UPDATE at 11:35 a.m. MT, June 7, 2012: A ninth firefighter has unfortunately died. (Reported by Chuck Bushey of the IAWF and by the Russian media company ITAR-TASS from a Rosleskhoz Federal Forestry Agency source.)
Russian authorities announced on June 7 that eight smokejumpers were entrapped and killed in a wildfire in southern Siberia. The eight jumpers were part of a team of 14 that parachuted into the fire. The other six managed to escape from unexpected fire behavior thought to be caused by a wind shift. One was admitted to a hospital with serious burn injuries.
The BBC reported that authorities have opened a criminal negligence investigation into the incident.
Last year we told you about an excellent article in National Geographic about the smokejumping program in Russia. The country has 4,000 jumpers working out of 340 bases across the country.
Our condolences go out to the family and coworkers of these firefighters.
Thanks go out to Dick