, Arizona, where he remains in critical condition. No other firefighters were injured.

      The Sawtooth prescribed burn is a BIA, Fort Apache Agency burn designed to reduce fuel loads and provide openings for wildlife & livestock to meet the White Mountain Apache Tribe’s recreation, wildlife and grazing objectives for the area. The Prescribed Burn Plan was approved by the BIA Western Regional Director in April of 2001.

      The helitorch ignition of the burn took place on the morning of Monday, May 12, 2003. The fire burned according to the plan on that day, and continued to behave as expected thru May 13th, and most of May 14th. The approximate forty Bureau fire staff on site in support of this effort were monitoring the progress of the burn throughout, and were in a holding mode dispersed in various areas of the burn on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 14th, when the incident occurred.

      At approximately, 2:30 pm on Wednesday, May 14, 2003, the lookout reported increased activity on the southeast portion of the burn. Apparently Mr. Lupe, who had been checking out various portions of the burn decided to drop into the drainage containing an active area of about thirty acres of unburned vegetation.

      The site inspection indicates that extreme fire behavior occurred at the time Mr. Lupe dropped into the drainage. Approximately thirty acres burned at extremely high temperatures as indicated by the almost total consumption of fuel in what had been a heavily timbered, and brushy drainage.

      The interagency investigative team that arrived on Friday, May 15, 2003, has visited the incident site, has gathered most applicable documentation, and is conducting interviews of witnesses as the investigation continues. Because of Mr. Lupe’s medical condition, it has not been possible to interview him about the event.

      At this time, the investigation team has not identified any critical “lessons learned” that can be passed on to the U.S. Wildland Fire Community.



      ____________________________________
      Allen J. Anspach, Team Leader


      ____________________________________
      Date
      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


      • #4
        PHOENIX (AP) - A preliminary report on the death of a wildland
        firefighter says that at least one official recommended against
        starting the prescribed burn that ultimately killed the
        firefighter.
        Rick Lupe, 43, died in June, a little more than a month after
        suffering severe third-degree burns as he became enveloped by the
        flames of a prescribed burn near Whiteriver on the Fort Apache
        Indian Reservation.
        Lupe is largely considered a hero in Show Low and
        Pinetop-Lakeside for his actions during last year's Rodeo-Chediski
        fire, the largest wildfire in state history.
        He led the crew that built fire line in Hop Canyon and stopped
        the massive blaze from crossing a highway and burning into Show
        Low.
        A preliminary report into the factors surrounding Lupe's death
        was released Thursday.
        Initial findings reveal that the prescribed fire on May 12 and
        13 hadn't been approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and was
        carried out despite a senior tribal forester's request and
        recommendation to cancel it.
        "There were a number of things that came together for this to
        happen ... If you had broken that chain of events, or if you had
        done something different, Rick would still be with us," said Dick
        Mangan, lead investigator for the BIA inquiry.
        In addition, the report said that fire managers had signed off
        on a checklist verifying appropriate conditions even though weather
        and humidity levels were outside recommended parameters.
        The report will be reviewed by a committee composed of five
        members of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and a member of the U.S.
        Forest Service.
        The committee will determine what, if any, improper actions were
        taken before and during the prescribed burn and determine if any
        disciplinary action is warranted.
        "We have the facts," said Wayne Nordwall, BIA Western regional
        director. "We have gathered all of the material. Now, this review
        board will analyze it all."
        The report also noted that a burn plan for the region had been
        rescinded in 2001 and was never reauthorized. Plans for the fire
        did not include pre-designated escape routes or specific safety
        zones.
        In addition, the report found that tribal forester Paul DeClay
        Jr. sent a memo to Fort Apache fire managers May 12 recommending
        and requesting the cancellation of that day's prescribed burn.
        ---
        On the Net:
        Sawtooth Mountain Prescribed Fire Burnover Fatality Factual
        Report:

        http://www.wildfirelessons.net/Libra...s/Fatalities/S
        awtooth. pdf

        (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


        • #5
          House honors fallen White Mountain firefighter

          (Washington-AP) -- The U-S House of Representatives has approved
          legislation honoring Bureau of Indian Affairs firefighter Rick Lupe
          (LOO'-pee).
          Lupe died on June 19th as a result of injuries he received
          during a prescribed burn in May of this year.
          Lupe is being remembered as a man who was a shining example of a
          firefighter.
          Congressman Rick Renzi introduced the resolution.
          He says Arizona lost a true hero in Rick Lupe.
          The fallen firefighter is being remembered as a true hero who
          led the fight to prevent the Rodeo-Chediski wildfire from crossing
          over a major interstate and burning dozens of homes in Show Low.


          (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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